Chair – Professor Sir William Wakeham
Professor Sir William Wakeham has a strong research and leadership based career. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton from 2001-2009, his academic specialty is thermodynamics, particularly the thermophysical properties of fluids and intermolecular forces. Professor Wakeham is involved in many government and academic pursuits, including being the chair of a Review of UK Physics which reported in October 2008. Until 2011 he was a member of the Council of EPSRC, and he is currently a Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He took up his role as Chair of SEPnet in 2009.
Executive Director – Professor Jacob Dunningham
Jacob is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sussex where he is also Head of Research and Deputy Director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies. From 2018 – 2020 he served as Head of Department. His research spans fundamental issues of quantum physics and how they can be used in new technologies particularly for sensing and metrology. He studied at the Universities of Auckland and Oxford, and held personal fellowships at Merton College Oxford and Leeds, where he was Reader in Quantum Physics, before moving to Sussex.
Director of Outreach and Public Engagement – Dr Olivia Keenan
Olivia has an MPhys in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Southampton. Following this she completed her PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Cardiff, studying extra galactic environments. Olivia has always been heavily involved in outreach and public engagement activities, and was a student ambassador for SEPnet during her undergraduate studies. On completing her PhD Olivia became the Regional Manager for London and the South East at the Institute of Physics, where she managed engagement across the region. Olivia became Director of Outreach and Public Engagement in 2019.
Director of Employer Liaison – Claire Hepwood
Claire has a degree in Computer Science with modern languages. Claire worked in industry specialising in high performance computing in the defence and academic arena. Claire has held a variety of positions from Software Analyst to Professional Services Consultant. Claire worked at AWE where she focused on collaborating with their French counterparts and forging new relationships with academia in the UK. Claire worked as a HPC Collaborator before taking on the position of Strategic Outreach Scientist working for the Chief Scientist. Claire sourced and organised sponsorship for WISE events and was influential in AWE becoming an active member of WISE. Claire is a member of the BSC, WiHPC and WISE. Claire has worked with Universities supporting students and working with academics to embedding employability into the curriculum.
Director of Employer Liaison – Michelle Limbert
Michelle has an LLB Hons (Law and French) degree from Manchester Metropolitan University, a Masters in European and International Law from the Université de Toulouse and a Certificate in Political Science from Science Po Aix (France). She has spent much of her career overseas as a university lecturer and supporting student career development activities. Michelle has worked with the European Commission supporting UK industry internationalisation activities and, more recently, for the University of Southampton focusing on “Impact” including employer engagement, knowledge transfer and promoting entrepreneurship.
Graduate Network Director – Cristobel Soares
Cristobel has worked for senior management as a personal assistant at Hoechst UK (now Sanofi-Aventis) and Granada Television. She took a career break to raise her family and returned to part-time work as PA to the European Operations Director at DHL in 2003. She joined the University of Surrey in 2006 as a PA to an Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Environmental Strategy and in 2008 was the PA to the Head of Department of Physics. Cristobel was involved in working on SEPnet Phase 1 from its inception and has managed the GRADnet training programme since December 2013.
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