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Honouring Ern

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Rutherford Awards

ECNZ Rutherford Awards


The Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, the old government electricity generation and distribution organisation, had built Rutherford House in Wellington as its headquarters. The ECNZ Rutherford Awards were awarded from 1991 until 1996 for achievements in combining technological innovation with the energy efficient use of electricity.. It was rather inappropriate but they were all set to go with a high profile presentation of the Edison Awards when they learned that they couldn't get permission to use the Edison name. That was a pity as Edison was the more appropriate name. To help them out of a hole the Rutherford family gave permission for them to use the Rutherford name. The prizes were good (two at NZ$20,000 each) and the trophies and the award ceremony were of a very high standard so both were worthy of the Rutherford name.

There were two awards annually, one for a new product which used electricity in an energy efficient manner, the other for a new process which used electricity in an energy efficient manner. The awards ceased in 1996. My memory is that ECNZ thought the awards had run their course and this was before ECNZ was broken up to deregulate the generation and distribution of electricity in New Zealand, at which time their headquarters building was sold.

1991 .
1992 Pat Bodger - Transflux Water Heater.
1993 Forest Research Instuitute - PAPRO research unit.
1994 Vega Industries - Light Navigation System.
1995 Works Filter Systems.
1996 Whisper Tech - Transportable Power System using the Stirling cycle.

The Royal Society Rutherford Lecturer

To be entered as time becomes available

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