Professor Sir Bill Wakeham
A physicist by training, Sir William has spent much of his career in the field of chemical engineering. His academic
speciality is thermodynamics, particularly the thermophysical properties of
fluids and intermolecular forces. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of
Engineering, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of
Electrical Engineers, and the Institute of Physics.
A graduate of Exeter University, where he completed both his first and higher degree in physics, he is both a chartered
engineer and a chartered physicist. His scholarship has been recognised by many
awards from overseas and by honorary degrees from universities in the UK and
China. He is also a Fellow of Imperial College.
Other roles include membership of the board of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA); chair of the Universities
and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA); membership of the EPSRC Council and
chairing its Resource Audit Committee. Professor Wakeham recently also chaired
the 2008 Review of Physics in the UK at the request of the then Secretary of
State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
The Importance of Technical Skills to UK Science & Innovation
The talk will highlight the role that individuals and groups with technical skills have played in placing the UK high in the league table of scientific and engineering innovators. Examples from the speaker’s own scientific career of almost 50 years will illustrate the contributions made to his own achievements by a whole series of highly-skilled individuals. Thus, the importance of a continuing supply of such people qualified for the modern world is an important concern and the mechanisms that are being devised to ensure this supply in the future will be explored.
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