NZIP recognises excellence in Physics with two awards. The closing date for nominations is advertised well in advance before the biennial NZIP conferences, and should be sent to the appropriate email address below:

Dan Walls Medal Rutherford Trophy


Dan Walls Medal

This is presented annually to the physicist working in New Zealand for at least the past ten years and who is deemed to have made the greatest impact both nationally and internationally in his/her field of research.

  1. Nominations may be made by corporate members of the NZIP.
  2. Nominations should to be sent to the Secretary of the NZIP by the advertised date.
  3. Each nomination should include
    • a letter of support signed by three persons, all of whom must be corporate members of the NZIP;
    • the curriculum vitae of the nominee;
    • a list of the five best papers on which the nominee’s research contributions can be judged;
    • any other supporting material that the nominator believes might assist the reviewers.
  4. The NZIP Awards Committee (appointed by the NZIP Council) may decline to make an award if the appropriate standard is not achieved.
  5. An unsuccessful nomination will be considered by the Awards Committee for a further three years before it drops off the list. A new nomination cannot be made for a period of at least three years.
Rutherford Trophy

The Rutherford Trophy was established in 1973 by the Mathematics and Physics section of the RSNZ Christchurch Branch to stimulate the development and improvement of simple lecture and laboratory demonstrations.  The keynotes are simplicity and “the string and tape approach”.  The trophy is so named because of Rutherford’s emphasis on simple and clear demonstrations.

  1. Applications are invited from those who have developed demonstrations or similar that live up to the spirit of the award.
  2. Awards are made in odd years.
  3. A cheque of $200 will be presented to the winner of this award.

Applications need to be submitted in the form of a YouTube video. The nomination should include a link to this video and any other appropriate documentation. Enquiries in relation to your application can also be directed to the email address at the top of this page.

Previous recipients

Year Dan Walls Medal Rutherford Trophy
2019 Prof. Peter Schwerdtfeger  
2017 Prof. Howard J. Carmichael Dr John A. Campbell
2013 Prof. Matt Visser Howard Lukefahr
2011 Prof. Jeff Tallon  
2010 Prof. David Parry  
2008 Prof. Sir Paul Callaghan
(inaugural recipient)
Fred Johnson
2005   Suresh Chandra
2003   Bill Hayes
2001   P Hooper
1999   Derek Chirnside and Sue Napier
1997   L. A. Black and Graham Batcherlor
1993   T. A. Riddell
1992   A Steyn-Ross
1987   M. Bowling
1976   M. P. Fogden
1974   P. T. E. Woollaston
1973   E. R. Mangin and C. L. Miles