Board Chair January 2018 – present
Zealandia CEO


Paul is CEO of ZEALANDIA, a world-first fenced urban eco-sanctuary in Wellington. He is also a director of Ferronova Pty Ltd, a cancer diagnostics company developing magnetic probe and tracer systems for improved lymph node identification; and he chairs the board of directors of Mevo Ltd, New Zealand’s first electric car share company with the mission of bringing climate-positive on-demand mobility to urban New Zealanders. Paul also chaired the board of Boutiq Science Ltd, a nanomaterials spinout company, until the end of 2017.

Earlier roles have included CEO of the National Energy Research Institute, Director of Business Development for Izon Science Ltd, and General Manager of International Investments with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. In this latter role, Paul established the Foundation’s International Group, negotiating joint government research funding agreements with Korea and Japan, as well as research collaborations in the USA and Europe. He was a Director in the British Council for almost 20 years, and has worked in over 40 countries around the world.

Paul holds an MSc and has post-graduate qualifications in both business and marketing management. He is a Chartered Physicist and member of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and, until late 2015, was inaugural Chair of the New Zealand Smart Grid Forum and Vice-chair of the IEA’s Demand-side Implementing Agreement.


Will Charles


Board Member July 2016 – present
General Manager – Tech Dev, UniServices
University of Auckland

Will Charles has been General Manager Technology Development since 2005. During this time UniServices has transacted over 165 licensing deals, started 30 companies and raised over $50 million in venture and seed funding for these companies, and has successfully exited a number of these. He set up the TransTasman Commercialisation Fund, a A$30 million seed fund with four Australian Universities and sat on the Investment Committee of the fund. He is a director of a number of start-up companies. He also set up and is responsible for the direction of Return on Science which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Economic Development’s Commercialisation Partner Network. He has been a speaker at a number of international Technology Transfer events including the Association of Technology Managers in the US (AUTM) and BioEurope. Previously, Will has had extensive senior commercial experience in businesses in Europe, Asia and New Zealand where he has held executive positions at a number of companies including Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Celltech and Wolters Kluwer.


Board Member 2010 – present


Don Cleland is Professor of Process Engineering and Head of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North. He has been based at Massey University for 25 years. He is currently Vice-President of the Science and Technology Council of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and is the immediate past-Chair of the NZ National Committee of the IIR. He is a trustee of the NZ Robotics Charitable Trust and a member of the Board of the Manawatu Cricket Association.  


Board Member July 2012 – present
GNS Science

Dr Ian Graham completed a BSc with first class honours in geology at the University of Otago in 1977, a MMinTech at the Otago School of Mines in 1978, and a PhD in geology at Victoria University in 1985. As an isotope geochemist and geochronologist, Dr Graham has for the past 27 years been involved in wide-ranging research on subjects as diverse as volcanism, chronostratigraphy, climate change, basement geology, concrete manufacture, geothermal energy, mineral resources, and nuclear physics. In late 2008 Ian changed his role from Principal Scientist and leader of the Mineral Wealth programme, to that of Director Research at GNS Science in Lower Hutt.  


Board Member March 2015 – present
Pro Vice Chancellor Science
University of Canterbury

Professor Wendy Lawson is the Pro Vice Chancellor of Science at the University of Canterbury. She is a glaciologist with a passion for fieldwork, and more than 30 years of experience of remote fieldwork in polar and alpine environments, including in Greenland, Svalbard, Alaska and Arctic Norway – as well as Antarctica. Her previous roles include Dean of Science and Head of Department of Geography at the University of Canterbury, and as an academic at the University of Auckland. She has a range of academic and Crown sector strategic science sector governance experience, including Ministerial appointments as a Board Director of NIWA and of Antarctica New Zealand. Her PhD is from the University of Cambridge, and her most recent qualification, awarded in 2008, is a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Administration from the University of Warwick Business School. One of her career highlights of which she is most proud is the naming of stream in Antarctica – Lawson Creek – in her honour in 1995.  


Board Member June 2017 – present
General Manager Sectors
Maori Economy and Programmes Callaghan Innovation



Board Member June 2017 – present
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
University of Otago



Board Member September 2010 – present
Managing Director
VicLink Ltd

Dr Geoff Todd is currently CEO of Trinity Bioactives Ltd, a biotech services company and aside from Trinity am on the Boards of Im-Able Ltd (medical devices), VicLink Ltd (VUW), and Upper Hutt Health Centre (Primary care). He has worked in the field of commercializing technology since the mid 1980’s over a range of organizations, in particular IRL and been a direct participant in 5 new technology based company start ups.  


Board Member January 2014 – present
Pro Vice Chancellor
Victoria University of Wellington

Pro Vice-Chancellor & Dean Faculty of Science Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Engineering Pro Vice-chancellor Faculty of Architecture & Design Victoria University of Wellington Professor Michael Wilson has a first-class degree in Natural Science from Cambridge University and a PhD in Physics, specialising in computational astrophysical fluid dynamics. He worked for many years at the University of Leeds, progressing from research fellow to Professor of Applied Mathematics. In 2001 Professor Wilson became Head of the School of Mathematics at Leeds and, in 2005, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Science.  He took up the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor of Science, Engineering and Architecture and Design and Dean of Science at Victoria University in July 2013. Over the course of his career, Professor Wilson’s research interests have included astrophysics, computational mathematics, industrial mathematics and computer-aided geometric and functional design. He has worked with international research partners from both industry and academia, with projects covering a wide variety of disciplines from aeronautical engineering to medicine.  


Ex-officio Board Member May 2018 – present
The MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director 
University of Auckland



Ex-officio Board Member May 2018 – present
The MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director 
Victoria University of Wellington


Franck Natali


Ex-officio Board Member January 2018 – present
The MacDiarmid Institute Deputy Director Stakeholder Engagement
Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Franck Natali is a Senior Lecturer in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. Franck completed his BSc and MSc degrees in electronic engineering at the University of Bordeaux (France) and his PhD in Physics at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France). Since that time, most of his research has centered around nanotechnology, applied physics and materials science with interests in bridging the gap between fundamental research and technological applications. He is passionate to investigate how new classes of materials can contribute to the development of new markets and emerging technologies in electronics, solid-state lighting applications, gas sensors and catalysis. Franck has been an investigator within the MacDairmid Institute since 2011 and brings experience from both private and public sectors, having led cross-sector international collaborations across Europe and New Zealand.


Ex-officio Board Member January 2018 – present
The MacDiarmid Institute Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement
University of Auckland

Dr Geoff Willmott grew up in Auckland and studied at the University of Cambridge, obtaining a PhD in shock physics in 2005. The following year he returned to New Zealand and Industrial Research Limited, where he worked in the Nano and Micro Fluidics team for 8 years, before joining the University of Auckland in 2013. Geoff has collaborated with industrial partners including Qinetiq, de Beers and Izon Science, and has previously worked in management consultancy. He currently leads the Institute’s “Bionano/Nanobio and Soft Matter” Theme and was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in 2012.