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Professor Jim Johnston

Professor Jim Johnston

Emeritus Investigator

+64 4 463 5334

School of Chemical & Physical Sciences
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140


Professor Jim Johnston has a Personal Chair in Chemistry in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.

His research programmes are positioned at the university-industry interface and are concerned with the innovative development of new materials and nanofunctionalised materials and new chemical process technologies. They include the use of nanogold and nanosilver are used as unique colourfast colourants and provide antimicrobial functionality on NZ wool for high value fashion apparel, upholstery textiles and carpets for international luxury markets; nano-structured calcium silicate products and their industry applications; enhanced energy recovery from geothermal waters; and the use of wet air oxidation for treating organic waste streams.

This has resulted in two new start up companies: Noble Bond Ltd to commercialize the nanogold and nanosilver wool technologies and products internationally, and Wetox Ltd to commercialize the wet air oxidation technology. He has published 140 research papers and is the inventor on 15 patents.

Professor Johnston’s successes in the research and development and application of these innovative science and technology programmes have been recognised by him being awarded of the following prizes:

  • 2007 NZ Institute of Chemistry “Industrial Chemistry Prize"
  • 2008 Wellingtonian of the Year 2008 (Science and Technology)
  • 2009 The Bayer Innovation Award (Research and Development)
  • 2011 Named one of New Zealand’s “40 Farm Thinkers”
  • 2011 Victoria University of Wellington Research Excellence Award

Our long-term goal is to establish new export manufacturing industries in New Zealand and to provide new products and technologies to local and international industries. We work closely with industry and our various research projects are largely funded by industry and MBIE research grants.

Professor Jim Johnston
Professor Jim Johnston

In the news

News Article

MI Investigators successful in MBIE Endeavour Round 2016 & Smart Ideas

October 18, 2016

12 of our Investigators were successful in MBIE 2016 Endeavour Round and are involved in both Smart Ideas and Research Programmes.

Read more about MI Investigators successful in MBIE Endeavour Round 2016 & Smart Ideas