Science and engineering stars shine

Posted by er134 at Jun 13, 2014 10:50 AM |
University of Leicester academics honoured in House of Commons event

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 13 June 2014

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The UK’s top inspirational scientists and engineers – including a Professor from the University of Leicester - were celebrated at the House of Commons RISE Awards Reception.

Rodrigo Quian Quiroga of the University of Leicester was amongst those selected for the prestigious award.

He said: “I am truly honoured to have been selected as one of the 10 RISE leaders of science and engineering. This is not only a main achievement in my personal scientific career, but also an opportunity to further disseminate the excellent research environment at the University of Leicester, and particularly at the Centre for Systems Neuroscience.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess added:  “I am delighted to congratulate Rodrigo Quian Quiroga on being selected as one of ten national innovators.  It is a splendid achievement for him and for the University.”

Rodrigo Quian Quiroga  holds a Research Chair at the University of Leicester, UK. He is the director of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience and the Head of Bioengineering at the University of Leicester.

In addition to the award to Rodrigo as a RISE Leader,  Dr Hernan Rey from the University of Leicester was selected as a ‘Rising Star’. Rising Stars, who are at early stages of their careers, were nominated by the RISE Leaders for their qualities of leadership, communication skills and ability to inspire others.

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council said: “The wealth of talent the RISE Awards shows is truly impressive and heartening. These are the strong, inspirational leaders who can ensure the long-term health of UK science and engineering.”

The RISE Awards celebrate the inspirational scientists and engineers leading   innovation in engineering and physical sciences. The campaign is being run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering to celebrate the 20th anniversary of EPSRC.

In addition to the RISE Leaders, the nominees who are Fellows of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences are being celebrated as RISE Fellows.

During the next stage of the RISE campaign, high profile public figures are appointed as RISE Champions and paired with RISE Leaders. Follow the stories that emerge on the EPSRC  website.

Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering said: “Pairing world class science and engineering researchers with eminent figures from the worlds of politics and journalism is an opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas that could not be so simply achieved otherwise.

“This is a clear example of how RISE, part of the Engineering for Growth campaign, is bringing engineering to the heart of society.”


Notes to Editors:

RISE Leaders, RISE Champions and Rising Stars

RISE Leader

RISE Champion

Rising Stars Nominated by RISE Leaders

Professor Jim Al-Khalili

University of Surrey


Liam Byrne, MP Shadow Minister, Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills

Dr Radu Sporea

University of Surrey

Professor Sadie Creese

University of Oxford


James Quinault, Cabinet

Office, Director OCSIA (Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance)

Dr Jason Nurse

University of Oxford

Professor Lee Cronin

University of Glasgow


Dave Allen, Head GSK Respiratory Therapy Unit


Dr Oren Scherman

University of Cambridge


Professor Harald Haas

University of Edinburgh


Jonathan Legh-Smith, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Research, BT


Dr Lev Sarkisov,

University of Edinburgh


Professor Stephen Haake Sheffield Hallam University


Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Council of the City and Guilds of London Institute


Dr Jon Wheat

Sheffield Hallam University


Professor Jenny Nelson

Imperial College London


Zac Goldsmith, MP


Dr Piers Barnes

Imperial College London


Professor Jeremy O’Brien University of Bristol


Danny Finkelstein, Executive Editor, The Times


Peter Shadbolt

University of Bristol on secondment with Imperial College London



Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga

University of Leicester


Professor John Perkins, Chief Scientific Adviser, Dept Business, Innovation and Skills.

Dr Hernan Rey

University of Leicester


Professor Kevin Shakesheff University of Nottingham


Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust


Dr Marianne Ellis

University of Bath


Professor Rachel Williams

University of Liverpool


Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Dr Paolo Paoletti

University of Liverpool


RISE Fellows:

Professor Polina Bayvel, UCL

Professor Nigel Brandon, Imperial College London

Professor Richard Catlow, UCL

Professor Dame Athene Donald, University of Cambridge

Professor Peter Edwards, University of Oxford

Professor Robin Grimes, Imperial College London

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, University of Southampton

Professor Robert MacKay, University of Warwick

Professor Anne Neville, University of Leeds

Professor David Parker, University of Durham

Professor David Payne, University of Southampton

Professor Sir John Pendry, Imperial College London

Professor Gareth Roberts, University of Warwick

Professor Peter Sadler, University of Warwick

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, University of Southampton

Professor Andrew Sherry, University of Manchester

Professor Maurice Skolnick, University of Sheffield

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, University of Oxford

Professor Richard Williams, University of Birmingham

The judging panel for the Rising Star Awards was comprised of: Professor David Delpy, former CEO of EPSRC;  Imran Khan, CEO the British Science Association;  Dr Sarah Main, Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering; Dr Claire Craig, Deputy Head, Government Office for Science; and Professor Mark E Smith, Vice Chancellor, Lancaster University.

RISE is an acronym for Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers

For media enquiries and images contact the EPSRC Press Office email: or telephone:  01793 444 404.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.

Engineering for Growth is a partnership campaign to demonstrate the contribution of engineering to the UK economy and society. This involves promoting the economic impact and societal benefits delivered by engineering; raising awareness of the issues that explore how engineering could make a bigger contribution; and increasing the profile of EfG partners and supporters' activities that will help create growth in the economy.

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