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High profile physicist appointed to Victoria Unive

Internationally-renowned physicist Professor Paul Callaghan has been appointed as Professor of Chemical Physics at Victoria University.

Professor Callaghan, currently Professor of Physics at the Institute of Fundamental Science at Massey University, was recently admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society in London, in recognition of his work in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

Victoria University's Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Science, Professor Peter Englert, said Professor Callaghan was a high profile, inter-disciplinary physicist whose work spanned both physics and chemistry.

"That he is one of the world's leading scientists is demonstrated by his admission to the Royal Society - one of the highest honours a scientist can receive," Professor Englert says.

"That he has chosen to work at Victoria University is confirmation of our established centre of excellence in materials science. He will make an enormous contribution to both teaching and research at Victoria," Professor Englert says.

The Royal Society is an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences. Fellows are elected for their contributions to science, both in fundamental research and in directing scientific and technological progress in industry and research establishment.

Professor Callaghan is one of only two New Zealanders to be elected to the Royal Society of London since 1994. In total, 36 New Zealanders have been elected since 1879. Professor Callaghan is one of only six New Zealand physicists to achieve the honour since the first, Ernest Rutherford, was elected in 1903.

He was elected for his contributions to the development of new methods in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMRS), which involves the use of nuclear magnetic resonance to study complex fluids such as polymers, liquid crystals, colloids and emulsions, which contain both solid and liquid-like properties.

Professor Callaghan was born and education in Wanganui and gained a BSc with First Class Honours in Physics from Victoria University in 1970, and a D.Phil in Physics from Oxford University in 1974. He has authored or co-authored more than 170 scientific articles.

He was appointed to Massey University as a lecturer in physics in 1974 and was made foundation Professor of Physics in 1984 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) in 1991.

Professor Callaghan was awarded the RSNZ Cooper Memorial Medal and Prize in 1991, the University of Otago Mechaelis Medal and Prize in 1994 and the RSNZ Hector Medal in 1998 and is currently president of the RSNZ Academy.

He will take up his position at Victoria University of Wellington on 1 July, 2001.

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