Richard Jeremy Astley, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, formulated and developed the concept of wave envelope elements in computational acoustics and is currently the acknowledged world expert in this field. His novel methods are not limited to sound waves and have proved to be generally effective in the solution of wave problems in infinite media and have been adopted by himself and by others in various fields of application such as geophysics, electromagnetics and meteorology. He is currently undertaking research on transient acoustical problems.
Thomas Heinrich Barnes, Associate Professor of Physics, The University of Auckland, demonstrated the first optical correlator using computer-controlled phase filters. This enabled the development of high-efficiency programmable optical pattern recognition systems that reduced computation time 100-fold. He developed the first active optical aberration correction systems used, for example, to correct images distorted by transmission through a turbulent atmosphere. He is an active member of a collaboration between Auckland and Otago Universities and IRL in the development of synthetic, optically non-linear materials that it is hoped will eventually replace the difficult-to-work inorganic crystals that are used at present. He was awarded the Cooper medal in 1996.
John Dudley Bradshaw, Associate Professor of Geology, University of Canterbury, has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of New Zealand Mesozoic geology (the "backbone geology" of the country) and has published wide-ranging research relating New Zealand rock assemblages to those of other countries of the southern Pacific rim, notably Antarctica and Chile. For most of the past two decades, he has been involved with research into Antarctic geology and has contributed greatly to our understanding of the former links between New Zealand, Antarctica and Chile as parts of the ancient supercontinent, Gondwana. This work has involved collaboration with Antarctic researchers from Britain, Chile, Germany, Italy and North America.
Ian William Murray Brown, Ceramics Manager, Industrial Research Limited, Lower Hutt, whose early research elucidated the structure of a range of iron-rich minerals and ceramics and established the structures and high-temperature reaction paths of a number of clay minerals and amorphous materials. More recently, he has contributed significantly to the science and technology of sialon (Si-Al-O-N) ceramics and ceramic-metal composites. His work has provided a base from which an internationally competitive ceramics industry could be developed in this country. The first step towards this has been the establishment of Pyrotek Products Ltd, a New Zealand based manufacturer that produces sialon-bonded silicon carbide ceramic composites for use as extremely high performance refractories. He was awarded a New Zealand Science and Technology Medal in 1996.
Roy McIver Daniel, Professor of Biological Sciences, The University of Waikato, has, in collaboration with H W Morgan, isolated and studied the thermostable enzymes from a number of new thermophilic organisms from New Zealand sources. He has published many thought-provoking papers on topics such as the correlation between thermostability and resistance to proteolysis, insights into life from a knowledge of Archaebacteria, the origins of chemical reducing power in living systems and the thermophiles of Antarctica. Recently he has been exploring the relationship between protein flexibility and enzyme action and has initiated several international collaborations with colleagues in the UK and France to address the question of enzyme activity at low temperatures. Professor Daniel was appointed to a two-year James Cook Research Fellowship in November 1997.
Charles Hines Daugherty, Professor of Ecology, Victoria University of Wellington, is an internationally recognised leader in conservation biology and wildlife genetics. Field work with colleagues in the National Museum and the Department of Conservation allowed him to observe and collect tissue material that led to the development of an ongoing programme in conservation biology and ecological genetics and the identification of endangered species. One of his greatest scientific successes was the identification of a second species of tuatara. On a broader front, the programme has played a major role in rehabilitating, raising and re-introducing native species to former habitats, and studying and describing the genetic structures of several endangered New Zealand species, including lizards, parakeets and kiwi, as well as tuatara.
Garth Joseph Owen Fletcher, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Canterbury, is recognised as one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of study of social cognitive processes within close relationships and one who, more than any other investigator, has pioneered the application of ideas and methodologies from the more basic science of cognition. He and his colleagues were the first to study automatic processing in the perception of relationships and to demonstrate that a person’s beliefs about the nature of relationships automatically colours their evaluations and judgements. More recently, he has been exploring the new topic of "intersubjectivity" and has developed new methodologies for studying this process.
Richard Clague Gardner, Associate Professor, School of Plant Molecular Biology, The University of Auckland, is internationally known with a record of development of novel technologies in plant molecular biology and their application to the improvement of important crops. He collaborated in the sequencing of the cauliflower mosaic virus and, with Dr Bruno Gronnenborn, showed for the first time that a plant virus could act as a vector to transfer foreign DNA to plants. At The University of Auckland he has made substantial contributions to the molecular biology of kiwifruit, including the development of a system for gene transfer, the isolation of a range of genes and the study of their expression, and the application of molecular markers to genetic studies. He has received international recognition for work describing the first aluminium-induced genes in plants and has pioneered the use of yeast to study the problem of aluminium tolerance.
Peter William Harland, Professor of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, is recognised as a leading authority in the area of experimental and theoretical studies of electron, ion and molecule interactions. Using complex apparatus designed and built in his own laboratory, he has carried out pioneering work in the areas of ion mobilities and electron impact ionisation and, more recently, has developed procedures for the study of collision processes involving beams of oriented molecules. This is recognised as an extremely difficult field of experimentation. He is internationally regarded as a superb experimentalist who excels at developing theoretical models of the processes that he studies.
Ian James Hodgkinson, Professor of Physics, University of Otago, has an impressive record of work and publication in two areas of optical physics: the preparation and science of anisotropic thin films and photo-refractive testing of the eye. His preparations of anisotropic thin films prepared by vapour deposition onto substrates held at an oblique angle relative to the vapour stream are birefringent and therefore polarising and have potential for use in many devices used in optical communication. His pioneering development of systems and instruments for direct measurements in the routine screening and assessment of refractive errors in the eyes of babies has now led to the application of the same instruments to the mapping of cataracts in the elderly eye.
