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OUR TEAM

Purpose-led people.

Highly skilled, capable and experienced designers and engineers who bring their many strengths to the field of product design and development.

Ollie McDermott

Co-Founder

“I live and breathe innovation and design and am passionate about creating successful products.”

Ollie is a co-founder of Blender Design of which he established in 2006 with 2 friends. With a deep passion for innovation and design, Ollie has built and led a team of exceptional product design experts. His expertise lies in creative problem-solving, market-focused design, design for manufacture, prototyping, and new venture creation.

Ollie’s extensive knowledge of materials and manufacturing techniques enables him to create products that seamlessly merge functionality and aesthetics. He possesses a keen understanding of market dynamics, ensuring that each product resonates with its target audience.

With a relentless pursuit of excellence, Ollie leverages rapid prototyping techniques and the latest advancements in materials and technology to bring ideas to life swiftly. His ability to transform great ideas into successful products has contributed to the growth and success of numerous businesses.

While Ollie is deeply committed to his professional endeavours, he also finds enjoyment in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and snowboarding. These hobbies provide him with the inspiration and rejuvenation necessary to fuel his creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Ben Thomsen

Co-Founder

“I love to think and make everyday, solving problems and developing products.”

Ben is a co-founder of Blender Design, leveraging his passion for thinking, problem-solving, and product development. He has collaborated with remarkable individuals to conceptualize, prototype, and bring product ideas to life. With expertise in the product development process, materials and engineering, and design for manufacture, Ben possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Having spent two years in Shanghai, China, Ben focused on serving New Zealand clients seeking prototyping and manufacturing capabilities while building relationships with China-based clients. He facilitated introductions to manufacturers, explored new opportunities, and provided on-site problem-solving and design for manufacture feedback.

Now back in New Zealand, Ben dedicates his spare time to product design, whether creating personal electric vehicles or assembling custom radio control toys. He’s always had a passion for design and build, with a very practical and functional way of thinking and approach to design. That being said, now and then the brain needs a rest, so I’ll also be found enjoying the outdoors with family and friends, or re-fueling at the local watering hole.

Grant Scogings

General Manager

“The most fulfilling part is seeing it all come together, when a client starts production of their product.”

Grant graduated from Massey University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Design (Industrial). He embarked on a freelance design career, actively engaging with small businesses to expand his network. Joining a hardware startup in 2010, Grant gained valuable experience in the product development process. Postgraduate studies focused on SMEs and entrepreneurialism further deepened his knowledge.

In 2017, he joined Blender Design as Operations Manager,, later evolving into a General Manager role in 2019. Grant’s extensive experience with juggling project timelines, contracts and support helps him guide a dedicated team through the challenges of product development. He finds fulfillment in witnessing clients’ products come to life and fostering strong relationships.

Outside of work, Grant enjoys travel, gaming, following the English Premier League, and exploring trails and hikes. With his diverse skills and interests, Grant is an invaluable asset to Blender Design.

Greg Storey

Mechanical Engineer | Associate Principal (CPEng, CMEngNZ)

“Based on a healthy dose of MacGuyver and Lego I when I was young I was well placed to become an engineer.”

Greg is a highly skilled professional who completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) in 2004. He began his career at F&P Healthcare, where he gained valuable experience in product and process development. Greg’s hands-on approach allowed him to learn various skills related to product design and mechanical engineering.

In 2010, he co-founded Eyejusters, a company dedicated to providing low-cost vision correction in the Developing World. Returning to New Zealand in 2012, Greg continued his work with Eyejusters while seeking new challenges. Joining Blender in 2017, he discovered a passion for process development within the realm of new product development. He finds it provides a good mix of lateral thinking, research and hands-on problem solving.

In 2022, Greg became a chartered Professional Engineer in and a chartered member of Engineering NZ which is a testament to his standard of expertise and experience in the field of mechanical engineering including 3D modeling, FEA, design for standards ( ISO, ANSI, AS/NZS)

Outside of work, he enjoys activities such as rock fishing, surfcasting.

Matt Bradley

Production and Supply Manager

“Always had an interest in how things work and a passion to solve problems.”

After graduating from his Engineering degree, Matt started working at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea interfaces. This experience shaped his design direction by placing the emphasis around the user, and improving their outcomes through good design. He loves learning and trying new things, so he has a range of hobbies, mostly involving being outside and enjoying the environment.

Matt started out working at Blender as a Mechanical Engineer and moved into the Production and Supply manager in 2022 as the business has developed in this space. In this role, he oversees the full supply process – from sourcing parts and materials, managing logistics, part and product quality checks, assembly and final dispatch. Matt finds satisfaction in solving the multiple problems that come with supply chains, setting up production and manufacturing high quality products. He aims to take these headaches away from our clients so that they can focus on their core business activities.

