Dr. Murray McEwan

FRSNZ, MSc(Hons), PhD


Murray was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch until 2010. His research interests were centred on selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) and he developed strong research links with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, USA investigating ion molecule chemistry of interstellar and planetary atmospheres.

When the University of Canterbury commercialized the technology with the formation of Syft Technologies Ltd in 2002, Murray served as Chief Technology Officer of the new company.

Since then he has been heavily involved with the transformation of the large laboratory based instrument into the small, sophisticated Voice instruments that are available today. He has continued with ion-molecule chemistry, method development, environmental applications and negative reagent ions.

Doug Hastie

BE(Hons), MBA


Doug completed his honours degree in Engineering from the University of Auckland in 1988 and an MBA from Yale University in 2000. He completed Engineering projects on the Channel Tunnel in the UK, Disneyland Paris and various Burger Kings in New Zealand.

He worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York and in Private Equity for Stonebridge Partners in New York. Since returning to New Zealand Doug created the Chanui Tea & Biscuit Brand.

Since joining Syft in 2012, Doug has been instrumental in commercialising the fantastic technology developed here at Syft and putting us on the map.


Dr. Barry Prince

BSc(Hons), PhD

Director - Global Sales

Barry graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Ph.D. in Laser Spectroscopy prior to taking up research fellowships at the University of Wisconsin and Australian National University. He joined the design and development team at Syft Technologies in early 2004.

In his current role as Director of Global Sales, Barry manages the international sales team as they promote the benefits of SIFT-MS for real-time ultra-sensitive chemical analysis to academia, government and industry throughout the world.

Dr. Vaughan Langford

BSc(Hons), PhD

Director - Applications & Marketing

Vaughan joined Syft in 2002 after completing his PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Canterbury (1997) and post-doctoral fellowships at the Universities of Geneva, Western Australia, and Canterbury.

As manager of Syft’s contract laboratory, Vaughan has worked extensively with customers to understand their analysis needs and develop market-tested SIFT-MS solutions.

Vaughan has experience across all SIFT-MS application areas, but has particular expertise in environmental and food industry applications. He is an expert in SIFT-MS application and method development.

In addition to the technical aspects of his role, Vaughan leads Syft’s marketing efforts, including the extensive webinar and conference campaigns.


Dr. Yatin J. Mange

B.Sc, M.Sc, PhD

Applications Specialist

Yatin joined Syft Technologies in 2016 following his PhD in Material Science at the University of South Australia. Prior to this, he completed his B.Sc in chemistry, microbiology, and botany followed by M.Sc in Chemistry majoring in Organic Chemistry from India.

Most of his PhD thesis was dedicated to developing nanomaterials for building low-cost and efficient solar cells.

With a background in chemistry and microbiology, Yatin joined Syft Technologies as an Applications Scientist in 2016 and currently leads a team that is dedicated to the sales and application development of SIFT-MS in the key areas such as biomedical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and container safety. He is also focused towards growing Syft applications in the Indian market.


Yan Li

B.Sc, ME

Applications Specialist / Asian Sales Director

Yan holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a M.E. in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. After completing her degree, Yan worked in various roles in the medical and chemical process engineering research fields as a scientist.

Yan joined Syft in 2014 as an application specialist, providing technical support for the development of new SIFT-MS applications with a focus on the Automotive VOC analysis and Industrial Process Control.

Dr. Daniel Milligan

BSc(Hons), PhD

Director - Engineering and Development

Daniel started his career as a kineticist; his PhD was studying ion-molecule chemistry and SIFT-MS with Professor McEwan, after which he did a post-doctoral fellowship at CalTech/NASA/JPL in Pasadena, California. He returned to SIFT-MS and Syft via a University of Canterbury postdoctoral fellowship in 2003.

Daniel’s interests have always centered around instrumentation and he now heads the Development and Engineering efforts of Syft. His path to this role has not always been direct however going by way of applications development, support, and a stint as VP Technology for Syft in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Diandree Padayachee

BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD

Applications Specialist

Diandree completed her PhD in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Canterbury in 2014.

Prior to that, she worked as a research scientist at two large research institutes (Mintek and Anglo Research) in South Africa, where she carried out investigations in the fields of extractive metallurgy and gold catalysis.

Diandree joined Syft as an Applications Scientist in 2014, and currently leads the sales team specializing in consumer, food, and environmental applications.

