In what is stated to be an extraordinary achievement, a New Zealander scientist of Indian origin was decorated with an international award that would set a record of pride and dignity in this country.
Lincoln (Canterbury) based AgResearch Senior Scientist Dr Surinder Tandon received a Medal for his outstanding work from the Royal Chartered Textile Institute at its 88th World Conference held in Shah Alam, Capital city of the state of Selangor (near Kuala Lumpur) in Malaysia from May 15 to 17, 2012.
He became the second New Zealander and the first ‘Kiwi Indian’ to receive the award since it was established in 1921. The Medal is considered to be one of the most prestigious honours bestowed by the Institute to individuals for their distinguished services to the textile industry.
Mr Tandon has high credential in textile research and technology in a career that spans 23 years, which included his association with the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand and Canesis (an independent organisation dedicated to wool research and textile technology).
According to reports, Mr Tandon has applied his research skills culminating in many commercial success stories for wool grower groups and industry.
“These include several fit-for-purpose apparel and functional textiles.”
As a member of the Textile Institute’s New Zealand section and its Chairman between 2004 and 2007, he initiated and developed a number of collaborations with the other New Zealand textile professional groups, and fashion and design schools of several universities and polytechnics.
He has organised a number of joint events with these groups to exchange information and knowledge within the textile fraternity.
Mr Tandon’s social and community interests are manifest in his role as the Chair of the Christchurch Multicultural Council, as Chairman of the Christchurch Chapter of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin and as a member of the Rotary Club of Lincoln.