Lincoln University researchers recognised in Royal Society Te Apārangi awards

18 November 2021 | News

Three Lincoln University researchers have been named in the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s 2021 Research Honours Aotearoa Awards.

Honouring outstanding work in science, the awards celebrate the achievements of researchers, scholars and innovators throughout New Zealand who have strived for and realised excellence in their specific disciplines.

The three Lincoln University researchers named in the 2021 honours are acknowledged for research work of the highest calibre, including outcomes that have highly significant and successful real-world applications.

Their achievements illustrate the University’s critical role in advancing education and research and developing innovative technologies that will help solve the grand challenges facing land-based sectors in Aotearoa and beyond.

The 2021 Research Honours Aotearoa Awards will be presented at an event hosted by Royal Society Te Apārangi in February or March 2022, COVID-19 permitting.

The three Lincoln University researchers named in the 2021 honours are:

Emeritus Professor Keith Cameron – awarded the 2021 Pickering Medal

Professor Hong Di – awarded the 2021 Pickering Medal

Professor Richard McDowell – awarded the 2021 Hutton Medal


Emeritus Professor Keith Cameron and Professor Hong Di

Department of Soil and Physical Sciences

The Pickering Medal

Professors Keith Cameron and Hong Di have been awarded the Pickering Medal by the Royal Society Te Apārangi for the invention of ClearTech.

Professors Cameron and Di developed ClearTech, a breakthrough effluent treatment technology, in conjunction with commercial partner Ravensdown.

The system uses a coagulant to bind effluent colloidal particles together in order to settle them out from the water. This clarifying process reduces freshwater use, helps existing effluent storage go further and reduces the environmental and safety risk linked with farm dairy effluent (FDE).

Launched to market by Ravensdown in 2019, the development of ClearTech is a landmark demonstration of Lincoln University researchers collaborating with industry partners to deliver innovative new technologies with immediate and far-reaching benefits for dairy farmers in Aotearoa.

Past awards

Professor Keith Cameron was the establishment head for the Centre for Soil and Environmental Research at Lincoln University in 1995 and Professor Hong Di is Professor of Soil and Environmental Science at Lincoln University. Both were appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008 for services to agricultural research in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. They are both Fellows of the Royal Society Te Apārangi of New Zealand, the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences and the New Zealand Society of Soil Science.

Pickering Medal

The Pickering Medal is awarded annually to a person or team who, while in New Zealand, has through design, development or invention performed innovative work the results of which have been significant in their influence and recognition both nationally and internationally, or which have led to significant commercial success.

Royal Society Te Apārangi media release.

Professor Richard McDowell

Department of Soil and Physical Sciences

The Hutton Medal

Professor Richard McDowell has been awarded the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s oldest medal, the Hutton Medal, for his outstanding contributions to the knowledge of contaminant losses from land to water, and for informing environmental policy.

Professor McDowell is best known for showing how contaminants are lost from land to water, and for developing management practices to mitigate those losses. He has applied this approach to inform policy, and has contributed immensely to strategies used in Aotearoa and globally to mitigate contaminant losses to water.

His keystone research work has contributed significantly to Lincoln University’s role in shaping public policy and exemplifying sustainable practices for the land-based sector.

Past awards

Professor Richard McDowell has received numerous international and New Zealand awards for his contributions to land and water science, including the USDA-ARS distinctions for outstanding research, OECD fellowships and the New Zealand Society of Soil Science’s top awards: the Norman Taylor and ML Leamy awards in recognition of contributions to New Zealand soil science and impact. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science and Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Professor McDowell also holds the position of Principal Scientist at AgResearch and is Chief Scientist for the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, where he leads a team of approx. 200 scientists in improving land and water quality.

Hutton Medal

The Hutton Medal is awarded annually for animal sciences, earth sciences, or plant sciences, to the researcher who, working within New Zealand, has significantly advanced understanding through work of outstanding scientific or technological merit.

Royal Society Te Apārangi media release.


For more information on research being undertaken at Lincoln University, visit the Research@Lincoln website.

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