Meet our Staff

Back row: Dave Cochrane, Tony Reed, Jody Hughes, Hok Ung, Graeme Jonas, Dale Randall, Chris Young, Mahindra Bhikharidas, Jimi Romeril, Ann Manning and Peter Bates.
Front row: Malcolm Young, Abe Romeril, Lucy Forde (MSL), Eleanor Howick (MSL), Sandra Ramsay and John Gallagher.


Dijana Bogunovic
Jeff Brown


Dave Cochrane
Team Leader Optical Manufacturing
New Zealand Certificate of Science – Physics
He has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of the optical manufacturing, optical coatings and opto-mechanical production and assemblies. As Team Leader, Optical Manufacturing, he is responsible for the delivery of numerous international astronomical projects. Special expertise in manufacture of large precision optical components.
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Sandra Ramsay
Group Manager
Bachelor of Science, Masters of Business Administration
Sandra is responsible for the overall strategy, all finance, human resourcing, legal, property, procurement, information technology and brand development. Sandra is an Austrian national, multi-lingual with experience working in both the public and private sector including the United Nations


Malcolm Young
Business Development Manager
Bachelor of Commerce and Administration
Malcolm Young is our Business Development Manager. Malcolm has a strong international commercial management background. Malcolm will be responsible for sales and marketing, contract negotiation and customer management.


Jody Hughes
Team Coordinator
Jody assists us on multiple areas in the team. Her administrative skill supports resourcing, budgeting, marketing and operational planning.


Jin Zhang
Project Lead Opto-Mechanical
Bachelor of Engineering Technology, Diploma Mechanical Engineering
Jin majored in Electronic Engineering, and Numerical Control Technique and Application. He has many years’ experience designing high precision optical lenses for marine navigational lights. Jin also has extensive Project Management experience.


Dijana Bogunovic
Optical Engineer
Masters in Optics, PhD in Physics
Dijana has a PhD in Physics. Her thesis was on ‘design and fabrication of the photonic, tunable waveguide Bragg gratings in electro-optic polymer thin films’.
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Abe Romeril
Optical Technician
National Certificate – Mechanics
Abe has significant experience in manufacturing and testing optical components and fabricating glass components for various optical systems. Abe has worked on numerous large internal projects.


James Romeril
Optical Technician
James has over 15 years of experience manufacturing, testing and assembling world class optical components for navigation, astronomy, military and healthcare. He has expertise in hand crafted one-off pieces, made with precision to extremely tight tolerances.


Tony Reed
Senior Opto-Mechanical Technician
Tony has over 30 years of experience in control system design and build, mechanical design, manufacture and assemblies, system interfacing, remote (off-site) assemblies and installations and computer and hardware solutions. Tony has been working extensively with MINVERVA High Resolution Spectrograph project. He was involved in the design, manufacture and assembly of the instrument of which one is on Mount Hopkins in Arizona and the other under construction to be installed on Mount Kent Australia.


Graeme Jonas
Senior Optical Technician
Graeme has been with KiwiStar for 15 years. He has over 25 years’ experience in the fabrication, testing and alignment of precision optics, including on-axis and off-axis aspherics. While at KiwiStar Graeme has had a significant role in many of the major optical projects that KiwiStar has undertaken.


Jeff Brown
Opto-Mechanical Technician
Jeff has 40 years of experience producing precision optics. This includes 7 years with Sola Optical, 26 years with BAe Systems Australia working on complex military projects including 12 years as their Senior Optician, and 4 years with CSIRO Sydney including work on Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) optics.


Mahindra Bhikharidas
Optical Technician
Mahindra has worked in the ophthalmic industry for 25 years, providing the highest quality prescription spectacle lenses to Independent Optometrists throughout New Zealand. He has also facilitated in training groups of Technicians, Dispensing Opticians and installations of Lab fit-outs. He has now joined KiwiStar as a Research Technician using transferable skills.


Hokmeng Ung
Senior Engineering Technician
New Zealand Certificate of Engineering - Mechanical
Hok and his team of engineers have extensive experience in advanced engineering design and precision manufacturing utilising Callaghan Innovation’s on-site engineering facility.


Karl Riki
Optical Technician
Karl has been with Callaghan Innovation since 2009. A qualified toolmaker and engineering technologist. Karl has vast knowledge of mechanical design, Solidworks, CNC operations, CAD caming etc. Karl has in the past worked with KiwiStar Optics and was involved in the building and implementation of the Hermes Spectrograph which was installed in Sydney, Australia´╗┐´╗┐.


Meet our Consultants

Professor John Hearnshaw
Astronomical Consultant
Over 40 years of experience in astronomy and working internationally with specific scientific interests in astronomical spectrographs, stellar spectroscopy, binary stars, detection of extrasolar planets, variable stars and the history of astrophysics. John is respected worldwide for his expertise and brings significant experience in the management and operation of an observatory.
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Dr Andrew Rakich
Optical Consultant
Andrew is an optical specialist with international expertise in optical design, metrology, tolerancing, aberration theory, alignment, telescopes from Industrial Research Ltd (the precursor to KiwiStar Optics) to working on large scale telescope projects with EOS Space Systems in Australia and EOS Tech Tuscon, USA, Andrew is now with the Giant Magellan Telescope. Andrew’s international project experience includes Thai National Telescope project, Large Binocular Telescope and E-ELT for ESO.
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Peter Connor
Engineering Consultant
BSc – Physics, BE, MS
Peter has been with KiwiStar Optics for 17 years, working in a variety of technical and senior management roles. With a background in physics and engineering, he has contributed to many successful KiwiStar projects. Peter previously had 25 years’ experience in research management and the commercialisation of advanced technologies.
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Measurement Standards Laboratory

Eleanor Howick
Chief Metrologist
Masters of Science – Physics
Eleanor is the Chief Metrologist for the Measurements and Standards Laboratory. Extensive experience in advanced precision measurements including coordinate measurement and other advanced metrology measurements including precision photometric and optical measurements.
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Chris Young
Research Scientist
Bachelor of Science Tech Hons
Chris has been with the Measurements Standards Laboratory for 11 years. His capabilities lie in dimensional metrology, traceable measurement science and length calibration. Chris specializes in 3-dimensional coordinate metrology, particularly experienced in acceptance of testing mechanical components and has in depth knowledge of coordinate measuring machines (3 axis CMM PM866) and their uses in assembling large optical systems.


kanDO Innovation

With a working relationship spanning over 10 years, KanDo Innovation continue to do a great deal of our mechanical design work. We have worked successfully on numerous international projects.


George Maddever
Principal Design Engineer
BE (Mech)
A founding employee at kanDO, George is a SolidWorks specialist and design detailer. Prior to kanDO, George worked for Industrial Research (now Callaghan Innovation) where he was a key contributor to KiwiStar’s design process. Over the last 10 years at kanDO, George has continued his involvement with KiwiStar on many of their innovative products focusing on mounts for optics and other mechanical hardware.


Shaun Hurd
Principal Research Engineer
PhD, MSc Physics & EE, BSc
Another founding employee at kanDO, Shaun is a robotics and control specialist. Shaun has been involved in many KiwiStar projects, most notably on the design of the software for the control and user interface of the KiwiSpec system.


Keith Blenkinsopp
NZCE (Mech)
As one of kanDO’s directors, Keith brings over 25 years’ experience in mechanical design and automation covering a wide range of industries. Keith is driven to deliver innovative solutions that will create the step change that is possible with high-level design and automation. As an enthusiastic photographer, he also brings a wealth of experience in optics and high-tolerance engineering.