Victoria announces latest Honorary Doctorates

World-leading physicist and manager of Industrial Research Limited’s (IRL) Superconductivity and Energy Group Dr Bob Buckley has led IRL’s research into the synthesis, discovery and application of high temperature superconductor (HTS) materials and managed their commercialisation over the past 16 years. He was closely involved in the establishment of the IRL company HTS-110, and is currently a board member of a second HTS-based company, General Cable Superconductors.

HTS technology underpins new developments that allow the transmission of electricity without resistance or the loss of energy. This enables the manufacture of lighter, smaller and more efficient electrical equipment than can be achieved with existing copper wire technology.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh, says that Dr Buckley is at the forefront of the industry.

“Bob Buckley has played a key role in developing New Zealand’s strategy for capturing the benefits of HTS discoveries. Among his many achievements, he co-invented Bi-2223, the material used to make high temperature superconducting wires.”

Dr Buckley completed his PhD at Victoria University in 1979. He is also a board member of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, based at Victoria University, and the author of 100 referred publications and nine patent applications.

Dr Ross Ferguson is the international authority on kiwifruit biology and an ambassador for New Zealand science. Projects under his leadership have been fundamental to New Zealand’s kiwifruit breeding programme and to the New Zealand kiwifruit’s expansion to an international market.

In 1973, with kiwifruit emerging as an increasingly important crop for New Zealand, he began studying the fruit’s biology. Much of this research was later included in the seminal work, Kiwifruit: science and management. Dr Ferguson has authored or co-authored nearly 100 books and papers on the topic, and is regularly invited to address scientific conferences.

Professor Walsh says that Dr Ferguson’s efforts have been of huge importance to a very important industry for New Zealand.

“Dr Ferguson is another example of the importance of scientific research to our export industries. As a major contributor to the success of the kiwifruit industry, he is a model for the way science and industry in partnership can be of enormous benefit to our economy.”

Dr Ferguson graduated with a BSc (Hons) from Victoria University in 1965.

Dr Bob Buckley will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at Victoria University’s May graduation and Dr Ross Ferguson at the December 2011 graduation.