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Top honour to Victoria professor

31 December 2005

Top honour to Victoria professor

The award of one of New Zealand’s highest honours to Victoria University’s Professor Paul Callaghan is recognition of his outstanding contribution to scientific research and to the wider community, says Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh.

Professor Callaghan was today named, in the New Year honours list, as a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM), the highest rank in the order.

Professor Walsh said Professor Callaghan was a deserving recipient of such a prestigious honour.

“Professor Callaghan is one of New Zealand’s most respected scientists. His research has not only significantly expanded our knowledge of nuclear magnetic resonance technology, but he has also been a leader in developing new methods for its use that have had significant impacts in physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

“He is a champion of science in New Zealand and is a renowned communicator who has the uncanny ability to take complex scientific concepts and distil them into a form that can be easily understood. In addition to his regular slot on National Radio’s Kim Hill Show on Saturday mornings, he regularly gives public lectures and is much sought after as a guest speaker.

“Victoria University prides itself on being a university where both undergraduate and postgraduate students learn directly from our leading researchers, allowing all students to benefit from their experience, knowledge and world-class research. Professor Callaghan is a fine example of this ethos. He is a professor who believes in ‘professing’ his discipline and continues to teach first year students despite the heavy demands on his time.

“Victoria University’s staff and alumni are rightly proud of the prestigious honour bestowed on Professor Callaghan. Every year a Victoria staff member or alumni is recognised in the New Zealand Honours and we join Professor Callaghan’s family, friends and colleagues throughout the world in congratulating him on receiving this award.”

Professor Callaghan is the Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology at Victoria University, a Government-funded Centre of Research Excellence. He is also the Alan MacDiarmid Professor in Physical Sciences in the School of Chemical & Physical Sciences and holds Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science degrees from Oxford University. He is a fellow of both the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Professor Callaghan has received several awards for his research and contribution to science. In 2004, he was the first scientist outside of Europe to receive the prestigious Ampere Prize for this research in magnetic resonance and won the science category of The Dominion Post Wellingtonian of the Year Awards. In November 2005, he received New Zealand’s highest scientific honour, the Rutherford Medal, from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Issued by Victoria University of Wellington Public Affairs

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