Dr Michelle Dickinson - aka Nanogirl

Michelle has a PhD in biomedical materials engineering, runs New Zealand's only nanomechanical testing laboratory and is a self-confessed adrenaline junkie.

Her passion for both sports and science has enabled her to travel the world on a search for her next adventure or research project. With specialist knowledge in nanotechnology, Michelle has contributed to the development of cutting edge technologies.

Secretly, however, Michelle has been working on advancing these developments to help her to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a real life superhero. In her spare time you will usually find her outside kitesurfing, cycling, running, paddle boarding,or inside practicing martial arts.

Her recent move to academia from industry was a step towards her goal of inspiring females to push the boundaries in both science and sports, and to encourage environmentally sustainable living through engineering design.

Michelle became a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit and was the winner of the Women of Influence award for science and innovation in 2016.  She was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Leadership in 2015 and was winner of the Prime Ministers Science Media Communication Prize and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Science Communicators Award in 2014.   She is also known as "Nanogirl" - on a mission to use science for good, not evil.


Dr Michelle Dickinson was the headline motivational speaker for ALGIM 's Customer Service Symposium and we found her to be a fantastic presenter. Humorous, engaging and full of personality, Michelle was an interesting and exciting speaker to listen to as she discussed her life, new changes happening in technology and the impressive charity programmes she is involved in. The live experiments she lead us in had the entire room active and enjoying themselves, and was just one of many interactive opportunities she offered during the presentation. While our delegates are not involved in sciences, the benefits and lessons of Michelle 's approach to life were nonetheless very inspiring and of huge benefit to us all. From an organisational perspective, we also found Michelle to be highly professional and a pleasure to work with. We have already received a number of comments from attendees discussing how inspiring they found Michelle and that they hope to see her speak again at our events. We wouldhappily book her again. Shivarn Stewart, Communications & Marketing Manager, Association of Local Government Information Management

Michelle is an inspiration, she is an introvert that has learned the art of stage presence. Being an introvert resonates very well with technical audiences that look for detail and understanding in the concepts that they are being presented. Michelle's inspiring and personable approach to her presentation material sparks the curiosity in all of us. Michelle has a way of taking complex concepts and communicating them in memorable and approachable ways.  Michelle is an impossible person who will reframe your understand of the world and change the way that you think about what's possible. Nigel Parker, Director, Microsoft NZ 

The best keynote speaker I personally have seen in 10 years.  Michelle was engaging, funny, easy to listen to and an all round lovely person. The delegates have not stopped talking about how excellent her presentation was.  QuestNet Conference Australia Sept 2018 - Gina Shaw - Conference Logistics Pty. Ltd

Michelle MC ’d at our Annual Company Awards night, the culmination of a two day conference. Michelle’s energy and enthusiasm captivated the team from her opening words, through her masterful direction through the presenting of our Awards and especially during her session where she had senior manager running around as chickens!  Michelle was a pleasure to work with before the event, and on the evening was a burst of energy we need a the end of two long days. Neil Watson Merchant Channel Manager & Head of Marketing - Fletcher Steel, - Fletcher Steel Company Awards Sept 2018

Michelle ’s session was so inspiring, interactive and fun–it was great to see everyone so engaged. The feedback from the day has been amazing …with the overarching theme being we’ve taken the day to the next level–a true conference for the administrators.  Please thank Michelle on our behalf …we’ve so enjoyed working with her on this event and the National Sales Conference.  - Bayleys Realty Group - August 2018 Conference

We hired Dr Michelle Dickinson for an event we were organising in partnership with the New Zealand Space Agency, Manaki Whenua Landcare Research, Centre for Space Science Technology, Land Information New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment focussing on Satellite Earth Observation technology and their application that can deliver
huge benefits to New Zealand. We were very impressed with Dr Michelle Dickinson’s ability to engage the audience, weave different presentation topics together, how well prepared she was and her overall professional attitude. We highly recommend Dr Michelle Dickinson for any other science-related event. Isabel Hunter, Venture Southland.- What on Earth Colloquium 2018 

"Passionate, full of energy, knowledgeable and entertaining. Insightful with a clear understanding of many issues facing our industry. A refreshing take from someone who is actually getting things done".  Kelly Buchanan-Johns, Plastics NZ