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September 27, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Victoria University Dishes out the Doctorates

The life achievements of two professors are soon to be acknowledged through Victoria University’s granting of two honorary doctorates.

Professors Sir Paul Callaghan and Jack Richards will receive their honorary degrees of Doctor of Science and Doctor of Literature at the December graduation ceremony and a graduation ceremony in 2011, respectively.

Callaghan is a leading expert in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance and is also the founding director of Victoria’s MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

His nationally and internationally recognised work has led to the founding of Wellington-based scientific instruments supplier Magritek Ltd and the publication of the book Wool to Weta, which details Callaghan’s vision for New Zealand’s future science and technology-based economy.

Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh says that Callaghan’s contributions have had a significant impact on the country.

“In addition to his own prolific work and cutting-edge research, he has made significant contributions to communicating science to the wider community and has added significantly to the debate about technology and its role in ensuring New Zealand’s future prosperity.”

Callaghan’s soon-to-be-awarded honorary degree will be the latest in a number of prizes and tokens of recognition for his work, including the prestigious Ampere Prize for research in magnetic resonance, the Günther Laukien Prize for Magnetic Resonance, the Rutherford Medal and his appointment as a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006.

Richards, who graduated from Victoria with a Master of Arts in 1966, has since gained international recognition for his extensive work in foreign and second language teaching, having written more than 60 articles and 20 books.

Richards has also sponsored numerous art and education initiatives including support for the Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne and scholarships to students in the Toihoukura programme at Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne.

Walsh says that Richards’ “generous spirit is enriching the arts and education in New Zealand and internationally.”


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