Speaker Biographies

Adisa Azapagic, Professor, Chemical Engineering, The University of Manchester

Professor Adisa Azapagic FREng is Professor of Sustainable Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester  where she leads Sustainable Industrial Systems, an internationally-leading research group applying the principles of sustainable development and life cycle thinking in industrial practice. Her research interests include sustainable production and consumption, life cycle sustainability assessment and corporate sustainability. She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Sustainable Production and Consumption published by Elsevier.

Professor Azapagic has received several awards for her research work, including the top IChemE award for Outstanding Achievements in Chemical and Process Engineering and GSK Innovation Award for masterminding the CCaLC carbon footprinting tool for industry (www.ccalc.org.uk). For more information, visit www.sustainable-systems.org.uk.

Elizabeth Bohm, Senior Policy Advisor, The Royal Society

Following degrees in both biology and law, Elizabeth became a qualified lawyer and worked in a full service law firm before transitioning into policy work. She specialises in the areas where law and science cross over with expertise in research ethics and regulation. Since arriving in the UK she worked for the British Medical Association and Wellcome Trust before joining the Royal  Society. Currently she manages a portfolio of projects that encompass ethical conduct of research, public participation in policy making and new and emerging technologies (these include synthetic biology, gain of function, GM, environmental observation and biological and toxin weapons).

Iain Cameron, Head of Research Careers and Diversity, Research Councils UK

I am Head of Research Careers and Diversity at Research Councils UK (RCUK) – responsible for co-ordinating research careers and related diversity issues across the UK Research Councils. Things I do include: implementation of the Researcher Development Agenda including the Vitae® programme; understanding the impact of doctoral graduates; playing a key role in the UK ‘Concordat to support the Career Development for Researchers’ for Research Careers; and implementing the RCUK Equality and Diversity statement. I work closely with colleagues from the UK Government Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the UK Higher Education Funding Councils and other funders. I represent the UK on the ERA Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility where I have chaired several working groups and I currently chair an Expert group on strengthening the HR Excellence Award which recognises implementation of aspects of the Charter and Code. I have worked with the UK Research Councils since 1990. My BSc (Honours) degree in Biological Sciences is from the University of Edinburgh and my PhD in Virology is from the University of Glasgow. I have also held research fellowships in a university department (University of Reading) and a research institute (Institute of Virology in Oxford).

Colette Fagan (Session Chair), Professor of Sociology and Faculty Deputy Dean (& Associate Dean – Research), The University of Manchester

Colette Fagan is Deputy Dean of The Faculty of Humanities at Manchester and its Associate Dean for Research. She also serves as a Senate elected member on the University’s Board of Governors. She is a Professor of Sociology, having joined Manchester in 1998 after employment at the University of Liverpool, UMIST and the UK Equal Opportunities Commission.
Colette’s research focus is on employment and public policy with particular interests in gender inequalities and gender mainstreaming; working conditions and job quality; working-time (and time-use more broadly); and international comparative analysis of employment and living conditions in industrialised economies. She is the UK national academic expert in the European Commission’s Expert Network on Employment and Gender Equality (ENEGE) and a member of the Eurofound Advisory Committee on Working Conditions. Her other engagements as an academic consultant to the policy community include research reports and presentations for the European Commission, Eurofound, the European Parliament, the UN’s International Labour Office and the OECD.
She has held visiting academic appointments at the Wissenshaftzentrum Berlin, RMIT in Melbourne and a sabbatical position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Her current research projects include co-organising an ESRC-funded seminar series: Work-life Balance, the Recession and Beyond http://www.esrc-work-life-seminars.org/

For further details of her research and knowledge exchange activities, see

Research: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Colette.fagan/

Policy impact: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/research/research-impact/international-employment-policies

Ruth E Gilligan, Athena SWAN Manager, Equality Challenge Unit

Ruth first joined the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) to manage and oversee the extension of the Athena SWAN Charter to the Republic of Ireland. This was the first time the award scheme operated beyond the UK, breaking ground for a later pilot in Australia. She subsequently became the Athena SWAN Manager and now leads the Equality Charters team in the operation of the Charter in the UK and Ireland. Prior to joining ECU, and having completed a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, Ruth worked in Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research in Ireland. During her time at SFI, she worked in both the policy and pre-award teams. She particularly focused on promoting and supporting applications to the European Research Council, working closely with the National Delegate and National Contact Point in addition to other national research funding and governing bodies in Ireland. Ruth’s other major projects at SFI included drafting and coordinating the call for a pan-European Joint Programme Initiative (JPI) in the area of nutritional biomarkers, and planning the evaluation of SFI’s largest funding programme, the Principal Investigator award.