Clive Howard-Williams, Regional Manager, NIWA, Christchurch, is New Zealand’s leading aquatic botanist whose work has stimulated work in freshwater ecology in this country and brought a maturity and synthesis to the field. He has a flair for multi-disciplinary research that has allowed him to tackle a range of ecosystems from freshwater swamps to coastal oceans and has facilitated the application of a range of techniques. He has a major involvement and international collaboration in Antarctic science and is particularly well known for his papers on the productivity and nutrient cycling of Antarctic streams. His more recent work on the limnology and microbiology of ponds on the Antarctic ice shelf has greatly advanced our understanding of the aquatic ecosystems in polar environments. He was awarded a New Zealand Science and Technology Medal in 1998.
Geoffrey Jacob Irwin, Professor of Archaeology/Prehistory, The University of Auckland, has international standing as the leading Pacific archaeologist of his generation. He has undertaken field research in New Zealand, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia and his work in three distinct areasarchaeology of fortifications, prehistoric trade in the west Pacific, and the mechanisms of Pacific colonisationhave raised implications extending far beyond the Pacific. His major achievement has been his research on prehistoric voyaging and colonisation. These studies, to which he has brought a systematic approach based on extensive computer simulation, has given, for the first time, an informed and comprehensive theory of how and when prehistoric people managed to discover the Pacific islands.
James Howard Johnston, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Victoria University of Wellington, has published over 75 research papers and has applied his scientific imagination to interest industry in New Zealand, UK, Europe and the USA in many successful projects in such diverse fields as: oil biomarkers used to determine exploration strategies; development of a process to produce silica from geothermal waters for use as a high-grade filler in paper; novel extraction and refining methods for recovery of silica and sulphur from the Lake Rotokawa geothermal area; a new process for producing high-quality titanium dioxide from low-grade ilmenite found in West Coast beach sands and from waste steel-making slag; a novel process for the wet air oxidation of organic effluent from dairy sheds, wool scouring plants and dairy factories; and better control of deposition of pitch during paper making. He was awarded the Thomson Medal, 1998.
Andrew Craig McEwan, Scientific Director, National Radiation Laboratory, Christchurch, is an internationally recognised expert in the field of radiation protection who has had a major influence on opinion and practice worldwide. His early research was devoted to experimental problems in radiation physics but he is best known for his extensive bibliography on the effects of radiation of all types. These range from the radiological impact of past atmospheric testing and the effects of radioactive contamination in the South Pacific and the environmental effects of underground nuclear explosions, through radiation aspects of nuclear propulsion, to ground-breaking work on the determination of a radiation dose index that corresponds with the actual radiation risk for the radiation-treated population and the risk of cancer and leukaemia from diagnostic X-rays.
William Hewat McLeod, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Otago, was the first to pursue a range of questions regarding the history of the Sikh tradition and now enjoys international standing as the world’s leading scholar of Sikh society, religion and history. Through his 17 books and numerous scholarly articles he has been pre-eminent in his study of the significance of Sikhs in the history of South Asia and the second British Empire and the demonstration of their central position to an understanding of the social and political history of the Indian sub-continent. His scholarly approach includes analytic use of linguistic and literary techniques as well as a solid grounding in comparative religion. He has also contributed monographic studies of Punjabi migrants to this country, including what is recognised as one of the best interdisciplinary analyses of an immigrant community.
Murray David Mitchell, Professor of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, The University of Auckland, is widely regarded as the pre-eminent international expert on the role of prostanoids in labour. In his early work he developed some of the first prostaglandin assays and made significant contributions to our understanding of the control of parturition and the role of prostaglandins. Since arriving in New Zealand in 1994 he has taken a leadership role in both medical and non-medical pharmacology and has built up a large and highly productive research group. He is the foremost experimental scientist evaluating the interactions between cytokines and prostanoid production by human amnion, and his laboratory is the most active and productive source of experimental data that support the clinical correlation between intra-amniotic infection and pre-term labour.
Jennifer Ann Ogden, Associate Professor of Psychology, The University of Auckland, is one of the foremost women psychologists in New Zealand. Her specialist area is clinical neuropsychology, which concerns the effects of various insultshead injury and other brain damage, solvents, chronic and acute illnesson the behaviour of people. She is an acknowledged authority on the behavioural correlates of cerebral aneurysms and has made important discoveries regarding such phenomena as autotopagnosia (inability to identify one’s own body partsa dysfunction of body image) and the hierarchy of functions that can be performed by the right cerebral hemisphere after left hemispherectomies in very young individuals.
Brian Harford Robinson, Professor of Chemistry, University of Otago, is internationally recognised for his role in the early development of the field of cluster chemistry, dating from his doctoral research at Canterbury in which he published the first structure of a cluster compound and described its unusual delocalised bonding. This led to his proposal that metal carbonyl clusters would participate in electron transfer reactions and his later demonstration that clusters can be reduced reversibly. A second research interest has been the design of organometallic compounds for use in biomedical research. Most recently he has contributed to the growing area of nanotechnology with an emphasis on obtaining species that might act as molecular switches.
Stephen Donald Weaver, Professor of Geology, Canterbury University, has high international standing for his contributions to physical volcanology and igneous geochemistry. These include documentation of the geochemical transition from normal subduction-related magmas to those of more oceanic affinity in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Scotia Arc; re-mapping and petrogenic interpretation of the Banks Peninsula volcanic edifice; investigations into the mobility of rare earth and other elements in the crystallisation of volcanic glass; reinterpretation of the accepted origin of South Island granites and comparative studies of granitoid rocks in West Antarctica and New Zealand; and the introduction of the concept of a mantle plume forming beneath Marie Byrd Land to define the locus of continental drifting.