David Hera


Applications Specialist / European Sales Director

David is a scientist from Germany who joined Syft in 2015 after finishing his Bachelor of Science in Biological and Geological Studies in Jena. There he soon took a key role in the development of the dual polarity ion source, which expands the range and selectivity of compounds quantifiable by SIFT-MS to new levels, and he worked with the first customers to implement this groundbreaking development in the field in Korea.

Now David is part of the sales team focusing on the automotive and semiconductor industries, as well as overseeing the market in Europe and Germany in particular.

Originally from the alpine regions of Germany, David was drawn to the vast landscapes of New Zealand to combine his love for photography and hiking – or “tramping” as the Kiwis call it. Thanks to the lunch-time runs at Syft he participated in his first half-marathon in 2016, with more to come!

Dan Glassenbury


Production Manager

Dan completed his mechatronics engineering degree from the University of Canterbury in 2014. During his degree he undertook an internship at Syft, and after graduating he joined the mechanical engineering team permanently in 2015. Dan is currently involved in a number of technical roles, as the production manager he leads the continuous improvement initiatives, and as a mechanical engineer he has focussed on Voice200 design improvements. In addition to this, Dan is in charge of engineering recruitment.

Dan is currently involved in a number of technical roles, as the production manager he leads the continuous improvement initiatives, and as a mechanical engineer he has focussed on Voice200 design improvements. In addition to this, Dan is in charge of engineering recruitment.

Dr. Paul Wilson

BSc(Hons), LLb, PhD

Applications Scientist

Paul studied physical chemistry at the University of Canterbury where he completed a record breaking PhD under Professor Murray McEwan. Since then he has continued to work in the field of SIFT-MS as the laboratory technology has been commercialized increasingly successfully at SYFT.

A lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club Paul does not surf at all.

Christopher Nones

BSc, PgDipSci, MSc

Applications Scientist

Christopher was born in Paupa New Guinea and emigrated to New Zealand in 1997. He holds a Masters in Microbiology from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Christopher’s field of study involved research, producing biodiesel from oleaginous bacteria growing on waste substrates and the genetic transformation of oleaginous bacteria to accumulate triacylglycerols in various growth conditions. Prior to this Christopher earned a Bachelor of Science and Postgraduate Diploma of Science, majoring in Microbiology and Immunology and minoring in Marketing Management.

Christopher joined Syft Technologies 8 Months ago, and has established himself as an applications scientist specialising in using SIFT-MS for testing interior air and component testing.


Mark Jones

BSc(Hons), MSc

Business Analyst

Mark completed his BSc (Hons) degree at the University of Wales, Bangor in 2007 and quickly followed it with an MSc in Applied Marine Geoscience in 2008. After leaving University Mark worked in the offshore survey sector, completing numerous surveys for Bluechip Clients across the globe.

In 2012 Mark emigrated to New Zealand to spend more time with his family and try something “a bit different”, he continued his work for both the Oil & Gas and Renewables sectors as a Freelance Consultant working mainly on projects in Europe.

Mark joined Syft in early 2016 and since has developed the Business Systems department. Mark is tirelessly working to improve our systems “behind-the-scenes” to give you the best experience possible.

Mark enjoys making the most of the kiwi lifestyle and spends his winter weekends skiing at the nearby Mt. Hutt skifield.

Emma Taylor


Applications Scientist

Born and raised in Auckland New Zealand Emma studied Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Otago, she graduated with BSc in 2014 and Honours in 2015. Her area of study was the interference of the immune system on acute wound healing.

Emma worked for Molteno Ophthalmic, a medical implant company, before joining Syft in mid-2016. Emma works on enhancing analytics in the semiconductor and automobile industries.


Helena Barnes


Applications Scientist

Helena grew up in Auckland and relocated to Christchurch in 2013, graduating from the University of Canterbury in 2017 with a BSc specializing in physics and physical chemistry. After completing a 3 month development internship, she has joined Syft in a full time Technical Sales and Applications role in February 2017.

Helena has some experience in analytical chemistry, and she especially likes to see how the current SIFT-MS technology can be used in new, innovative ways to provide customers with solutions to hard problems. She does not specialize in a certain area, but has interest both in the environmental and semiconductor applications.

Aside from work, Helena enjoys the outdoors and is an avid runner.


