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New President of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Monday 1 May 2005

New President of the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand is pleased to announce that Neville Jordan BE CNZM will take over as President of the Royal Society of New Zealand when Dr Jim Watson's term ends in mid June 2006. Neville Jordan is a strong supporter of science in New Zealand and will bring considerable knowledge and experience to his leadership of an organisation whose focus is the promotion of excellence in science and technology.

"It's a both privilege and honour to be able to serve science and technology through being President of the Royal Society of New Zealand," says Neville. "We have a rich heritage of science in New Zealand with large economic gains achieved by successfully applying many discoveries made continually over the last hundred years or so. The dramatic success of our primary industry is an example of this."

After graduating in electrical engineering from the University of Canterbury, Neville worked in the civil aviation industry and for IBM in various management positions. In 1976 he founded MAS Technology Ltd, a telecommunications company. In 1997, as Chief Executive, he led MAS Technology's successful float on the United States NASDAQ stock exchange. He later pooled the company with another US-listed enterprise.

Neville has served on the boards of AgResearch, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, and the Prime Minister's Growth and Innovation Advisory Board. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ (IPENZ) and has been awarded the UK IEE Kirby medal for "outstanding eminence and distinction in advanced technology." He received the Governor General of New Zealand Supreme Award for Exporting in 1997 and was inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame in 2004. In 1999 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his substantial contribution to international telecommunications and exports. Neville is now a venture capital investor, Endeavour Capital Ltd, and is the founder or chairman of several advanced technology and science-based companies.

"My academic and professional life is centered on science and engineering and I have been very fortunate in my career. It's now an exciting prospect to help blaze new trails for those that follow." In the 139 year history of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Neville is only the second engineer to be President of the Society.

"Over the next three years I would like to enhance public understanding of the great importance of science and technology to our general wellbeing. I would also like to find ways to establish a focal point for pure and applied science, as well as social science, to aid this understanding. Excellence in New Zealand science is not an indulgence - it's an imperative".

ENDS

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