The award recognises Buckley’s lifetime of achievement in the technology industry in engineering, business and export.
BSL is the world’s leading supplier of precision electromagnets – used in the manufacture of silicon chips, flat-panel screens, high-end medical machinery and particle accelerators. The company supplies machinery used in the manufacture of more than 90 percent of the world’s silicon chips.
“It’s no good doing what anyone can do,” says Buckley on his work philosophy. “You have to go after the stuff that is too complicated for the average engineer so you can be Johnny on the spot when the demand hits.”
It’s no good doing what anyone can do. You have to go after the stuff that is too complicated for the average engineer so you can be Johnny on the spot when the demand hits
Hi-Tech Trust chairman Wayne Norrie says this philosophy led Buckley to create a company at the “very forefront of innovation globally”.
“I just work on what I have to everyday, trying to solve each problem as it comes up,” says Buckley as he accepts the award.
Asked what he would have done differently, he smiles “Try to find an easier job.”
As he puts it, one has to be “at the coalface all the time” and working out how to do things, like trying to find out why a “30-tonne magnet is not working”.
His previous awards include twice being named as New Zealand Trade Exporter of the Year and the NZ Order of Merit in 2013 for his services to technology, business and motorsport.
Buckley took an early interest in nuclear physics, and had established his first company in 1978.
In 1986, he set up Buckley Systems Ltd, eying a global market opportunity in the supply of precision electromagnets. The company now employs more than 300 people and is a global technology leader, exporting its products to customers around the world from its headquarters in Mount Wellington, Auckland.
Outside of work, Buckley is well known in the motor-racing community where he has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Western Springs Speedway. At work, he goes around the shop floor on a Segway.