NERC Impact Awards 2015 - Shortlisting panel

Nick BeecroftManager of emerging risks & research, Lloyd's of London

Nick joined Lloyd's in 2014; his team is responsible for the identification and assessment of emerging risks. Nick previously worked as a project manager at Catlin Group. He also completed 12 years' service in the Royal Air Force.

Dr Debbie Buckley-GolderHead of research engagement, Technology Strategy Board

Debbie is the Technology Strategy Board's Head of Research Engagement, with responsibility for developing and managing the Board's relationships across the UK research organisations and funding bodies and enhancing the mechanisms for commercialisation of academic research and business engagement with the research base.

Debbie graduated in physics from Durham University, followed by a DPhil from Oxford University Materials Department funded through a CASE Award with ICI Corporate Laboratory, in Runcorn, studying the factors affecting the adhesion of surface coatings in industrial applications. She followed her studies by working for a period in the corporate research laboratories of Metal Box Ltd, but subsequently has spent the largest part of her career to date working in the public and private sector on energy and environmental technology analysis, advising UK and European government on technology research investment, policy development, analysis and implementation. Whilst working for AEA Technology plc, Debbie progressed to senior management positions, including as Technical Director for the National Environmental Technology Centre and Operations Director of a key business unit within the company, providing services to clients on safety, environment and business risk management.

Building on her experience of working at the interface between business, academia and government, Debbie joined the Technology Strategy Board in 2010 as Head of Knowledge Exchange, with responsibility for the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Programme (KTP) and the Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs). In September 2013, Debbie moved to her current role as the Technology Strategy Board's Head of Research Engagement.

From 2006-2010 Debbie was a visiting Industrial Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Debbie is a member of the NERC Knowledge Exchange Advisory Board and the Advisory Board for the Lancaster University Centre for Global Eco-Innovation. For ten years Debbie was on the Board and Deputy Chair of Governors of a school for children with special educational needs and continues to maintain a close personal interest.

Dr Peter CostiganIndependent consultant

Peter has a first degree in Biology and a PhD in land reclamation. Following 12 years of research on soil and crop science in the public and private sector, Peter joined the UK Ministry of Agriculture in 1991 and managed the Ministry's Agri-Environment science for 12 years. In 2003 Peter moved to the Environment and Rural policy group in Defra where he oversaw Defra's evidence on a wide range of environmental issues, and was Head of the Natural Environment Science Division and the Science Coordinator for the Environment. He was particularly involved in developing the evidence base to support the Ecosystem Approach. He represented Defra on the Client Group of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, and was Chair of the UK Biodiversity Research Advisory Group. He was also a member of NERC's National Capability Advisory Group. Since retiring from Defra in 2012, Peter has acted as an impact assessor on Panel B of HEFCE's Research Excellence Framework, has chaired the Impact Panel for the Evaluation of NERC Centres and is an Associate Editor of Soil Use and Management.

Dr Helen CzerskiResearch fellow, University College London and BBC presenter

Helen is a physicist, oceanographer and broadcaster with a passion for science, sport, books, creativity, hot chocolate and investigating the interesting things in life. She currently works at UCL (University College London) in London, and is a science presenter for the BBC.

Helen graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 with a first in Natural Sciences (Physics), and then was awarded a PhD in experimental explosives physics at Cambridge in 2006. During this time she also worked at the University of Toronto in Canada and Los Alamos National Laboratory in the USA. A continuing fascination with the world of very fast small-scale phenomena led her from explosives to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and the study of bubbles. After time spent at the Graduate School of Oceanography in Rhode Island and three years at the University of Southampton, she joined UCL in December 2013.

Helen's research topic is the bubbles underneath breaking waves in the open ocean, and the contribution that these bubbles make to air-sea gas exchange and aerosol production. She is currently supported by a NERC fellowship.

Dr David GibbonsHead of the Centre for Conservation Science, RSPB

I am Head of the RSPB's Centre for Conservation Science, and for the last fifteen years have been responsible for leading the RSPB's scientific programme, both in the UK and internationally. My role is to develop the strategic direction for RSPB's science, and to ensure that its policies and practices are evidence-based. I undertook my PhD in the Zoology Department of Cambridge University, and a post doc at the Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat in the Camargue, and at the Edward Grey Institute, University of Oxford. I subsequently worked for the British Trust for Ornithology for seven years before joining the RSPB. I am a former Chairman of the European Birds Census Council, a member of the Steering Committee of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (that is currently constructing a conservation campus in the heart of the University), and Vice-Chairman of the Bat Conservation Trust, UK's leading bat conservation organisation.



