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University Appoints Deputy Vice-Chancellor

6 July 2001


University Appoints Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Professor Tom Barnes has been appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) by The University of Auckland.

Professor Barnes, who is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Physics, joined the University in 1991 after four years as Japanese Government Scientist, the first foreigner to hold such a position.

Announcing his appointment, Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood said Professor Barnes possessed teaching, research, commercial and management experience which would be invaluable in his new role.

“The total value of new research contracts undertaken by the University exceeded $70 million last year, including $31.3 million in public good research grants. As a research-led University, it is vital that we have in this important role an individual with a sound understanding of both academic and commercial disciplines. We have that in Professor Barnes.”

Dr Hood said that with the University producing the highest university research output in New Zealand, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) provided a crucial link between research funders and researchers and ensured the institution adhered to international research standards.

Professor Barnes’ four years as Japanese Government Scientist saw him establish collaborative partnerships with Japanese and international institutions in the field of optical engineering. His appointment followed terms as Research Scientist and Section Leader of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in Wellington and Research Scientist of the National Nuclear Corporation in the UK.

With eight patents and contributions to more than 70 research papers and journals to his credit, Professor Barnes received a University of Auckland Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000 and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He was awarded the Society’s Cooper Medal in 1996.

He set up The University of Auckland’s Optical Information Processing and Measurement Laboratory, which works on the development of novel optical systems and has played an important role in the development of new programme in Industrial Physics.

In addition to his teaching and research work, Professor Barnes has made a significant contribution to professional societies and the community. He is a vigorous promoter of science to primary and secondary school pupils and regularly speaks to student and teacher groups on careers in science. He serves as a panellist for the Marsden Fund, the Royal Society of New Zealand and FRST, and acts as a reviewer for professional journals including the Journal of the Optical Society of America.

Professor Barnes holds a PhD, a MSc and a BSc (Hons) in Physics from The University of Manchester Institute of Technology. He succeeds Professor Marston Conder who is returning to pursue his research interests in mathematics at The University of Auckland.

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