Four leading academics awarded the title of Emeritus Professor

24 September 2020

Emeritus Professors
Left to right: Professor Ernie Kalnins, the Hon. Margaret Wilson, Vice-Chancellor Neil Quigley, Professor Peter Kamp

The University of Waikato has proudly awarded four academics, the Hon. Margaret Wilson, Peter Kamp, Ernie Kalnins and Anne McKim, with the title of Emeritus Professor for their exemplary work in their respective fields, as well as their outstanding contributions to the community.

With an impressive joint length of service at the University of Waikato of 150 years between the four Professors, each has been recognised for their respective contributions in the areas of Law, Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Literature.

The Hon. Margaret Wilson 

Professor Margaret Wilson is a public servant, an advocate for the rights of women, workers and Māori, a well-published academic and a significant driver of Te Piringa Faculty of Law students and graduates to success.

As a public servant, Professor Wilson has carried various titles. In the mid-1980s, she was the President of the Labour Party, the Director of the Reserve Bank and the New Zealand Law Commissioner. In 1999, she became a Labour MP and was responsible for a range of ministerial portfolios including Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister of Labour and Attorney General, where she oversaw the establishment of the Supreme Court and changes to relationship property law.

In between her Parliamentary roles, Professor Wilson taught at University of Auckland until moving to the University of Waikato in 1990, where she became the first woman in New Zealand to hold the position of both Dean and Professor of Law in Te Piringa Faculty of Law. She remained on the teaching staff until she moved into the public sphere in 1999 and returned following her Parliamentary career.

Her knowledge of employment law, constitutional law, law and public policy and human rights law and practice spans over her authorship of four books, two edited collections, over 30 book chapters and multiple reports and working papers.

Professor Peter Kamp 

Professor Peter Kamp joined the University as a Junior Lecturer in the Earth Sciences department in 1977. Throughout the course of his career, he served in a variety of senior roles including Professor, Associate Dean (Research) and Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Professor Kamp’s research has taken him from the Southern Alps to the Taranaki Basin, with side trips to Antarctica. For over 25 years he has established and led a number of substantial research groups, which played a pivotal role in attracting funding of almost $25 million.

He has authored and co-authored 125 refereed journal articles and book chapters, 28 conference proceedings papers and 19 technical reports.  Professor Kamp has been ranked in the top 1% of all researchers globally across all research fields, a metric database of almost 7 million researchers worldwide.

Professor Kamp was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from both the University of Waikato and from the KuDos Science Trust in 2017. In 2002 he was a recipient of the McKay Hammer Award, the most meritorious award of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand, and in 1992 he was a recipient of the Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Professor Ernie Kalnins 

Professor Ernie Kalnins joined the University in 1975 and was an esteemed member of the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences for 44 years. He was promoted to Personal Chair in Mathematics in 1994 and received a University of Waikato Lifetime Achievement Research Excellence Award in 2015 before retiring at the end of 2018.

Throughout his career, he has made significant and prolific contributions to his discipline, including research on black holes and the motion and interaction of subatomic particles, which has been celebrated to such an extent that a dedicated event called Kalnins Fest was held in Auckland in 2018. Sponsored by the University of Waikato, the University of Auckland and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, this conference brought together mathematical physicists from around the world to discuss his research.

Professor Kalnins has more than 160 publications listed on the internationally-recognised MathSciNet database, including two significant research monographs. He wrote a paper with Willard Miller Jr and Sarah Post which won the 2012 Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical Best Paper Prize. His winning paper was considered excellent in its novelty, achievement, potential impact and presentation.

Professor Kalnins was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1992 and awarded the New Zealand Mathematical Society Research Award in 2007. He’s received two Marsden Fund Grants - one in 1997 and one in 1999 - for research into special mathematical functions.

Professor Anne McKim 

Professor Anne McKim came to the University as a Junior Lecturer in 1981 and retires as a Professor of ten years’ standing.

Through her research and teaching, Professor McKim has made outstanding contributions to her field in medieval studies and eighteenth-century literature. Her edition of medieval minstrel Blind Harry’s The Wallace, published in 2008, is considered to be the definitive edition of the fifteenth-century epic poem about the life and deeds of Sir William Wallace.

Professor McKim has been a dedicated and focussed supervisor of Doctoral and Masters students, and an outstanding undergraduate teacher. Among her many service roles within the University, she was Chairperson of English, Acting Dean of the Humanities and Associate Dean (PBRF) for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2017 and 2018.

Outside her discipline, Professor McKim has also been an innovator in relation to teaching pedagogy, and in 2010 she co-edited Ethics in the Science and Technology Classroom: A New Approach to Teaching and Learning. In 2014 she co-edited a special issue of the Waikato Journal of Education on ‘Emergent learning and threshold concepts in tertiary education’. She has published influential articles and chapters on transforming classrooms into creative learning spaces, as well as on the important topic of adult literacy.

Professor McKim is receiving her award next week.

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