Dr Phil HeadsAssociate director, strategy & impact, NERC

Phil is currently responsible for NERC strategy and spending review plans, and the impact evidence that informs them, working closely with NERC's parent department in government, BIS.

A major challenge for researchers and government is to develop robust and compelling evidence of the economic and societal benefits ('impacts') that flow from NERC and other public investment in research and innovation. Phil's team work with researchers, users, Research Councils UK, HEFCE, Innovate UK, BIS and others to develop the evidence that informs NERC and government policy and investment in research and innovation.

Prior to his current role, Phil held senior manager and director roles in NERC science, innovation and corporate change management. Before joining NERC he managed the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College. Phil has a PhD in ecology and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Professor David HoggPro-vice-chancellor for research & innovation, University of Leeds

David Hogg is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Leeds. He is responsible for promoting the University's research agenda, developing opportunities, encouraging regional, national, and international collaborations, and working with faculties to develop effective structures and infrastructure for the support of research. Innovation and impact is an integral part of this responsibility, ensuring that the University's research benefits society and the economy.

He is Co-Director of the N8 High Performance Computing Facility, a director of Medilink (Yorkshire and Humber) Ltd, and Chair of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for ICT.

David is a computer scientist with research interests in the areas of computer vision and artificial intelligence. He has twice been head of the School of Computing and was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Communications and IT from 2000-2004. He has been a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab and is a Fellow of ECCAI and IAPR, and the 2011 Distinguished Fellow of BMVA.

Professor Georgina MaceHead of the Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, University College London

Professor Georgina Mace is Head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London. Her research interests are in the assessment of extinction risk and measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and change. She led the process to develop, test and document criteria for listing species on IUCN's Red List of threatened species, and subsequently worked on the biodiversity elements of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the technical development of measures for the CBD 2010 target. She recently contributed to the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and the IPCC 2014, and is a member of NERC Council and of the Government's Natural Capital Committee. She was awarded a CBE in 2007, elected FRS in 2002, and was the 2007 winner of the international Cosmos prize. She has been President of the British Ecological Society (2011-2013), President of the Society for Conservation Biology (2007-2009) and Chair of the international programme on biodiversity science DIVERSITAS (2012-2014).

Dr Sarah MacnaughtonSenior consultant, Isis Innovation Ltd

A senior consultant at Isis Enterprise- the consulting division of Isis Innovation, since 2006, Sarah has extensive experience in innovation strategy development and reviews, interim management, commercialisation training, and in technology commercialisation - focused on the environment sector. Sarah has worked with: the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Cranfield University, The Carbon Trust, and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), where she has held several interim management roles in the agricultural, food service and supply chain sectors. Her international customers range across the EU, Singapore and South Africa. Sarah's PhD was in Microbial Ecology at the University of Newcastle in 1992. After three years in post-doctoral research at Newcastle she became the senior researcher at a US environmental analysis business. Following this she joined the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Tennessee before moving back to the UK in 2000 to join AEA Technology Environment. At AEA Technology Sarah worked on a number of projects including research into bioremediation, strategy development for the UK's Environmental Research Sector Funders, and was part of the management team for the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme.

Nathan RichardsonDirector, Atkins Water & Environment

Dr Nathan Richardson is a biologist who has been working in the water sector for over 20 years. He is a Director in Atkins leading the water resources, water quality and water environment business. Nathan also chairs the Futures initiative at Atkins which supports thought leadership around understanding and addressing some of the major environmental challenges we face in the future.

Ian SimmChief executive, Impax Asset Management

Ian Simm is the Founder and Chief Executive of Impax Asset Management, which manages ca. US$4bn on behalf of institutional investors worldwide and invests exclusively in the clean energy and resource efficiency markets. He is also a member of the Natural Environment Research Council, the UK government's main agency for funding research in the environmental sciences, and a member of the steering committee of the Low Carbon Finance Group. Prior to Impax, Ian was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. He has a first class honours degree in physics from Cambridge University and a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Professor Richard WhitehouseTechnical director, HR Wallingford

Dr Whitehouse is a geomorphologist and Chartered Geographer, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (London, UK) and received a BSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of London. At present he is Technical Director with the independent company HR Wallingford Ltd responsible for consultancy and research studies drawing on his 25 years experience in the application of sediment transport research to coastal and maritime engineering projects. He is the author of the book Scour at Marine Structures (Thomas Telford, 1998) and co-author of Dynamics of Estuarine Muds (Thomas Telford, 2000). Dr Whitehouse is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Waterway, Port and Ocean Engineering (American Society of Civil Engineers) and member of the international committee TC-213 on Scour and Erosion. He has authored more than 50 research papers and reports, provides training in techniques for assessing marine scour, speaks at international conferences and has undertaken both supervision and examination of PhD level studies.