Russell Burton



Russell has oversight of three areas:

  • Scion’s Research Office which is responsible for securing and oversight of the funding contracts between various Government Departments and Scion;
  • Māori Partnership development supporting Māori in their aspirations to secure greater returns from their forests and their forested lands;
  • and Scion’s Preseed Accelerator Fund which supports early commercialisation activities.

Russell is also the Chair of Terax 2013 Ltd and is a Director of Biopolymer Network Ltd both associate companies of Scion.

He has over 30 years’ experience in working with the forestry and wood processing industries in New Zealand in such roles as engineering and science, securing investment, research management and commercialisation. He has played a key role in several of Scion’s spin out companies in addition to the above including Greenweld Technologies Ltd and Wood Hardening Technologies Ltd.


  • BE (Chemical and Process), University of Canterbury 1977
  • PhD (Applied Science), Loughborough University of Technology United Kingdom 1987
  • Fellow Institution of Professional Engineers, New Zealand
  • Fellow Institution of Chemical Engineers, United Kingdom
  • Chartered Engineer, United Kingdom

Career highlights

In recognition of his various contributions to engineering and innovation Russell has received a number of awards:

  • The IPENZ Supreme Award – The Skellerup Award for Technical achievement in Chemical and Biochemical Industries 2007.
  • The Australasian Rio Tinto Award in 2003 for Contribution to Applied Engineering
  • Co-winner of the Canadian Consulate Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Forest Industries 1995.
  • The Forestry Corporation Award for Business Innovation in 1994

Russell is also a past Chairman of the Society of Chemical Engineers New Zealand, the Australasian and New Zealand Federation of Chemical Engineers and a past President of the Asian Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineers.