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Canterbury Professor named new Chief Science Adviser


Canterbury Professor named the new Chief Science Adviser for Ministry of Transport

University of Canterbury (UC) Professor Simon Kingham has been named the first Chief Science Adviser for the Ministry of Transport | Te Manatū Waka.

UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Te Tumu Tuarua Professor Ian Wright has congratulated Professor Kingham on the new role which will see him splitting his time between UC and the ministry.

“Professor Kingham’s appointment to this important advisory position further underlines that the interaction between transport engineering and societal motivations is crucial to future New Zealand transport systems. It also shows directly the relevance of our academic expertise and research to progress real-world problems that currently face New Zealand.”

The Ministry of Transport’s Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy & Investment, Bryn Gandy, says the Chief Science Adviser will help lead an evidence-based approach to strategy and advice and help the department take a science perspective.

“This appointment signals our direction of travel too – Professor Kingham is highly regarded for his collaborative approach, and he is able to engage with transport from multiple perspectives. That includes the role of transport in his own local community, where he was until recently part of Canterbury’s Regional Transport Committee.”

In addition to teaching and research, Professor Kingham also directs the University of Canterbury’s Geospatial Institute Toi Hangarau and GeoHealth Laboratory. His research interests are broadly linked by the relationships between transport and health, and include transport and air pollution, active travel, accessibility, rail, perceptions of transport, workplace travel, and transport and community.

He is interested in how we can make transport more sustainable and looks at people’s perceptions and attitudes to transport, focusing specifically on school and work travel. Professor Kingham says that for his own travel he uses car, bicycle, feet, plane and, when possible, train – although living in Canterbury rail travel is rare.

Professor Kingham will be employed by the University of Canterbury and seconded to the Ministry part-time.


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