About Us

The Society of Materials New Zealand Inc meets the interests of those involved in the technology and science of metals, polymers and ceramic materials.

Membership is open to professional engineers, scientists, technicians, students and anyone else who has an interest in the fabrication, processing or use of engineering materials.

The group holds regular technical meetings, organises seminars and site visits, supports students and holds a symposium every two years. By agreement with the UK Institute of Materials, group members have access to the journal Metals and Materials.


The first locally based materials interest group in New Zealand was the ‘Eutectic Club’ started in the Auckland region in the early 1960s and based primarily around a metallurgical technicians course run for industry at AIT (now AUT). Soon afterwards metallurgists in Auckland and Christchurch formed separate regional elements of the New Zealand Metallurgical Society. The societies amalgamated into a single organisation in the early 1970’s, then combined with the Australian Institute of Metals to become the New Zealand branch of the AIM. The NZ branch was a very active member of AIM, holding regular monthly technical meetings and organising a series of technical conferences in NZ.

In response to a need for Professional Affiliation, in 1985 AIM joined the Australasian regional
Institute of Metals (IOM) to form the Institute of Metals and Materials Australasia (IMMA). In 1990 there was a worldwide move to restructure metallurgical and materials science degrees as engineering degrees. Partly for this reason, IMMA affiliated with IEAust to serve the professional needs of the metallurgical and materials engineering community.

This left the New Zealand Branch of IMMA out on a limb, so the Institute Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) was asked to consider a similar arrangement in New Zealand. The Engineering Materials Group (EMG) was subsequently set up in April 1991 as a technical group of the of IPENZ.

To operate in a more businesslike manner and give the EMG committee and members limited liability protection, a decision was made to incorporate EMG. The Society of Materials New Zealand Inc (SMNZI) is now a collaborating technical society of the Engineering New Zealand (formerly IPENZ) and advances the knowledge and practice of the science and engineering of materials in New Zealand. SMNZI continues to hold regular technical meetings and arranges planned visits. The society also supports students and organises local and international conferences.


The Society is governed by a committee of members with academic and professional links  to the engineering and materials community. The committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting each year.