Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
Dr Linda Wright, Mohsin Ijaz and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie image

From left, New Zealand Hydrogen Council CEO Dr Linda Wright, PhD candidate Mohsin Ijaz and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie.

Otago PhD candidate Mohsin Ijaz feels “very honoured” to have been named as a Future Hydrogen Leader at the inaugural Aotearoa Hydrogen Awards recently.

Dr Linda Wright, CEO of the New Zealand Hydrogen Council, says the organisation received 32 nominations across six award categories, and all were of a high calibre.

“The Future Hydrogen Leader Award, one of only two personal awards, was won by Dr Ijaz for his research in the field of converting solar energy into hydrogen,” Dr Wright says.

“Dr Ijaz specifically studied the ways in which metallic nanostructures absorb light, showing how this absorption and subsequent light-inducted production of hydrogen could be made more efficient, and at a lower cost.”

Ijaz, who completed his PhD through the Department of Physics in August this year, says he was happy to see his research being positively endorsed at such a high level.

“This has certainly boosted my confidence to do more creative work in the future.”

His research focused on finding a way to convert solar energy into clean and green hydrogen. He also looked at ways to enhance the solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency by incorporating metallic nanostructures into the systems.

Ijaz is looking forward to graduating this coming December, having had his thesis added to the Dean’s Exceptional Theses list.

Mohsin Ijaz pounamu

Ijaz holding the intricately carved pounamu.

In the meantime, he has started working within the Science System Investment and Performance branch of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“This is to have a short break from academia and gain more experience on how the science system is funded in New Zealand,” he says.

In addition to a certificate, Ijaz took home an intricately carved taonga, made from pounamu, which can be displayed on a small stand or worn around the neck.

Dr Wright says the taonga was carved by the prestigious Sands Carving Studio in Hamilton.

“Each have been designed to be displayed or worn. Dr Ijaz will pass on his intricately carved taonga to the next recipient, creating a whakapapa imbued with a mana of a growing list of people of high achievement.

“I would like to congratulate Dr Ijaz on his commitment to New Zealand’s decarbonisation, and I look forward to celebrating further success at next year’s awards as the hydrogen industry in New Zealand continues to evolve and makes its impact felt around the world,” she says.

Other award winners were:

Innovation Excellence Award – Emirates Team New Zealand

Industry Impact Award – Halcyon Power

Hydrogen Transport Award – H.W. Richardson Group

Our People Award – Tuaropaki Trust

Person of the Year Award – Sir Stephen Tindall

Back to top