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.

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.

Heather Claycomb +

Founder of HMC Communications, Heather Claycomb has a unique background in communications, marketing, sales and public relations with industries as diverse as telecommunications, agriculture and energy. In 2015, Heather was named a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) and she represents the Waikato on the professional body’s National Council. She earned the internationally recognised Accreditation in Public Relations in 2009. Heather is also on the boards of Habitat for Humanity Central North Island and Willow Creek NZ.

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.

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.