James Olerenshaw


Applications Scientist

James was born in Sheffield, UK before moving to the Isle of Man where he grew up. He attended the University of York, obtaining a Master of Chemistry (MChem) including a year-long industrial placement in the Analytical Technologies department of Eli Lilly & Co (Lilly UK), exploring new technologies, methodologies and novel examples in reaction monitoring using NMR Spectroscopy. Soon after, he immigrated to New Zealand in August 2016 to join the Technical Sales and Applications team at Syft Technologies. James covers the Petrochemical industry, as well as the Biomedical, Container safety, and Security markets in a dynamic team lead by Dr. Yatin Mange.

Outside of work, James enjoys an active lifestyle, including activities such as running and hiking, mountain biking, water sports, and exploring the extensive impressive landscapes that New Zealand has to offer.

Dr. Ben Reyngoud

BE(Hons), PhD

Development Manager

Ben studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, and his PhD focussed on high temperature performance of superalloys. Since starting at Syft in May 2015, his work has involved design, production, recruitment, R&D and project management.

Ben is currently the Development Manager, as well as being lead on the ‘Cerberus’ project – focused on sample delivery, with goals to maximise transmission, versatility and ease of use. Major achievements from the Cerberus project include autosampler integration, the auto-validation inlet and the 16-port inlet.

Ben’s love of both cake and running have worked their way into the Syft team, with monthly cake and runs twice a week – leading to over a third of the company signing up to run in the Christchurch marathon.


Jessica Creak

BA(Hons), MA(Cantab)

Applications Scientist

Jessica graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2013 with a degree in Natural Sciences and specializing in chemistry. Before joining Syft in 2016 she completed a two-year leadership development course managed by TeachFirst, which saw her teaching chemistry in a secondary school located in a low socioeconomic area of Mid-Wales in the UK.

Jessica enjoys working within the food, flavour and environmental applications at Syft and is a keen blogger for our website!

Outside of work Jessica enjoys walking, travelling and team sports.


Sylvain Reissier


Mechanical Engineer

Sylvain graduated from Arts et Metiers Paristech Engineering School in 2014, and then graduated from Biomedical engineering Paris with a MSc in Neuroscience and Innovation in Biotechnology in 2015. His path brings him to academic research and Vision Science, studying 3D perception in University of California, Berkeley, and then retina prosthetics in Paris – Institut de la Vision.

Wishing to go back to industry and a more dynamic environment, Sylvain Joined Syft in 2016. After a couple months in Production, he joins the Development department designing Syft future products. He is the current Intern Coordinator, and also works with the software team on building a Data analytics platform.

Aside from work, Sylvain enjoys surfing New Zealand waves.


Thomas McKellar

BSc(Hons), MSc

Development Scientist

After growing up in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thomas moved to Dunedin to study physics at the University of Otago. The thesis work for his Bachelors with Honours and Masters degrees was based in the Kjaergaard lab, trapping, moving, and generally manipulating clouds of ultra-cold rubidium atoms. Establishing an experimental sequence to simultaneously cool four spatially distinct clouds into Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs) was a highlight of his work.

Thomas started working at Syft Technologies in 2015. Since day one his work has spanned a number of departments, from the Development and Production sectors to application consulting and support. With a focus on the technical operation and development of the instrument, he has worked to integrate instruments at customer sites in China and the USA. He’s also deeply interested in the interpretation, deconvolution, and management of SIFT-MS data.


Tony Tsai

BE(Hons), MEng

Electrical Engineer

Tony completed his undergraduate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Canterbury and subsequently went on to complete his Masters of Engineering specialising in Computer Vision, Augmented Reality, and Human Machine Interfaces.

He has previously worked with ABB Corporate Research, Sweden to create novel methods for Remote Collaboration. He has also had experience writing software for autonomous flight control in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Since joining in mid 2016 as an Electrical engineer, Tony has been involved with various projects to improve the features, performance, and manufacture-ability of the machine.

William Mills


Applications Scientist

William joined Syft Technologies after completing his Masters in disease biomarkers and pathophysiology at Victoria University, Wellington. Along with a background in HPLC, he has worked at both the biological and physical ends of the scientific spectrum.

As an Applications Scientist at Syft Technologies, he works with customers to develop powerful and efficient trace gas analyses methods to increase throughput, sensitivity, and cost efficacy. In addition to technical aspects of his role, William’s focus application area is in environmental monitoring.