Ian Milligan

Senior Product Design Engineer

“I like to bridge the gap between engineering and good product design.”

Ian is a skilled product design engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Design from AUT University and has been recognized for his exceptional work, including winning a Gold Pin in the NZ Best Design Awards. Ian’s expertise lies in bridging the gap between engineering and product design, finding the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetic form.

Having worked as the lead Product Designer at Sistema Plastics for nearly 4 years, Ian gained extensive experience in plastic injection moulding, two-shot over-moulding, and blow moulding. He joined Blender in 2020, bringing his passion for the entire design process, from concept to prototyping and design for manufacture. Ian thrives on the hands-on creativity that comes with product development and continuously learns and grows alongside the Blender team.

With specialties in design for manufacture, CAD modeling, injection moulded plastic design, rendering, and sketching, Ian’s expertise also extends to product development and engineering. He also holds a Diploma in Design and Specification of Plastics (DDSP).

Rain or shine, Ian enjoys riding his motorbike and outside of work, enjoys spending time with his growing family, and indulging in tinkering with personal projects in his garage.

Gordon Robinson

Product Design Engineer

“I find the most interesting parts of the process to be the learning and exploring the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ about a product, and creating a tangible, real solution”

Gordon graduated from Massey University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Design in Industrial Design. His outstanding abilities were acknowledged when he won the esteemed Best of the Best Red Dot Concept Award for his final year project, leading to a memorable award ceremony in Singapore.

After beginning his career at a Christchurch design consultancy in 2012, Gordon worked on a wide range of projects for diverse clients, earning both national and global accolades. Seeking new perspectives, he embarked on an adventure through South America and Europe, broadening his horizons along the way.

Joining Blender in 2022 as a Product Design Engineer, he relishes the challenge of solving complex problems and creating visually stunning, functional, and high-quality products. With expertise in Solidworks CAD, design for manufacture, and sketching/ideation, Gordon brings a holistic approach to his work. His passion lies in understanding the “whys” and “hows” behind each product, ultimately delivering tangible solutions.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Gordon is a devoted West Ham fan. He also achieved a remarkable feat by completing a mountain bike descent from 5200m to 1000m in a single day.

Miriam Bradley

Product Design Engineer

“My favourite part of the job is realising the impact good design can have, solving real problems for real people.”

Miriam is a passionate design engineer who possesses an in-depth understanding of designing robust, high-quality, mass-manufactured products. She is well-versed in adhering to strict standards and regulations, thanks to her exposure to the complex usage environments and sensitive applications prevalent in the medical device world. This has instilled in her an exceptional attention to detail.

Miriam finds satisfaction in witnessing ideas come to life, fully appreciating the collaborative effort required to transform concepts into tangible products on the production line. Her initial attraction to engineering stemmed from the fusion of creativity and practical problem-solving, allowing her to create both functional and aesthetically appealing solutions. Now, her greatest joy lies in recognizing the profound impact that good design can have, addressing real-world problems for real people. She specializes in design for injection molding, design for standards, and verification testing. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Diploma in Design and Specification of Plastics (DDSP).

Outside of her professional endeavors, Miriam cherishes her pursuit of completing all the Great Walks in New Zealand, with just one left on her list. She enjoys playing sports such as football, netball, tennis, and touch rugby. Additionally, Miriam has a passion for painting, whether it involves beautifying lounge walls or creating delicate watercolor artworks.

Evan Thomas

Senior Industrial Designer

“A curiosity in tangible design has led to what is now years of product design experience”
Evan is a highly skilled professional who has had the privilege of working on a diverse range of projects alongside talented individuals from around the world. From designing amphibious boats to kids’ bicycles, Evan’s passion for innovation extends beyond the workplace, often manifesting in personal projects driven by curiosity and intrigue.

With a deep appreciation for the outdoors, Evan actively engages in various land and water-based hobbies. His adventures include backpacking across continents, offshore sailing, and embarking on exciting excursions. These experiences have heightened his awareness of the natural environment and the importance of sustainable practices, particularly within the realm of product design.

Reflecting on past projects, Evan has not only added aesthetic value but also offered unique mechanical solutions, detailed manufacturing processes, and holistic product life-cycle recommendations. His expertise spans sketching and visualization, prototyping, product development, sustainability, life-cycle thinking, photography, CAD modeling, additive manufacturing, and design for manufacture.

Outside of work, Evan is an avid kitesurfer and enjoys the thrill of rock climbing. Through his multifaceted skill set and unwavering passion, Evan consistently strives for exceptional outcomes and remains dedicated to incorporating sustainable practices into his work.

Haylee Neal

Marketing Executive

“I enjoy being part of and marketing a business surrounded by so much creativity and innovation.”

Haylee is an experienced marketing professional having graduated from the University of Auckland with a conjoint bachelors degree in marketing and psychology. Having worked in various roles in her career, she has gained experience in diverse areas of marketing such as advertising, digital marketing and campaign management.

