Our Team

Over 50 years of experience.

Our reputation as a global leader in precision optics is built on consistent excellence and innovation. Our scientists, engineers and master opticians draw on decades of experience and a love of what they do.

KiwiStar Optics Team
Craig Smith, General Manager

Prof. Craig Smith

General Manager
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Craig Smith

Professor Craig Smith is General Manager at KiwiStar Optics and Chief Technology Officer at Electro Optic Systems (EOS), KiwiStar's parent company.

Prof. Smith joined EOS in 1998 and was appointed Chief Technology Officer in 2021. Previously he held the positions of CEO of Space Systems, CEO of Defence Systems, CEO of EOS Technologies and Head of Research and Development. Prior to joining EOS he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he developed novel techniques for imaging-polarimetry and spectro-polarimetry at thermal IR wavelengths. Prof. Smith has lectured in Physics, Electronics and Military Ballistics and he has obtained Bachelors and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne.

Andrew Rakich, Optical Consultant, KiwiStar Optics

Dr Andrew Rakich

Chief Technology Officer
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Andrew Rakich

Andrew is an optical specialist with international expertise in optical design, metrology, tolerancing, aberration theory, alignment, telescopes from KiwiStar Optics (then under Industrial Research Ltd the precursor to Callaghan Innovation) to working on large scale telescope projects with EOS Space Systems in Australia and EOS Technologies in Tucson, USA.  Andrew’s international project experience includes Thai National Telescope project, Large Binocular Telescope, E-ELT for ESO and Giant Magellan Telescope.  As Chief Technology Officer, Andrew will lead the development of our optical manufacturing, coating and metrology processes, Andrew will bring all his years of industry experience to bear and work closely with our clients to develop the optimal solutions.

Dave Cochrane, Team Leader Optical Manufacturing, KiwiStar Optics

Dave Cochrane

Team Leader Optical Manufacturing
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Dave Cochrane

New Zealand Certificate of Science – Physics
Dave Cochrane is our Principal Optical Manufacturing Technician and a Master Optician. 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.

Extensive software experience in: Zemax (Optical Design), Microsoft Project (project planning), Intelliwave (Interferometric testing)

  • 2016 – Present KiwiStar, Optical Manufacturing Team Leader
  • 1992 – 2016 Senior Technical Officer in charge of the Optical Workshop, Measurement Standards Laboratory, Industrial Research Limited.
  • 1970 – 1992 Science Technician in the Optical Workshop of Physics and Engineering Laboratory, DSIR.
  • 2016 Awarded the RASNZ, Murray Geddes Medal.
  • Member, Steering Committee, Optics NZ Cluster.
  • Six trips to Antarctica in conjunction with the FRST funded Sea Ice program.

Publications (1996 - present)

  1. In situ measurement of catalyst tube emissivity by means of a portable solid integrating sphere”, P. Saunders, A. Trotter, H. Edgar and D. M. J. Cochrane, Measurement Science and Technology, 12, 622-626 (2001).
  2. Study of TiOxNy thin film selection surfaces produced by ion assisted deposition”, A. Bittar, D. Cochrane, S. Caughley and I. Vickeridge, Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, 15 (2), 223-229 (1997).
  3. E. F. Howick, D. Cochrane, and D. Meier, “Using a coordinate measuring machine to align multiple element large optical systems” in PROCEEDINGS-SPIE vol. 6676
  4. Manufacturing Status of the WEAVE PFC”. SPIE, June 2016, Emilie LHOME, D Cochrane
Malcolm Young, Business Development Manager, KiwiStar Optics

Malcolm Young

Business Development Manager
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Malcolm Young

Bachelor of Commerce and Administration
Malcolm has a strong international commercial management background. Malcolm is responsible for sales and marketing, operational management, strategic planning, contract negotiation and customer management.

Dijana Bogunovic, Optical Engineer, KiwiStar Optics

Dijana Bogunovic

Senior Optical Engineer
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Dijana Bogunovic

Masters in Optics, PhD in Physics
Dijana achieved her PhD in Physics by working on tunable waveguide Bragg gratings in electro-optic polymer thin films. She worked on assembly and testing of optical components for MAROON-X and MINERVA-Australis high resolution spectrographs and testing of PFC lenses for WEAVE project (William Herschel Telescope).

Publications

  1. Nonparaxial scalar treatment of sinusoidal phase gratings”, JOSA A, Vol. 23 Issue 4, pp.858-865 J. E. Harvey, A. Krywonos , D. Bogunovic, (2006)
  2. Aberrations of diffracted wave fields: distortion”, Appl. Opt. 42, 1167-1174, J. E. Harvey, D. Bogunovic, A. Krywonos, (2003)
  3. Tolerance on defocus precisely locates the far field (exactly where is that far field anyway)”, Appl. Opt. 41, 2586-2588, J. E. Harvey, A. Krywonos, D. Bogunovic, (2002)
  4. Refractive index gratings in electro-optic polymer thin films”, Appl. Opt. 55(17), 4676-4682, D. Bogunovic, S. G. Raymond, S. Janssens, D. Clarke, O. Bodley, S. Ashforth, M.C. Simpson, and J. W. Quilty, (2016)
  5. Electro-optic tunable Bragg gratings in chromophore doped polymer waveguides”, Proc.SPIE 9939, Light Manipulating Organic Materials and Devices III, D. Bogunovic, S. G.Raymond, A. Swanson, M. C. Simpson, (2016)
  6. "Testing process for the WEAVE prime focus corrector lenses for the William Herschel Telescope", Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 10700, 107003A (2018), D. Bogunovic, G. Jonas, D. M. Cochrane, A. P. Rakich, P. J. Connor, A. Romeril, J. Romeril, L. Gers, E. F. Howick, C. Young, T. Reed, I. J. Tosh, É. Lhomé, K. M. Dee, G. B. Dalton, S. C. Trager, J. A. López Aguerri, P. Bonifacio, A. Vallenari, E. Carrasco Licea, D. C. Abrams, K. F. Middleton, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 10700, 107003A (2018)
Abe Romeril, Optical Technician, KiwiStar Optics

Abe Romeril

Optical Technician
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Abe Romeril

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.

Tony Reed, Senior Opto-mechanical Technician, KiwiStar Optics

Tony Reed

Senior Opto-Mechanical Technician
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Tony Reed

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, KiwiStar Optics

Graeme Jonas

Senior Optical Technician
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Graeme Jonas

Graeme has been with KiwiStar for 17 years. He has over 30 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, KiwiStar Optics

Jeff Brown

Opto-Mechanical Technician
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Jeff Brown

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
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Mahindra Bhikharidas

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, KiwiStar Optics

Hokmeng Ung

Senior Engineering Technician
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Hokmeng Ung

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
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Karl Riki

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 camming 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.

The KiwiStar team

KiwiStar Optics team, New Zealand