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KuDos Science Awards show Hamilton’s strengths

The seventh annual KuDos Hamilton Science Excellence Awards provided a celebration of the city’s scientific strengths at a gala dinner for 270 people held at the Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre on 26 September.

The event gave Hamilton the chance to celebrate its role as a scientific hot house, recognising achievements in agricultural, environmental and medical science.

Awards also went to a scientific entrepreneur, an emerging scientist, and an educator.  The night was capped off with a special award for lifetime achievement, which was conferred on Peter Molan from the University of Waikato for his work on the antibacterial properties of manuka honey.            

The awards point to the fact that Hamilton City and the wider Waikato region punches above its weight, with world class science being conducted by several organisations. 

The city is home to 40,000 tertiary students and over 1,000 PhD scientists. AgResearch’s Ruakura campus, located on the eastern outskirts of the city, is one of the largest agricultural research institutions in New Zealand and boasts an international reputation in many biotech fields.

Possessing a national teaching hospital and a strong business sector, some of the country’s most significant medical, environmental and ICT discoveries have come out of Hamilton’s commercial and research organisations.

Organised by the Hamilton Science Awards Trust, the Awards have a three-fold aim of recognising the contributions of scientists working in the Waikato River catchment, encouraging high school students to study science and raising the profile of scientific achievement.

The work of the Awards takes on additional significance in the same week media organisations highlighted that a growing number of schools are considering removing science from the compulsory curriculum because the subject is thought too difficult for some students.

KuDos Project Manager, Soteria Ieremia, praised Claudelands for making her job easier. “Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre is a state of the art facility with great event staff. The catering by Montana was also impeccable, receiving rave reviews all night.”

Director of Business Development for Hamilton City’s Event Facilities, Murray Jeffrey, said it was a privilege to host the awards evening.

“Claudelands is in demand as a venue for events that provide for the exchange of new scientific knowledge in a range of disciplines. It was a pleasure to support our science community and to host the 2013 KuDos Awards for the first time,” says Jeffrey.


The full list of KuDos Hamilton Science Excellence Award winners are:


New Zealand Agribusiness Centre Agricultural Award

The Feed Conversion Efficiency Team from DairyNZ and LIC


Waikato Regional Council Environmental Science Award

Dr. Chris Tanner from NIWA


Medical Science Award

Dr. Jane Morgan from Waikato District Health Board


Wintec Secondary School Science Teacher/Educator/Communicator Award

Tina Youngman from Paeroa College


Hamilton City Council Emerging Scientist Award

Dr. Daniel Laughlin from the University of Waikato


Hill Laboratories Science Entrepreneur Award

Dr. Johan Verbeek from the University of Waikato


University of Waikato Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Molan from the University of Waikato