Uni recog­nises vast con­tri­bu­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

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

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

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