Laurence Hopkins, Head of Research, Universities and Colleges Employers Association

Laurence is UCEA’s Head of Research and is responsible for leading its research and survey services primarily on reward and employment issues. He was the lead researcher for a European Commission-funded project on supporting early career researchers in higher education in Europe which was carried out in partnership with the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) and the European Committee for Trade Unions in Education (ETUCE). Before joining UCEA Laurence was a researcher at The Work Foundation working in its Leadership and Knowledge Economy units and a senior analyst at the Change Institute. He has delivered research and evaluation services to a wide range of UK and European clients including Communities and Local Government, the Cultural Leadership Programme and the European Commission Directorate of Justice Freedom and Security. Laurence holds an MSc in Public Policy from UCL and an Advanced Certificate in HR Management from the CIPD. He is an Associate Member of the CIPD and a Fellow of the RSA.

Michael MacNeil, National Head of Bargaining & Negotiations, University and College Union

Michael MacNeil is UCUs (University and College Union) National Head of Bargaining and Negotiations. Michael manages the officials involved in the union’s work linked to negotiations, research, health and safety, pensions. He has frequently spoken on public policy towards tertiary education. He has long-involvement in industrial relations, working for a number of trade unions and across the public and private sectors. Michael has also worked as the Policy Director at the Legal Action Group, an organisation working to promote equal access to the justice system. He continues his interest in this field as the independent Chair of the Advice Services Alliance, a network involving, among others, Citizens’ Advice, Shelter, Age UK and Law Centres. He is a Board Member of the Equality Challenge Unit and also serves as a School Governor.

Andrew Miller, former MP for Ellsmere Port and Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee (to 2015)

Andrew Miller was formerly the MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston between 1992 and 2015. His began his career as a technician in geology at the Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he developed an XRF and XRD laboratory. He then moved into industrial relations and was an official for the Association of Scientific Technical and Managerial Staffs (subsequently MSF) where he represented many scientists and engineers working in leading companies from 1977 until he was elected to Parliament in 1992 where continued until he stepped down in 2015. Mr Miller chaired the Science and Technology Select Committee between 2010 and 2015; and was Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee and a Member of the Liaison Committee. The Science Council recognised him as “one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists” of 2014 and in November 2014 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the University of Chester. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary fellowship by Liverpool John Moore’s University. He continues to work on a number of science policy issues and has been appointed to the Royal Society’s Science Policy Advisory Group. He chairs the University of Chester, Thornton Science Park Advisory Board an Advisory Board of the Grantham Centre at the University of Sheffield. He is also an Executive Board member of the UK Research Integrity Office and a trustee of Newton’s Apple.

Peter Simpson, Director, N8 Research Partnership

Dr Peter Simpson is responsible for overseeing the N8 Research Partnership’s current multi-university research programmes, as well as building and developing new academic-industrial research initiatives and collaborations. Peter has a track record of building successful collaborations between academic and industrial sectors. An experienced industrial research scientist himself, Peter’s current remit extends to ensuring academic institutions deliver translational innovation as the cornerstone of innovation-driven economic growth for the Northern Powerhouse. N8 Research Partnership is funded by the 8 research-intensive universities of the North of England, with a remit to pioneer new collaborations to advance research and economic investment. The N8 also hosts Industry Innovation Forums, acting as a single point of access for industry to partner with a range of leading academic experts. Prior to joining the N8 Research Partnership, Dr Simpson worked for AstraZeneca in Cheshire from 2006 to 2014, where he led discovery sciences research departments & project teams. There, he was responsible for implementing a series of successful initiatives that brought together large Pharma companies in innovative collaborations to work with SMEs and academia. He also established the Open Innovation web portal strategy for new drug targets for AstraZeneca, which has led to new partnerships with universities, translational centres and other pharmaceutical companies in nine different countries. Peter is active in the UK research community, as the Reviews Editor for Journal of Biomolecular Screening, co-organiser of UK’s largest drug discovery conference, and as a member of NE Local Enterprise Partnership’s newly appointed Innovation Board. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded a PhD by the University of Leicester in Cell Physiology & Pharmacology. Peter then held visiting fellowships at the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, in the USA. Peter worked in leadership roles within the US drug discovery company Merck & Co for eight years.

Nalin Thakker (Session Chair), Professor of Molecular Pathology and Genetics, Associate Vice-President for Compliance, Risk and Research Integrity, The University of Manchester

Nalin Thakkar is Professor of Molecular Pathology & Genetics and Consultant Histopathologist at The University of Manchester. He is also Associate Vice President of the University and oversees Risk, Compliance, Research Governance and Research Integrity. Professor Thakkar has extensive experience in research ethics and previously served as a National Research Ethics Advisor and National Advisor on use of human tissues in research and genetics research to the National Research Ethics Service. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority.

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