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Kudos awards finalists announced

The talent and diversity of the 2020 Kudos Science Excellence Awards finalists show the richness of scientific expertise on our doorstep.

Twenty incredible finalists are in the running to receive one of eight awards at the gala event in Hamilton next month.

This year sees the expansion of the awards to allow nominations from Tauranga and Rotorua as well as the Waikato Another exciting development is the inclusion of a new category – the University of Waikato Vision Mātauranga Science Award – which recognises those enabling the innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources and people.

“We received an incredible array of nominations, including some from businesses and sectors that have not featured in our awards before,” says Kudos Science Trust CEO, Soteria Ieremia. “This reflects both the growing scope and reputation of the Kudos, as well as the continuing growth of science and innovation in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.”

Current finalists include creators of a pandemic ventilator that is already being exported to Africa, and an engineer whose computing skill has revolutionised complicated, time-consuming quality testing on a major Waikato transport project.

“The diversity of nominations reflect the incredible work going on in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and the supreme Kudos Lifetime Achievement award has no shortage of truly world class entries. We’re looking forward to recognising the great minds and dedication behind it all,” says Ieremia. 

Chair of the Kudos Science Trust, Professor Ross Lawrenson continues: “We’re particularly grateful for the continuing support of our sponsors during a clearly difficult year for everyone. It has also been good to see our scientific community rally to once again deliver such high quality nominations for our awards evening. The existence of so much talent and innovation in science suggests we will be well placed for the opportunities the post-pandemic environment will undoubtedly create.”

Judging is underway, with panels of expert scientists determining the winners in each category.

“Thank you to everyone who made a nomination, and congratulations to all of the finalists. We look forward to announcing the winners and celebrating their success at the awards dinner,” says Lawrenson.

Tickets for the 2020 Kudos Awards Annual Gala Dinner at the Claudelands Event Centre on Thursday 10 September are available at

Wintec Secondary Science Teacher/Educator Award
Greta Dromgool, University of Waikato
Jason Morgan, St Peter’s School
Shalini Guleria, Science Box

Hill Laboratories Laboratory Technologist Award
Lucy Yang, PharmaNZ

Neil Standley, LIC

Hamilton City Council Primary Industries Award
Improving Dairy Fertility Genetics, DairyNZ
Radix Nutrition

PharmaNZ Ltd

Waikato Regional Council Environmental Science Award
Dr Adam Hartland, University of Waikato
Dr Fiona Petchey, University of Waikato

Dr Joanne Ellis, UoW, Tauranga Campus

DATAMARS Engineering Science Award
RespiratorNZ, ESPlastics LtdAlexios Kavallaris, NZTAPeter Lehrke, PharmaNZ

Waikato DHB Medical Science Award
Dr Nina Scott, Waikato DHB

Waikato Diabetes Research Team, UoW

University of Waikato Vision Mātauranga Science Award
Manaaki Taiao ki Kirikiriroa, MWLR
Dr Ian Kusabs, Kusabs & Assoc Ltd
Assoc. Prof Kura Paul-Burke, UoW Tauranga Campus

Dr Nina Scott, Waikato DHB

The Kudos Lifetime Achievement Award
To be announced at the Gala Dinner

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