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Kudos Awards Names Finalists For 2023

The Kudos Science Excellence Awards have named their top scientists in eight categories for 2023 in advance of their annual gala event in November.

This year’s finalists highlight a wide range of scientific research and discoveries, again demonstrating our wealth of scientific talent. The highly popular Emerging Science Category features four outstanding scientists, one unlocking genetic secrets to improve the health and performance of valued livestock, another revitalising our urban forests, a third future proofing our primary industries through investigations on drought and pest populations, and finally enhancing our understanding of climate change impacts and adaptations.

Started in 2007 to recognise the science achievements of the region, the Kudos remain New Zealand’s only regional science excellence awards, and to date have recognised and celebrated nearly 320 scientists for their leading research, innovative technologies and ground breaking discoveries.

This year a further 16 scientists will be acknowledged for their contribution to Aotearoa’s ability to solve complex problems impacting us on a global scale. The awards will showcase some world firsts, and the people behind them.

Hamilton and the Waikato have long been home to a thriving science community, responsible for much of the science underpinning technologies and solutions emerging from industries such as agritech and foodtech, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure and construction.

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The Hamilton City Council are foundation supporters of the Kudos Awards. Councillor and Economic Development Committee Chair Ewan Wilson says, “Council’s economic development work includes showcasing Hamilton as a hub of innovation and science in order to grow sectors such as agritech, foodtech, advanced manufacturing and technology

“I’m pleased to see that approximately 70% of the finalists for this year are Hamilton-based, particularly because their work resonates across our entire region and country” he says.

In 2020, the Kudos Awards expanded their reach to include the neighbouring Toi Moana, Bay of Plenty region. Nominations have continued to increased across both regions showing a strong collaboration and a growing community engaging in science and STEM.

“The face of science is changing, and it’s important for our communities to see science in action. As many of our finalists have shown us, science does not only occur in the lab, and if we want our communities to contribute to solutions impacting their environment, health and primary industries, we must include them,” says Kudos Chief Executive, Soteria Ieremia.

Kudos Chair Chris Williams agrees, “The Kudos Awards have become a great catalyst for connections between science and business communities, as well as supporting STEM education and our next generation of problem solvers.”

The Kudos Awards Gala dinner will be held on Friday 24 November 2024 at the Claudelands Event Centre, hosted by Nicola Toki of “Endangered species Aotearoa” fame. Tickets are available at

The Kudos Science Excellence Awards 2023 - FINALISTS

Science Spinners Science Teacher/Educator/Communicator Award

Lian Soh, Papamoa College

Dr Anuj Bhargava, Manaaki Manawa, Putahi Manawa, University of Auckland

Hilary Johnson, Katikati College

Hill Laboratories Primary Industries Award

Cattle Urine Sensor Team, Agresearch

LIC Variant Discovery Team

Hamilton City Council Emerging Scientist Award

Dr Kiri J. Wallace, University of Waikato

Dr Swati Jivanji, LIC

Dr Luke Harrington, University of Waikato

Dr Katrin G. Hewitt, Agresearch

Waikato Regional Council Environmental Science Award

State of Environment Team led by Thomas Wilding, Waikato Regional Council

Dr Luke Harrington, University of Waikato

Te Kūwaha o Taihoro Nukurangi, NIWA

Science and Technology Award

Alexios Kavallaris, Gnosis

Cattle Urine Sensor Team, Agresearch

Te Whatu Ora, Waikato Medical Science Award

Dr Manar Khashram, Waikato Hospital

Dr Matthew CL Phillips, Waikato Hospital

Assoc Prof Lynne Chepulis, Waikato Medical Research Centre

University of Waikato Vision Matauranga Award

Te Kūwaha o Taihoro Nukurangi, NIWA

Lian Soh, Papamoa College

Dr Matthew CL Phillips, Waikato Hospital

The Kudos Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient to be announced at Gala dinner on 24 November

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