Chris Thomson

Independent Science Panel

Callaghan Innovation

Chris is a chartered professional engineer and a project management professional with experience in aerospace engineering, technology development, commercialisation and business strategy. He currently leads the Advanced Manufacturing technology group at Callaghan Innovation. Initially trained as an aircraft engineer with the RNZAF, Chris has previously held engineering and leadership roles at Air New Zealand, the Civil Aviation Authority, Altitude Aircraft Interiors and Vestas Wind Systems. Chris is passionate about Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision for New Zealand as a hub of smart, export-focused entrepreneurs, where a prosperous future is achieved through excellence in education and R&D. In 2016, Chris launched and led Callaghan Innovation’s first C-Prize innovation challenge and became the founding chair of the UAVNZ industry association. In 2017, Chris also helped establish “Lightning Lab Electric”, New Zealand’s first accelerator programme for the energy sector.