Craig Hilton

National Academic Director

Craig is our 21st century ‘Renaissance’ man, equally at home and phenomenally qualified in the realms of art and science, with a keen interest in higher education and technology. Yet despite his intimidating list of academic achievements, he’s totally relatable and will always take the time to sit with anyone who wants to shoot the breeze on science, technology, the arts, the environment and anything else that comes up. If time travel was feasible, Craig would take full advantage and use it to meet Charles Darwin. That conversation would be one to be a fly on the wall for.

Drawn to the intersections between science and other disciplines Craig believes that a significant component of our civilization’s future depends on the genomic revolution - where biotechnology will enable humans to restructure health, agriculture, medicine to improve our quality of life and reduce the impacts of chronic diseases, both in ourselves and the natural environment. Although he is also very sensitive to the ethical implications, and is a big reason why all programmes designed for The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab include measured ethical considerations.

If you like big conversations, track Craig down for one, you’ll come away with your mind stretched in several directions. 

In his role as National Academic Director for The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab, Craig is instrumental in ensuring best in class academic quality and keeps everyone in check with regulatory requirements from education bodies such as the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and NZQA. 

On a day to day basis, Craig is never far from Hayley Sparks our National Academic Manager, Fee Webby our GM or Frances Valintine, our CEO. 

The champion of The Mind Lab and Tech Futures Lab teaching and learning strategy Te Ara Kōtihi (the pathway to success), Craig is dedicated to ensuring students are supported through their learning journey with collaborative advice, industry connection yet the agency to bring themselves to the programme and achieve the vision they have for themselves, their workplace or their community.

Craig is also a subject matter expert on biotechnology, and introduces students on the Master of Technological Futures to how this technology provides a platform for disruption and change.

Before joining The Mind Lab, Craig held research fellowships with the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Harvard Medical School (where he was also a paediatric oncologist) and the University of Massachusetts. He is a member of a number of arts and education boards and forums, including the Leonardo Education and Arts Forum (LEAF) and the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand.

Academic achievements:

  • PhD and MSc in Biochemistry, University of Otago
  • BScHons-1stClass, University of Otago
  • MFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland
  • Certificate in Higher Education, Unitec

Connect with Craig on LinkedIn