Colour x-ray inventor honoured in New Year Honours List

He is one of 15 University of Canterbury academic staff, former staff and alumni recognised in the 2022 New Year Honours List for their outstanding contribution across various fields.

During a stellar 50-year career, spent predominantly at the University of Canterbury (UC), Professor Butler is best known for leading the development of the MARS Bioimaging 3-D colour x-ray, a world-first breakthrough in medical technology.

Earlier in his career, he led the New Zealand team engaged with ground-breaking particle physics research at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) through the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. He later co-founded the National Science Technology Roadshow Trust and the Science Alive Charitable Trust in 1991, both promoting learning and careers in science and technology, and helped establish the Tekapo Dark Sky Reserve.

UC alumni are making a difference in New Zealand and internationally, in sectors as diverse as education, science, health, history, music and community development. Their careers are inspiring for current students because they show the possibilities of applying their qualifications to opportunities in their chosen field of expertise.

UC Engineering graduate David Brunsdon was made a CNZM for his services to engineering in New Zealand. He played a key role during the development of New Zealand’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) capability and was the USAR engineering leader following the Christchurch earthquakes.

A leading figure in plant breeding and agricultural science in New Zealand, UC alumni Dr Michael Dunbier was also made a CNZM. He shaped much of the development of research in New Zealand’s arable vegetable, floriculture and food industries.

Authors of the popular 2021 Canterbury University Press book Merchant, Miner, Mandarin: The life and times of the remarkable Choie Sew Hoy, and UC alumni, Jennifer and Trevor Agnew received Queen’s Service Medals (QSM) for services to historical research and the Chinese community, and services to children’s literacy and historical research respectively.

New Year Honours List 2022 list:

UC staff:

Professor Philip Howard Butler, of Christchurch. CNZM for services to science, education and health.

UC Alumni:

Mr David Ronald Brunsdon, of Paraparaumu. CNZM for services to engineering and emergency management.

Dr Michael William Dunbier, of Christchurch. CNZM for services to agricultural science.

Mr Lewis Vernon Sanson, NZAM, of Wanaka. QSO for services to conservation and public service.

Mr Peter James Simpson, of Woodend. ONZM for services to education.

Mrs Monica Stockdale, of Napier. ONZM for services to Māori health.

Mr Victor Thomas Walker, of Tolaga Bay. ONZM for services to the Māori community.

Ms Frian Percy Wadia, of Auckland. MNZM for services to disability and education.

Mrs Jennifer Agnew, of Christchurch. QSM for services to historical research and the Chinese community.

Mr Trevor Gordon Agnew, of Christchurch. QSM for services to children’s literacy and historical research.

Mr Aart Brusse, of Dunedin. QSM for services to music.

Mr David Dennis Hinman, of Christchurch. QSM for services to tramways and heritage.

Mrs Jillian Meryl Lord, of Christchurch. QSM for services to genealogy.

Mrs Jane Painter, of Whangarei. QSM for services to the community.

UC former staff:

Dr Kathleen Gaye Irwin, of Otaki. MNZM for services to Māori education.

Mr John Bowden Mackintosh, of Napier (also alumni). ONZM for services to the legal profession.

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