Watson to drive strategy at UK Energy Research Centre
EPSRC / NERC / UKERC press release
12 October 2012
Professor Jim Watson, a distinguished research academic who has overseen over 25 research projects in the last ten years, has been appointed to the post of Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
Currently Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, Professor Watson has a well respected record of research and policy advice in the field of energy systems. He has served as specialist advisor to Parliamentary Select Committees, was previously Chair of the British Institute for Energy Economics, and holds a number of public and private sector advisory positions.
Professor Watson will be responsible for leading and coordinating UKERC's research programme, working closely with the researcher community, stakeholders and partners. He will also play a key role in defining the Centre's strategy, structure, and programmes for its next phase beyond the current funding period, which ends in 2014.
John Loughhead, Executive Director of UKERC said, "We are all extremely pleased to have Jim move into this key position for UKERC. His research has already made a major contribution to our work, and his vision for the future will be the core of our planning. I look forward enormously to working closely with him."
Professor Watson said, "I am delighted to have the opportunity to become Research Director of UKERC, an organisation that has a strong and growing national and international reputation for policy relevant, interdisciplinary energy research. I look forward to working with the UKERC community to build on UKERC's achievements to date - and to successfully secure funding for a new phase of research beyond 2014."
David Delpy, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said, "The direction of energy research and policy over the coming years is going to be vitally important in addressing the UK's energy needs and the global challenges we face in the shape of climate change and sustainability. Jim Watson's role will be a pivotal one and EPSRC welcomes his appointment."
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) manages the UKERC award on behalf of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme.
NERC Chief executive, Duncan Wingham, said, "The need to develop sustainable future energy systems that produce energy whilst reducing environmental impacts is high on the UK Government's agenda. Jim Watson is now ideally placed to drive forward the UKERC research agenda, examining and informing the UK policies which encourage investment in energy technologies and lead to job creation."
Professor Watson has also managed projects with broad collaborative groups from within the UK and also other countries, including India and China.
The appointment follows a public call for applications which attracted responses from the UK and internationally, and a selection process involving UKERC Directors, the Research Councils, and an independent, the Chair of UKERC's Advisory Board.
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The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change.
The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via research Councils UK.
The Natural Environment Research Council is the UK's main agency for funding and managing world-class research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. It coordinates some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, food security, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on earth, and much more. NERC receives around £300m a year from the government's science budget, which it uses to fund research and training in universities and its own research centres.
UK Energy Research Centre
The UK Energy Research Centre, which is funded by Research Councils UK, carries out world-class research into sustainable future energy systems. It is the hub of UK energy research and the gateway between the UK and the international energy research communities. Our interdisciplinary, whole-systems research informs UK policy development and research strategy.
Research Councils UK Energy Programme
The Research Councils UK Energy Programme aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy Programme is investing more than £625m in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. Led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council the Energy Programme brings together the work of EPSRC and that of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Press release: 26/12
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