The 2013 Pickering Lecture Bright Spark Highlights.

Neville Jordan, an electrical engineer and Wellingtonian of the Year revealled how he went from cleaning sewers in Petone as a teenager to creating million-dollar business deals, in the free Pickering Llecture series.

After initially started his company MAS Technologies in his mother's house, Neville and his staff grew it to become a multinational business which was the first New Zealand company llisted on the NASDAQ stock exchange. MAS and its successor companies have earned over $1 billion in net foreign exchange for New Zealand. 

"Looking ahead to the next 50 years, it is young people who will make major contributions to society with science and engineering innovation. This will determine our general prosperity, says Neville, a Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ.

The Pickering public lecture series, hosted annually by IPENZ Branches, aims to stimulate interest in engineering matters in the community. The free public lectures are named in honour of Dr William Pickering (1910–2004), a Wellington-born engineer, scientist and leading light in the United States space programme

Neville, also an acclaimed engineer, toured the country talking about his early work, which changed telecommunications around the country. He also encouraged others to spot and develop new technology.

His innovative thinking continues today by spoting ground-breaking science and technology and as a venture capitalist investing in others to help improve lives around the world.

View the full Pickering lecture video in the IPENZ members area



1997 Governor General’s Supreme Award for Exporting
1999 Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
2004 Inducted into NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame as the year’s ‘Flying Kiwi’
2006 Laureate, NZ Business Hall of Fame
2009 Premier ‘Wellington Icon’ at Wellington Gold Awards
2012 DomPost ‘Wellingtonian of the Year’

Other Achievements

  • Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ and Trustee of the IPENZ Foundation. Established the Jordan Foundation in 1995 to provide higher learning scholarships, particularly for the disadvantaged.
  • Royal Society of New Zealand Past President – the first engineer in 135 years to hold this position.
  • Chaired and served on many Australian and New Zealand government committees; six years as a director of AgResearch; three years each on the boards of FRST, the Prime Minister's Growth and Innovation Advisory Board and Antarctic Heritage Trust. Chaired the taskforce reviewing Crown Research Institutes; and member of the team that negotiated the science portion of NZ's free trade agreement with China.
  • Judge and mentor for city and university business school competitions, and mentor of young university researchers.
  • Honorary Captain in the Royal NZ Navy; supporter of the performing arts, and sportsman - NZ Universities judo representative, scuba diving instructor, offroad motorcyclist, rallied a 1922 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, and completed over 20,000 miles of ocean yacht racing.