Uni recognises vast contribution
Aleader in the development of New Zealand’s internationally respected analytical testing industry has received the University of Waikato’s highest honour.
Dr Roger Hill, founder and managing director of Hamilton-based Hill Laboratories, has been awarded an honorary doctorate.
Hill Laboratories, which Dr Hill established in 1986, is now New Zealand’s largest privately-owned commercial laboratory with more than 250 employees.
‘‘The honour is in recognition of Dr Hill’s substantial contributions to the regional and national economy, and his services to science, to the University of Waikato and to the wider community,’’ University of Waikato vice-chancellor Professor Roy Crawford said.
‘‘Roger’s passion for adopting fundamental scientific discoveries for new analytical methods has created immeasurable benefits for New Zealand’s export industries and the environment.
‘‘In addition, he has been a strong supporter of the university, offering work placements to our students and employing many of our graduates.’’
Dr Hill trained as a chemist before setting up an agricultural and horticultural testing service in Hamilton East with his wife Anne.
Today, Hill Laboratories, has four divisions – agricultural, environmental, and food and bioanalytical, with a satellite laboratory in Christchurch and a sales office in Japan.
Dr Hill’s focus on developing new analytical methods has resulted in speedier, more accurate and cheaper analytical testing, and has aided the establishment of a reputable analytical industry in New Zealand.
His close ties with the University of Waikato over the past 30 years have led to a string of sponsored projects at MSc and PhD level.
Dr Hill has also directly sponsored university activities targeting secondary school students, including the annual Rotary Science Summer School, the Analytical Chemistry Competition and ChemQuest.
In addition, Dr Hill has long-standing links with the Department of Computer Science, where his drive, enthusiasm and backing has been a key factor in the success of a collaboration to develop leading-edge software for data mining applications.
He is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, and a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science.
ROGER HILL Photo: MARK HAMILTON