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  • Position: Science Group Leader, Food & Bioproducts Technology, Plant & Food Research.
    Field: Chemistry.

    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.


    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 United Kingdom, 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 2009, Plant & Food Research.

    Over the last 30 years he has progressed to the position of senior scientist, research leader and now Science Group 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!


    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 was also on the Board of Trustees at the school which his children attended.

    This article is based on information current in 2007 and updated in 2018.

      Published 15 November 2007, Updated 19 July 2018 Referencing Hub articles
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