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Top science manager appointed

12 August 2004

Top science manager appointed Lincoln University's Deputy VC

One of New Zealand's top Government managers for commercialisation and innovation in research, science and technology, Christchurch-born Dr Chris Kirk, has been appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University.

Dr Kirk, who will take up his appointment on 20 September, is currently on leave from Massey University to take up a newly created role of Director of Commercialisation and Innovation at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology in Wellington.

A Massey staff member since 1996, Dr Kirk has served variously as Director of the University's Research Services, Director of Research Policy and Strategy and, since 2002, Director of Research Initiatives and Innovation.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Lincoln University, he takes up the post vacated by Professor Roger Field who was appointed Vice-Chancellor in March this year.

Dr Kirk comes to Lincoln University well equipped with a career portfolio of top positions in science education, commercialisation, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Since graduating with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Canterbury in 1975 he has held positions at the University of York in the United Kingdom and in the tertiary sector in New Zealand, including posts at the universities of Otago and Waikato and at Massey University. There have been, too, periodic secondments and consultancies in the private and public sectors and he has been a member of two Ministerial International Science Delegations - to Israel 1999 and Brussels 2003. He has served on a range of advisory groups and assessment panels for Government agencies, including FRST's Technology New Zealand Reference Group and the Royal Society's International Science & Technology Advisory Committee.

Dr Kirk's progression from research scientist - his doctoral research was in the area of electron spin resonance studies of aromatic anion radicals ¨C to academic and then to research/commercialisation management (he completed an MBA degree with distinction in 1992) has seen him pursue a clearly defined career objective: "To play a leadership role in enhancing the contribution that university education and research can make to the social, economic and intellectual well-being of New Zealand and New Zealanders."

"I believe Lincoln University has a central role in this process in New Zealand. The University has a well-earned reputation nationally and internationally for excellence in its primary missions - teaching and research. The recent Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) results provide a solid endorsement of Lincoln University's research standing in selected areas of excellence. Like most tertiary institutions the University is still developing its ¡®third mission' - commercialisation. Much has been achieved in the past, but it is vital that Lincoln University is responsive and robust to meet the many exciting new challenges that lie ahead.

"It is a real honour to have the opportunity to join Lincoln University and play a role in the next stage of its development.

"The essence of a University is its people ¨C and I am keenly looking forward to joining the staff and student community."

Lincoln University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roger Field, describes Dr Kirk as "visionary and motivational" and says he will be a "great addition" to the University's senior management.

Dr Kirk is married, his wife Margaret is a teacher, and they have three adult children.

Brought up and educated in Christchurch, he played first class cricket for Canterbury in the 1970s, also represented Otago and played in the Yorkshire League while a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of York in the UK.


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