Professor Pierre Friedlingstein will join (NERC)’s Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG)

Exeter professor appointed to influential scientific advisory group

One of Exeter’s leading mathematicians has spoken of his “honour and delight” after being invited to join an influential science group, designed to develop, prioritise and fund strategic research.

Professor Pierre Friedlingstein has joined 11 other eminent scientists from across the UK to form the National Environment Research Council (NERC)’s Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG).

Professor Friedlingstein will hold the prestigious role initially for a year, with the expectation that it will be extended for a further two-year period.

Speaking after accepting the pivotal role, Prof Friedlingstein said: “This group offers unprecedented opportunities to drive the UK’s world-leading environmental research to exciting and important new levels.

“The research being conducted by NERC scientists has a direct impact on society as a whole, and I am honoured and delighted to be able to play a part in its future success.”

The SPAG is designed to help NERC by recommending prioritised strategic research opportunities that help deliver the Council’s strategy to NERC's Science & Innovation Strategy Board.

The priorities will have been generated from broad and open input of ideas from the NERC community, and submitted ideas will have been assembled into either Highlight Topics or Strategic Programme Areas.

SPAG members act as an interface between NERC and its communities to ensure that those strategic investments are appropriate, timely, support excellent research, and tackle environmental challenges faced by business and society.

Professor Ken Evans, Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, congratulated Prof Friedlingstein on his new role. He said: “It is a testament to Pierre’s outstanding reputation for producing ground-breaking, world-class research that he has been invited to join this prestigious group.

“Exeter is committed to playing an integral role in solving some of today’s most crucial global problems though environmental science and engineering, and Pierre’s research and dedication is a pivotal part of that commitment. This is an exciting opportunity for Pierre, and we are all delighted with his involvement.”

Date: 23 May 2014

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