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NZ Representative For Synchrotron Committee

Media release

FROM THE NEW ZEALAND MINISTER OF RESEARCH, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY AND THE VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR INNOVATION

Thursday, 3 October 2002

New Zealand Representative For Synchrotron Committee

Associate Professor Jim Metson has been appointed the New Zealand representative on the National Scientific Advisory Committee for the Australian Synchrotron project. The appointment follows an invitation last May from Victorian Premier Steve Bracks to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark for a New Zealander to join the Committee.

“We are delighted about this initiative and appreciative of the Victorian State Government’s invitation for New Zealand involvement in the Synchrotron project. Professor Metson is already familiar with the Synchrotron project. That, along with his expertise and extensive contacts in New Zealand’s research community makes him an ideal New Zealand representative”, said New Zealand Minister of Research Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson said the arrangement would help ensure New Zealand researchers were aware of opportunities to utilise the Australian Synchrotron. “New Zealand places strong importance on the development of its research and innovation links with Australia. Collaboration between New Zealand and Australian researchers in the Synchrotron and other projects will result in win-win outcomes”.

Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, John Brumby, warmly welcomed Professor Metson to the committee.

“Appointing a New Zealand scientist of Professor Metson’s calibre indicates the enthusiasm of researchers and governments beyond Australia for this regionally important project,” Mr Brumby said.

“This appointment demonstrates the importance of trans-Tasman science links, and with Professor Metson’s input we can design a facility that will meet the broader research needs of both Australia and New Zealand.”

A synchrotron is a large and complex machine that produces beams of very intense light. It can be used as a molecular microscope to study the composition of matter. Synchrotrons are invaluable tools for groundbreaking research in biological and life sciences, mining and geoscience, and for manufacturing pharmaceuticals, new age materials and micromachines. The facility in Melbourne will cost an estimated A$157 million and is expected to begin operation in 2007.

Biographical Note

James Metson is an Associate Professor with the University of Auckland Department of Chemistry, Acting Director of the University’s Light Metals Research Centre and a past Director of the University’s Research Centre for Surface and Materials Science. He gained his chemistry doctorate at Victoria University of Wellington and has a distinguished reputation in the development of surface analytical techniques and in the surface chemistry and smelting technologies for light metals, particularly aluminium.


ENDS

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