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Professor Hawes (Associate Professor in Engineering Science) takes over from Professor David Pyle (Earth Sciences) who was the Division’s first PER Champion, to provide leadership and support to progress the embedding of engagement into research practice.

Professor Nick Hawes - Academic Champion for Public Engagement with ResearchProfessor Nick Hawes, Associate Professor of Engineering Science in the Oxford Robotics Institute at the University of Oxford and Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College, has been appointed as the MPLS Division's Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research (PER). Professor Hawes takes over from Professor David Pyle (Earth Sciences) who was the Division’s first PER Champion.

Professor Hawes will spearhead a refresh of the Division's Strategic Plan for PER, and provide academic leadership and insight to help improve support, opportunities and address barriers so that PER can flourish as part of research culture.

On his appointment, Professor Nick Hawes said: “I’m really excited to be the new Divisional Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research. I’m particularly keen to see how we can break down the barriers that stop our amazing, but perpetually overloaded, researchers from engaging with the public, whilst also supporting the fantastic PER work that is already coming out of the Division.”

Prof Hawes is a self-confessed passionate and energetic believer in public engagement and has actively been involved in doing and supporting public engagement, and already a member of the University’s Public Engagement with Research Academic Advisory Network. In 2013 Prof Hawes was selected to give the Lord Kelvin Award Lecture at the British Science Festival. This honour is given to an active researcher who has demonstrated outstanding communication skills to a general audience.

Prof Hawes will work alongside the University’s Academic Champion for PER, Prof Alison Woollard, to advocate for public engagement with research.

This role was created in October 2017 to help raise the profile of Public Engagement with Research and to ensure the Division’s efforts were clearly aligned with the needs and interests of researchers. The role additionally reflects the Division’s continued support for and commitment to public engagement with research.

The role is supported by the Division's Public and Community Engagement with Research Manager, Dr Michaela Livingstone-Banks.