Alan Caughley

Alan Caughley

Principal Research Engineer

Applied Technologies

Cryogenic refrigeration innovator

I work in the Advanced Engineering and Materials team as a Principal Research Engineer specialising in fluids and thermodynamics. My expertise lies in computer-aided engineering, fluid-related machinery and manufacturing.

I began my career as an R&D engineer at Hamilton Jet and later as a plastic injection mould designer and NC programmer for the motor trade industry. Working in industrial design enhanced my consultancy skills and led to working with many New Zealand manufacturers. I joined Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) where I led a significant research program in cryogenic refrigeration involving the development and commercialisation of a novel refrigerator technology.

Since the successful transfer of cryogenic refrigeration technology to industry (Fabrum), I have been providing CFD and computational engineering services as part of Callaghan Innovation's Engineering team. Bob Buckley is an inspiring leader who played a significant role in my professional development. He led the superconductivity team at IRL that is now the Robinson Research institute. 

I am a member of the Cryogenic Society of America and have published in the fields of cryogenics, materials and superconductivity. Additionally, I have been associated with Callaghan Innovation projects such as Cool Runnings, Ocean Max and Cold Roads Ahead.

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, University of Canterbury, 2016
Memberships and awards
  • Cryogenic Society of America
  • 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.
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