The Waikato has long been a vital research and innovation hub

The Kudos Science Trust (Hamilton Science Awards Trust) was established in 2007 to:

  • recognise the achievements of our region’s top scientists;
  • excite young people about science and its career opportunities;
  • and raise the profile of science within our community

The Trust’s annual Kudos Awards remain New Zealand’s only regional science awards. With the help of our major partners, we have given $320,000 in prize money to reward our best scientists, shine a light on their incredible achievements and support their ongoing work. The Trust also gives secondary schools access to Kudos video resources and connects Kudos scientists with teachers, schools, community groups and local industry.

The Trust Board gathers researchers, teachers and business leaders, who constantly examine the Trust’s work and its relevance to the region.

News and Views

Kudos Awards celebrates Waikato’s top scientists

When Dr Philip Elmer began his scientific career in the 1980s, pesticides were the go-to option for treating plant diseases. While many of his contemporaries were focused on discovering new pesticides, Elmer turned to nature for answers… Read More

Region shines a light on our world class scientists

Hamilton and Waikato’s science and innovation sector celebrated the region’s top scientists and their achievements at the 12th annual Kudos Awards last night in Hamilton… Read More

Scientists recognised for controlling plant disease

Two wins for Plant & Food Research at the Kudos Awards – Dr Philip Elmer, a senior scientist in plant pathology and biological control, has been presented with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award… Read More

Three winners at the KuDos Awards

The “hot” work of Waikato University chemical engineer Dr James Carson has been celebrated at this year’s KuDos awards, held to acknowledge quality science being done in the Waikato region… Read More

The Waikato Story – Waikato’s Kudos Awards

The Kudos Science Trust recognises and supports the Waikato’s rich legacy of science and innovation. The mighty Waikato River, rich in resources and history runs through a booming agricultural landscape, which provides our region’s scientists with…… continue reading

Our Trustees

Prof. Ross Lawrenson, Chairperson. +

Ross Lawrenson (MBBS London, MD London, FRCGP, FFPH FAFPHM) is Professor of Population Health at the University of Waikato and Clinical Director for Strategy and Funding, Waikato District Health Board. He has a track record and considerable experience in large-scale demographic studies of New Zealand’s health services, including research into health inequalities. He has also led research into health inequalities within New Zealand. His recent research focuses on prostate and breast cancer.

Dr. Kerst Stelwagen +

Kerst Stelwagen is the founding director of Sci-Lactis Ltd, a niche consulting and contract-research company providing strategy and R&D support to the agritech and value-added food sectors nationally and internationally. Before setting up Sci-Lactis in 2010, Kerst spent 18 years at AgResearch as a dairy scientist, team leader and senior science manager of the Dairy Science & Technology Department.

Roger Cox +

Roger Cox has been a teacher of science, biology and horticulture at Fairfield College for the past 43 years. During this time, he has seen many students leave the school as fully-independent learners who can cope well with the demands of the ‘real world’. Roger’s passion for education and insights from his front-line role, meeting the challenges faced by a low-decile school, bring a valuable perspective to the Trust’s work.

Dr. Roger Hill +

After graduating with his PhD in chemistry, Roger’s first job was to set up and manage a soil-testing laboratory owned by Cambridge-based company Analytical Services. Eight years later, he left to start Hill Laboratories with his wife, Anne. Roger has held a number of key industry roles, including chairperson of the Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council and the NZ Association of Consulting Labs. In 2012, the University of Waikato awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Ken Williamson +

Ken Williamson is well known in Hamilton for his dedication to the community and over the past 30 years has given time and expertise to numerous organisations in the city. Ken’s background is in insurance. He currently works for Crombie Lockwood after he and his partners sold their Hamilton-based commercial brokerage Law Mooney Williamson (LMW) to them. Ken is a widely experienced governor/chair in both the business and not-for-profit sectors.

Dr. Liz Carpenter +

Liz Carpenter is the Principal Scientist at the Dairy Goat Cooperative NZ Ltd (DGC), where she manages research on goat milk nutritional powders and provides training support within the DGC’s Asian markets. She is also a trustee of the Exscite Trust, has been Chief Judge of the NIWA Waikato Science & Technology Fair for the past six years and is an invited member of the ‘immune health’ industry reference group for the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.

Dr Rod Claycomb +

Dr Rod Claycomb is the founding Managing Director of Quantec Ltd, a New Zealand company specialising in the development and commercialisation of high value naturally derived bioactives.  He has an extensive background in the dairy industry, filling roles from pure and applied research through commercialisation.

Prior to Quantec, he was the founding CEO of Sensortec Ltd and prior to that, the Director of R&D for Waikato Milking Systems.

His areas of expertise include bioactives, biosensors, agritechnology and commercialisation.  And he holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis in Biological and Agricultural Engineering.  He is the author of numerous publications and inventor on six patent families.

Kate Wilson +

Kate Wilson has spent over thirty years in the science and innovation space. She has degrees in physics and chemistry and worked in environmental physics at Ruakura Research Centre. She was a patent attorney, internationally-recognised intellectual property strategist and managing partner at James & Wells – an original sponsor of the Kudos Awards. Kate is proprietor of Prof’s@Woodlands café, provides strategic business and intellectual property advice, and is a director and trustee of various organisations including Waikato Food Inc, Woodlands Estate and Quantec.

Gemma Morgan +

Gemma is a seasoned marketing and communications professional who has worked across a range of industries including government, technology, FMCG, arts, fashion, financial services, education, and non-profit. She has been a key player in establishing inter-organisational initiatives, partnerships, and operations across both the public and NGO sector.

Passionate about progressive projects, initiatives, and organisations who serve to improve society and our communities, Gemma is excited by the role that science and innovation can play in making our everyday lives better.

Project Manager

Soteria Ieremia Jones +

Soteria has an administrative management, marketing and training background from the corporate sector. In her part-time role, she manages all aspects of the Trust’s business, including stakeholder engagement, sponsorship/funding and event management of both the Kudos Awards and the Science Spinners Creative Lab. Soteria also works to support other Waikato not-for-profit projects, including SmartWaikato and the Secondary School Employer Partnerships (Science Focus) and is a member of the Waikato Pacific Business Network.