Our people

Alan Caughley

Alan Caughley

Team Leader

Advanced Manufacturing

Mechanical Engineering

Areas of expertise

• Mechanical engineering calculation and design
• Fluid and thermodynamic systems
• Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
• Computational engineering and modelling
• Cryogenic refrigeration


• PhD Mechanical Engineering

Professional activities

• Cryogenic Society of America member


Alan’s 30-year career has centred around computer aided engineering, fluid related machinery and manufacturing. His first position was as an R&D engineer at Hamilton Jet, which involved design and manufacture of master blades, hull-speed prediction, free surface flow calculations to balance forces in reversing ducts, hydraulics, and production engineering. His next position was as a plastic injection mould designer and NC programmer for a small manufacturer serving the motor trade, again focused on fluids and 3D surfacing.

Three years of working with an industrial designer honed Alan’s consultancy skills and exposed him to a wide variety of New Zealand manufacturers and products. This led to a position at Industrial Research Ltd (IRL), in product and technology development consultancy, followed by 12 years of leading a major research programme in cryogenic refrigeration, developing and commercialising a novel refrigerator technology. Alan also provided key mechanical engineering input into wave power and hydrogen electrolyser development projects. The cryogenic refrigeration programme honed his skills in thermodynamics and CFD modelling. Since the successful transfer of the cryogenic refrigeration technology to industry, Alan has continued to provide CFD and computational engineering services to New Zealand firms as part of Callaghan Innovation's Engineering team.


• CFD analysis of a diaphragm free-piston Stirling cryocooler, A. Caughley, M. Sellier, M. Gschwendtner, and A. Tucker, in Cryogenics (Guildf)., vol. 79, 2016.
• Commercialisation of Pulse Tube cryocoolers to produce 330 W and 1000 W at 77 K for liquefaction, A. Caughley et al., in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 2015, vol. 101, no. 1.
• Cascading pulse tubes on a large diaphragm pressure wave generator to increase liquefaction potential, A. Caughley, J. Meier, M. Nation, H. Reynolds, C. Boyle, and J. Tanchon, in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 2017, vol. 278, no. 1.
• Progress in the development of a multi-mode self-reacting wave energy converter, L. Le-Ngoc, A. I. Gardiner, R. J. Stuart, A. J. Caughley, and J. A. Huckerby, in OCEANS’10 IEEE Sydney, OCEANSSYD 2010, 2010.
• Modelling the collapse of wood cells during the cutting process, A. J. Caughley and M. J. King, in Holz als Roh - und Werkst., vol. 61, no. 6, 2003.