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EPSRC announces new Council Members

Issue date:
25 April 2012
Press release 
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Three new members have been appointed to the Council of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts MP.

The new members are:

The appointments are with effect from 1 April 2012 and will run until 31 March 2016.

EPSRC Chair Dr Paul Golby, said: "I am very happy to be able to welcome our three newest council members. Their knowledge and experience will undoubtedly add to an EPSRC Council that is already strong and rich in talents. The breadth of academic and business skills will help us and the scientific communities address the major challenges facing the UK."

Professor Andrew Blake

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Professor Andrew Blake

Andrew Blake is a Microsoft Distinguished Scientist and the Managing Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge. He joined the company in 1999 as a Senior Researcher to found the Computer Vision group, becoming Deputy Managing Director at the lab in 2008 before assuming his current position 2010.

Andrew trained in mathematics and electrical engineering at Cambridge and studied for a doctorate in Artificial Intelligence in Edinburgh. He was an academic for 18 years, latterly a Professor at Oxford University, where he was a pioneer in the development of the theory and algorithms that can make it possible for computers to behave as seeing machines.

He has published several books and has twice jointly won the prize of the European Conference on Computer Vision and was jointly awarded the IEEE David Marr Prize in 2001.

He holds the Royal Academy of Engineering's Silver Medal and the Institution of Engineering and Technology's Mountbatten Medal (previously awarded to computer pioneers Maurice Wilkes and Tim Berners-Lee, amongst others.)

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and the Royal Society and was elected to the council of the Royal Society in 2010.

In 2011, he and colleagues at Microsoft received the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award for their machine learning contribution to Microsoft Kinect human motion-capture.

Professor Sir Richard Friend

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Professor Sir Richard Friend

Professor Sir Richard is the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge and has considerable experience both within academia and also the world of business. He has pioneered the physics, materials science and engineering of semiconductor devices made with carbon-based semiconducting polymers.

His research group was the first to demonstrate using polymers efficient operation of field-effect transistors and light-emitting diodes. These advances revealed that the semiconductor properties of this broad class of materials are unexpectedly clean, so that semiconductor devices can both reveal their novel semiconductor physics, including their operation in efficient photovoltaic diodes, optically-pumped lasing, directly-printed polymer transistor circuits and light-emitting transistors.

The work of his research group has revolutionised the scientific understanding of the electronic properties of organic semiconductors, which are now recognised to be very suitable for use in semiconductor devices.

The impact of this technology may prove to be immensely significant: the fabrication of semiconductor devices and circuits by direct printing is radically different from the traditional patterning and process technologies of inorganic semiconductors, and is driving a new set of manufacturing processes in the electronics industry.

He has also been directly involved in the process of commercialisation of this technology, forming spin-out companies from the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge Display Technology was set up to develop advance polymer LED technology for displays and is now part of the Sumitomo Chemical Company.

Plastic Logic which was created to develop printed transistor circuit technology and has focused on the manufacture of flexible transistor arrays on plastic substrates suitable for use as active matrix backplanes for e-paper displays. More recently, Sir Richard co-founded, Eight-19 Ltd, a company to develop organic solar cell technology for manufacture.

Professor Julia King CBE

Photo of Professor Julia King CBE
Professor Julia King CBE

Professor Julia King has a distinguished background in academia and business. She spent sixteen years as a researcher and university lecturer at Cambridge and Nottingham universities before joining Rolls-Royce in 1994 where she held a number of senior executive appointments.

In 2002 Julia became Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics, and two years later returned to academia as Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College, London. In December 2006 she became Vice-Chancellor of Aston University.

A member of the Board of UniversitiesUK and Chair of its Employability, Business & Industry Policy Network, and Chair of the Higher Education Statistics Agency, Julia regularly advises Government on education and technology issues.

She is a non-executive director of the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and a member of the Committee on Climate Change.

In 2010 she was appointed by the Prime Minister as the UK's Low Carbon Business Ambassador. In 2007 Julia was appointed by the Chancellor to lead the 'King Review' to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport.

Julia was also a member of the independent review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, led by Lord Browne. She has advised the Ministry of Defence as Chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council and the Cabinet Office as a member of the National Security Forum, and was a non-executive member of the Technology Strategy Board for five years.

Julia's academic work includes over 160 papers on fatigue and fracture in structural materials and developments in aerospace and marine propulsion technology. Her research has been recognised through the award of the Grunfeld, Bengough, Kelvin, John Collier and Lunar Society medals. In 1997 she was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was made a CBE for 'Services to Materials Engineering' in July 1999.

EPSRC Council is the senior decision making body responsible for determining EPSRC's policy, priorities and strategy. Appointments are made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice.

Professor King has declared the following appointments to other public positions:

  • Non-Executive Director BIS Board (paid £12000)
  • Member of the Committee on Climate Change (£900 per diem, 10-12 days per annum)
  • Business Ambassador UKTI (Unpaid)

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity (if any declared) to be made public.

Eligible members of Council will receive an honorarium of £6,850 per year. The honorarium is paid in respect of all duties carried out during their appointment to Council.

No other new appointees have declared any other public appointments. No political activity has been declared.

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Notes to Editors

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million 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.