Awards and accolades

Terax 2013 Ltd

Terax 2013 Ltd waste conversion technology won the Innovation in Sustainability & Cleantech category at the 2015 New Zealand Innovators Awards. The annual awards celebrate innovative, high-growth New Zealand organisations. The technology addresses one of New Zealand’s serious environmental challenges and turns waste into valued products. It was developed jointly by Scion and Rotorua Lakes Council with support from the Ministry for the Environment. The collaboration brought together research and development capability with biosolids management and local authority expertise. The technology is now being commercialised through Terax 2013 Ltd and has generated substantial national and international interest.


Scion and licencing partner Sonae Indústria won a 2016 KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Award for their partnership to commercialise a new wood fibre reinforced plastic. The partnership took home the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research & Business Partnership Award for their joint development and commercialisation of Woodforce, which is sold by Sonae Indústria to plastics processors.

Highlighting the power of paua

A short video highlighting Scion’s work on 3D-printed paua biocomposites, titled ‘Paua Power’, won the biobased products video challenge at the ECO-BIO 2016 conference held in Rotterdam, in March 2016. You can watch the video here:

Forester of the Year

Dr Brian Richardson, (former) General Manager Forest Science was awarded the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) Forester of the Year Award in August 2015, in recognition of his contribution to the forestry sector. The award recognises leadership, excellence and personal integrity, particularly where this demonstrates the character and strength of the forestry profession.

Brian has been with Scion for over 30 years. He says, “Probably the biggest change that’s happened in my time, was when the New Zealand Forest Service was abolished in the late ‘80s. Indigenous forests were handed to the newly formed DOC and a lot of the Crown planted forests were sold to the private sector.

“There’s more transformation to come with forestry well positioned to take advantage of forecast global fibre shortages, to underpin regional development and support climate change mitigation strategies, and a perfect complement to reduce the environmental footprint from other productive sectors."

Brian is the third scientist from Scion to receive the Forester of the Year award. 

Other staff achievements

  • John Lloyd received the Appita L R Benjamin Medal for his outstanding scientific/technological contribution to the development of the Australian and New Zealand pulp and paper industry. The annual award is designed to encourage technical excellence, innovation and achievement.
  • Scion’s Bioadhesives research programme, led by Dr Warren Grigsby, was assigned a Gold status by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), based on the information contained in the 2014-15 annual report. Gold status means the contract is performing above expectation.
  • Jamie Bridson received the Waikato University Halo Award.  This award is nominated by students to recognise great workplace supervisors.

New Zealand Forest Owners Association Awards 2015

Scion staff received three of five 2015 Forest Owners Association research awards for their contribution to forestry research:

  • Dr John Moore received the Communication and Sector Engagement Award for his work in identifying opportunities to improve productivity and the value of forests and engaging with large and small forest owners to communicate the key findings of his research.
  • Dr Eckehard Brockerhoff was awarded the Science of International Standing for his work to raise the international profile of the importance of biosecurity to New Zealand’s trade, economy and environment. 
  • Dr Annette Brockerhoff received the Contribution to a Science Team for the strong management support she has provided to the industry’s flagship research programme, Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future. This programme has the ambitious target of doubling forest productivity while maintaining sustainability and minimising environmental impacts.

Best Paper/Poster

Master’s student Echo Herewini won best student presentation at the Australian Plant Pathology Society Conference in Perth in September.

Scion’s Annual Staff Awards 2015

A number of high level of nominations were received for Scion’s annual staff awards, making for challenging decision making.

  • Research Leader for Advanced Chemical Characterisation, Dr Stefan Hill was awarded the inaugural Roger Newman Award for Excellence in Science. 
  • Scion Award for Customer Engagement went to Veronica Clifford
  • Scion Values Award for Ingenuity went to the DiscBot Scanner development team: Grant Emms; Mark Riddell; John Lee; Armin Thumm; Marcel van Leeuwen; Vicky Hodder; Russell McKinley; Brian Clement; Richard Dandoroff; Ben McDonald; Simon gey van Pittius; and John Moore.
  • Ian Simpson won the Scion Values Award for Collaboration
  • The Scion Values Award for Excellence went to Ruth Falshaw
  • Alan Leckie and Ross Anderson jointly won the Scion Values Award for Manaakitanga
  • The CEO Award went to Lloyd Donaldson.

Study awards

Ginny Christians was awarded the Frank Hutchinson Postgraduate Scholarship by the New Zealand Institute of Forestry Foundation in August. The Foundation was established by the NZIF in 2011 to advance education in relation to forestry. The $1000 scholarship will enable Ginny to further her research into the forestry supply chain. 

Jessica Kerr, senior entomology technician, received a Queen Elizabeth ll technicians’ study award to research forest health and path-way risk management in Canada.

Professional positions

Dr Carel Bezuidenhout was appointed an Associate of the University of Tasmania’s School of Biological Sciences.

Dr Stefan Hill became a member of the ISO workgroup for ‘Nanotechnologies – Characterisation of cellulose elementary fibril samples’ (ISO TC 229 JWG2). He is also a member of the Standards Australia Committee and Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committees (NT 001 01 02).

Principal Scientist Dr Tim Payn was appointed one of two Vice-Chairs on Future Earth’s Engagement Committee. The committee is a strategic advisory group that provides Future Earth with guidance on research collaboration and developing science that addresses the challenges facing global communities, which are central to the goals of Future Earth. He was also invited onto the Independent Science Panel (ISP) of the global CGIAR programme ‘Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security’ to represent Future Earth, a strategic partner of CCAFS. In addition, Tim was invited to join the International Advisory Committee of the new Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum. This forum is planning its first meeting in Australia in March 2017.

Human Factors Scientist Brionny Hooper was invited to join the Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand.

Political Scientist Peter Edwards became the deputy coordinator of IUFRO 9.05.01 European forest governance in an international perspective.

Dr Paul Bennett, Science Leader Clean Technologies, was appointed to the Board of the Bioenergy Association, and sits on the Royal Society expert panel on climate change mitigation.

Research Leader Dr Stephen Pawson was appointed to the science steering committee of the International Forest Quarantine Research Group for a 3-year renewable term.