With a huge appreciation for creativity, Haylee finds inspiration in the beautiful designs that surround us in everyday life. Being part of a business immersed in creativity and innovation resonates deeply with her passion for all things creative. She started with Blender in 2021 part-time to help out with marketing content and digital marketing. As the business continues to grow, her role evolves, ensuring a dynamic and engaging work environment.

Outside of work, Haylee is kept busy with her young family but does enjoy the odd game of squash. She loves to explore new places and going to the beach with friends and family.

Katie Nicholas

Office and Accounts | Human Resources

“No two days are ever the same here, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Katie, a graduate of Canterbury with a BA in Classical Studies and Psychology, embarked on her professional journey in business administration before transitioning to the field of recruitment a few years later. She began her recruitment career by sourcing nurses for Starship Children’s Hospital, and later moved to Sydney where she focused on recruiting locum medical staff for rural hospitals across Australia.

Returning to Auckland, Katie embraced a part-time role while juggling the responsibilities of starting a family. Her journey eventually led her to join the Blender team, where she thrives on the diverse range of responsibilities and continuous learning opportunities that come her way. With a dynamic and ever-changing work environment, she enjoys the flexibility that allows her to balance her role as a mother with other commitments. Each day at Blender brings new challenges and exciting prospects, and Katie eagerly anticipates the future.

Katie’s specialties lie in recruitment, event organization, and human resources, which she has furthered through her educational pursuits, including a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources.

Outside of work, Katie is a self-proclaimed food enthusiast who loves cooking. She constantly engages in DIY projects and gardening, always having a new endeavor on the go. Additionally, she actively contributes to her community as a Kea and Cub scout leader.

Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Junior Industrial Designer

“I’ve always been fascinated by the products that populate our world, how they work, and how they’re made. From the first biface made by the caveman to modern engineering marvels like the international space station.”

Tiger is a passionate product designer who finds inspiration in the products that shape our world. He pursued both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in design innovation, specializing in industrial design at Victoria University of Wellington.

In his career so far, he has been privileged to experience the design industry on a world stage; working alongside a multitude of talented individuals and earning a few accolades of his own. These include winning the A’ Design, Muse, Global Future, and Novum design awards in Italy, United States, India, and France respectively, as well as a few special mentions at the Best, German, and SIT Furniture design awards in New Zealand, Germany, and the United States respectively.

Joining the Blender team in May 2021, Tiger specialises in user research and design ideation. Other specialties include physical prototyping, additive manufacturing, user experience, product life cycle design, and visual communication. He also has expertise in concept illustration, media post-production, and user ethnography research.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Tiger enjoys diverse activities like painting, cooking, and practicing Taekwondo. He even built a 3D printer using another 3D printer.

Andrew Lee

Graduate Industrial Designer

“For me, a well-designed product is one that is not only visually appealing but also empathetic and sustainable. What sets me apart as a designer is my inclination to challenge common assumptions and explore unconventional approaches.”

Born in Korea and raised in Aotearoa, Andrew’s educational journey led him to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Creative Technologies and a Bachelor of Industrial Design at AUT graduating in 2019 and 2022, respectively. Throughout his studies in industrial design, Andrew achieved second place in both the Lexus Design Awards and the Kohler Design Competition, which further fueled his passion for innovation and creativity. Being an observant person with a meticulous eye for detail, he takes pride in thinking outside the box and being hands-on when it comes to design. Andrew specialises in concept design development, sketching, Keyshot, FDM 3d Printing and Rapid Prototyping. Outside of work, Andrew is an avid rock climber and enjoys engaging in film/digital photography and videography. At Blender, he aspires to gain a diverse range of experiences in various manufacturing processes whilst preserving his creative side.

Jason Zhao

Graduate Mechatronics Engineer

“My approach to design is grounded in a philosophy of problem-solving from the roots, a technique which has served me well in my early career and is a mindset I carry into all my professional endeavors.”

Having graduated in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Auckland in 2023, Jason brings fresh ideas and an eager mindset to the product design engineering team at Blender. His keen interest in AI technologies is not only a passion but also a tool he likes to utilize to improve workflows and enhance design processes.

Jason’s final year engineering project was recognized with the Hyspecs award. This is a testament to his dedication and innovative thinking. As a professional, Jason brings a unique blend of technical expertise and creativity to the table. His contribution to a project goes beyond just technical input – he provide a fresh perspective, a willingness to learn, and an unyielding commitment to achieving the best results.

Outside of work, Jason enjoys music, likes to bury himself inside a good book, try new recipes, and strategize at the local board game club.

What will you bring to the mix?

We put together great things. Including teams. We think curiosity, energy and integrity are integral parts of any design thinker and tinkerer.

Careers at Blender