Yvonne Chan

Director of External Engagement, Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

I’ve worked for AUT for over 7 years across the faculty, holding various leadership roles from department head of Fashion and Textile design to Director of Colab/Head of School of Future Environments.

In my current role for the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, I ensure that both our internal and external relationships and strategic partnerships are designed, created and managed to support successful outcomes.

Internally, as a member of the Faculty Executive Team, I share accountability for developing the Faculty’s inter-relationship between Schools, academic disciplines and service areas. Externally, I represent the Faculty through outreach to industry, community, employers, and education providers. And, internationally, I Chair the Faculty International Working Group and oversee international partnerships and engagement, to ensure that AUT is well represented and that our reputation is upheld and promoted.

As an advocate of trans-disciplinarity I undertook my Masters and PhD at Heriot-Watt University, exploring the application of metals to create three-dimensional textile structures. My doctorate research amalgamated mechanical engineering with textile design, where I applied shape memory materials (alloy and polymers) to create smart and high-performance textiles.

My current research explores transformative technologies and applying healing and well-being methodologies to create interactive healing textiles, fashion and smart environments. As a supporter of evolution and pushing the boundaries, I believe that sustaining and understanding learnings from our traditional cultural practices and natural environments are important aspects as we merge disciplines, unorthodox materials, technologies and processes.

I believe authentic collaboration is the core of our success and evolution, be that at work, socially or personally in our lives.

Through trans-disciplinary collaborative practice – the fusion of disciplines, knowledge, culture and technology, I feel we can enhance our social impact and cultural evolution.

I hope that being on the Executive will allow me to positively contribute to its impact for the metals industry, through envisaging opportunities and creating new initiatives that are mutually valuable.