Professor Jim Metson

Professor Jim Metson

Emeritus Investigator

Phone: 09 373 7599 x83877

Postal Address:

School of Chemical Sciences
University of Auckland
PO Box 92 019
Auckland 1142


Professor Jim Metson graduated with PhD in Chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1980, before taking up a position at Surface Science Western, University of Western Ontario, Canada. He then moved to the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he has held several positions including a term as Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).  He is currently Head of the School of Chemical Sciences and an Associate Director of the Light Metals Research Centre.  His research interests are in materials and particularly surface science, with an emphasis on metal oxides and applications in the aluminium industry.

Associated Content


The Christmas Wrap

We’ve had another big year. We welcomed two new Deputy Directors Profs David Williams (UoA) and Alison Downard (UoC) (Shaun Hendy stepping down at the end of last year and Simon Brown at mid year). We also welcomed six new Principal Investigators (Natalie Plank (VUW), Cather Simpson (UoA), John Kennedy (GNS), Duncan McGillivray (UoA), Bernd […]


Our Stories: Jim Metson

It wasn’t so long ago that ministries didn’t have scientific advisers or if they did, they were in-house appointments, but in recent years such jobs have tended to go to those working outside the building – such as Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, or Dr Ian Ferguson, the […]


Success = People

By almost anyone’s definition the MacDiarmid Institute is a very successful research consortium of leading New Zealand scientists.  The success is achieved and maintained through the willingness of its members to participate in impactful science research in a collaborative vein.  But it is much more than that.  Our people deliver on the broader strategic aims […]


MBIE Appoints Chief Science Advisor

“Science and innovation are central components in the Government’s agenda to improve business productivity and the quality of life for New Zealanders, and underpin New Zealand’s economic success,” Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said.

 “As the Ministry responsible for science, we deliver policy and services that develop and support a high-performing science and innovation ecosystem. […]

Optoelectronic properties of nanoscale and advanced materials (Ruck, Trodahl, Reeves, LeRu, Metson, Williams)

Several members of the rare-earth nitride series are known to be magnetic semiconductors, and we will measure their electrical conductivity and photoconductivity at room temperature and in their low-temperature magnetic phase. The results will be interpreted in terms of modern band structure calculations, and in terms of models of the crystalline defects in the materials. […]

OPINION: A small, advanced economy?

  I BORROW this title from a Statistics New Zealand commentary, which points out that in terms of the title we are probably not so advanced, despite a regular programme of government-to-government meetings with these economies with which we might like to be compared. As Shaun Hendy and Paul Callaghan’s 2013 book Get off the […]

One person tells one person and so on and so on…

What starts a trend? What creates a habit? What defines a culture? What delivers more than at one time would have even been imagined? Our culture of excellence is driven by individuals who deliver outcomes beyond expectations. This, in turn, drives the desire to do even more, expect even more and ask others to do […]

Jim Metson – Access to the Tool Kit

Jim Metson’s into materials – particularly surface science with a key focus on metal oxides and applications for the aluminium industry. He’s an associate director of the Light Materials Research Centre at the University of Auckland, and Deputy Dean of Science. Jim characterises his early career as “we’re doing what we do until we figure […]

Chance Only Favours the Prepared Mind

Looking back at eleven years of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology   “When you’ve got the equipment, the expertise, and the space to think about problems in a different way, the research almost tells its own story.”   Popular culture delights in the concept of scientific serendipity: Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin after […]

Not Easy Technologies

  Jim Metson is a MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator based at the University of Auckland. I am currently spending a short period of leave at the Hydro Aluminium Research Centre at the Herøya (literally hare island) Industrial Park in Porsgrunn, Norway. The Research Centre is part of a much wider centre which covered all of […]

David and Goliath

  Jim Metson, Ashton Partridge, Richard Tilley and Shane Telfer formed part of a MoSRT-sponsored delegation to Japan in December 2007. Our brief was to explore collaborative opportunities between New Zealand and Japan in the field of nanotechnology. This builds on a bilateral cooperation MoU that was signed by MoRST and its Japanese counterpart in 2005. We visited […]

From the Surface to the Scientific Melting Pot

  Jim Metson doesn’t have to dig deep to achieve big changes. As a professor of chemistry at the University of Auckland and a Principal Investigator for the MacDiarmid Institute he’s involved in several research projects exploring different materials. But his focus is always on the surface. “People have different ideas about what a surface is,” he says. “Physicists tend to view a surface […]

The Coming of the Synchrotron!

  The end of an era is looming for many of Australia’s so-called “suitcase scientists”, but their colleagues in New Zealand should prepare to pack their bags for Melbourne. In less than four years, Australia will have its own synchrotron – a $NZ240 million science research tool that is becoming the “default” method of research […]