Mesh refinement is an important process with regards to achieving good accuracy for computational simulation and analysis. Currently, there is a lack of a high-fidelity refinement algorithm for the accurate modelling of geometry in the absence of a physical geometric model. This paper focuses on using a surface interpolation procedure based on a quartic triangular Bezier patch to approximate the underlying geometry of a mesh and to determine the locations of new subdivision vertices. A robust methodology is used for feature retention and accurate curve fitting at sharp edges and hard vertices. This extends the applicability of the surface fitting procedure to any arbitrary geometric configuration. The refinement is based on a new 1:9 subdivision scheme and its implementation is discussed in detail. Despite its high order subdivision footprint, computational efficiency is made possible by the effective use of lookup tables. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.