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The Otago Energy Research Centre brings together researchers with a common interest in the transition of New Zealand's energy system to one which is efficient, secure, sustainable, and carbon neutral. A key strength is the diversity of its researchers from all four Divisions of Otago University. We have over 250 people on our events mailing list, spanning Otago staff, students and the wider community.

Below are our Steering Group Membersand Principal Investigators.

If you wish to join our network or have a question about OERC please email


Sean Connelly


Sean is Co-Director of OERC. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography. Community response to sustainability challenges is a recurring theme in his teaching and research. He is a member of Our Food Network, whose mission is to stimulate the production, distribution and consumption of local food and in that way contributes to the building of a resilient and prosperous community.

Sean writes a regular column “Seeds for Change” in the Otago Daily Times on food and sustainability.

Sean's profile

Tel +64 3 479 8771

Michael Jack

Michael Photo 186w

Michael is Co- Director of OERC. He is an Associate Professor in Physics and is Director of the Otago Energy Studies Programme.

His research focus is on fundamental and applied research into a wide range of sustainable energy areas.

He specialises in applying methods fromtheoretical physics to renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Michael's profile

Tel +64 3 479 7753

OERC Steering Group

MrCraigCliffSustainability Office
Associate ProfessorJeremiahDengInformation Science
ProfessorDavidEyersComputer Science
DrSebastianGehrickeAccounting & Finance
Associate ProfessorMichaelJackPhysics
DrRitaPrzybilskiResearch & Enterprise
DrJenPurdieCentre for Sustainability
ProfessorJanet StephensonCentre for Sustainability
Associate ProfessorZhifaSunPhysics
MrsHelenViggersPublic Health
Associate ProfessorSaraWaltonManagement

OERC Principal Investigators and Faculty

In order of Division, then Department, then Surname


TitleNameSurnameDepartmentOERC Role
Associate ProfessorIvanDiaz-RaineyAccounting and Finance 
ProfessorDavidLontAccounting and Finance 
ProfessorStephenCranefieldInformation Science 
Associate ProfessorJeremiahDengInformation ScienceSteering Group
Emeritus ProfessorMartinPurvisInformation Science 
DrMaryamPurvisInformation Science 
Associate ProfessorSaraWaltonManagementSteering Group

Health Sciences

TitleNameSurnameDepartmentOERC Role
Professor JulianEaton-RyeBiochemistrySteering Group
MrsHelenViggersPublic HealthSteering Group
DrAlexMacMillanPreventive & Social Medicine 


TitleNameSurnameDepartmentOERC Role
ProfessorJanetStephensonCentre for SustainabilityOERC Founder / Steering Group


TitleNameSurnameDepartmentOERC Role
ProfessorKeithGordonChemistrySteering Group
Associate ProfessorDavidEyersComputer ScienceSteering Group
Associate ProfessorAndrewTrotmanComputer Science 
ProfessorMirandaMirosaFood Science 
Associate ProfessorVirginiaToyGeology 
Associate ProfessorSandraMandicPhysical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences 
Emeritus ProfessorGerryCarringtonPhysics & Centre for SustainabilityOERC Founder
Associate ProfessorMichaelJackPhysicsCo-Director
DrSamLowreyPhysicsSteering Group
DrIngaSmithPhysicsSteering Group
Associate ProfessorZhifaSunPhysicsSteering Group
Associate ProfessorSarahWakesMathematics 

For administrative matters and event coordination


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