Dr John Hood HonFIPENZ

Dr John Hood is President and CEO of the New York-based Robertson Foundation. He is also a director of BG Group plc and chairman of Matakina Ltd, a New Zealand registered medical imaging software venture. Dr Hood was admitted as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford on 5 October 2004. In the course of his five year term, he was appointed a Business Ambassador by the British government and served on the DTI Advisory Board.

Before Oxford, Dr Hood was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland. He was also a Member of the Prime Minister’s Growth and Innovation Advisory Board and of the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Council; New Zealand Secretary for The Rhodes Trust; Trustee of the Asia 2000 Foundation; and a Governor and Trustee of the King’s School. Dr Hood has also been a Director of ASB Bank Limited and ASB Group and of the Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd and Chair of Tonkin & Taylor Ltd.

Dr Hood took a BE and a PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Auckland. He then came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to read for an MPhil in Management Studies.

Past Patron

Sir William H Pickering

The late Sir William Pickering was one of the world’s most eminent engineers. He had a BE in electrical engineering and a PhD in physics. In his very distinguished international career, he embodied values that are central to engineering, to IPENZ and to the Foundation. He achieved worldwide fame for his engineering achievements as the director of America’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when unmanned JPL spacecraft reached Venus, and then Mars.

Under Sir William’s direction JPL notched up many dramatic discoveries and technological achievements. Among them were the Explorer satellites, which discovered the Van Allen radiation belts; Pioneer II, America’s first probe to orbit the moon; and Ranger VII, the craft that first photographed the lunar surface.

Sir William was extremely generous with his time and energy during his many visits to New Zealand. He lent his name, energy and charisma as a speaker to supporting scientific and technological endeavour in many contexts. Canterbury University, where he began his studies, conferred on him an honorary doctorate.

“There’s something very special about being honoured in one’s original home,” he said in his 40-minute address, which was received with a standing ovation.