Position: Senior Scientist, Field: Chemistry, Place of Work: Plant & Food Research.

As part of his job Kevin ensures that laboratory experiments are carried out smoothly and efficiently, that the results are published scientific journals, industry technical publications and popular media; and that the highly technical laboratory equipment is properly maintained.

Job

Kevin is a Research Leader with Plant & Food Research. This means that he is responsible for designing, organising and managing Government and commercial research projects.

Scientists need to work with industry to maintain the relevance of their work...

Although he says he enjoys many aspects of his work, he particularly likes seeing how people with different expertise can work together to solve really big problems.

Career Pathway

Although he started university as a pre-medical student, he converted to a chemistry degree after his first year when he realised that he didn’t like cutting up dead animals in biology labs.

He went on to complete a Bachelor of Science with Honours in chemistry before going on to finish a PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Canterbury. This was followed by three years at Oxford University in the U.K., where he worked primarily on the construction of new organic molecules.

After returning to Christchurch, Kevin worked as a scientist for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), which eventually became Crop & Food Research, and then in December 2009 Plant & Food Research.

Over the last 19 years he has progressed to the position of senior scientist, then research leader. His main area of specialisation is the relationship between the chemistry of food components and the way that they function in food.

Kevin was still at high school when he decided he wanted to do something scientific or technical. Chemistry in particularly grabbed his attention, mainly because of the great teachers he had, but also because of the colour changes and explosions!

Interests

When Kevin isn’t working (being Research Leader means he generally works a 50 hour week) he enjoys photography, listening to music and watching movies. He is also on the Board of Trustees at the school which his children attend.

Published 15 November 2007