NERC announces Queen's Birthday Honours recipients

15 June 2015

NERC is pleased to announce that four colleagues have been recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Mr Edmund Wallis, who served as chair of the Natural Environment Research Council from January 2007 until December 2013, and has been awarded a CBE for services to business and charity.

Professor James Jackson, FRS, professor of active tectonics at the University of Cambridge and head of the department of earth sciences, has received a CBE for services to environmental science. Professor Jackson has served on numerous NERC panels and committees, and is the lead principal investigator on the Earthquakes Without Frontiers Project – a joint NERC-ESRC consortium supporting a partnership of physical and social scientists working to help increase resilience to earthquakes in Asia.

Professor Gwyn Griffiths has received a MBE for services to marine science. Professor Griffiths retired from NERC in 2012 after a distinguished 36-year career as an ocean engineer with the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), but remains an active world-leading authority in the field of ocean technology.

During his years at NOC, Professor Griffiths was the architect of NOC's position as a centre of excellence in ocean technology, culminating in him being recognised as its first ever chief technologist in 2011. His ability to build partnerships between engineers and marine scientists across both the UK and international communities and working with them to deliver ground-breaking insights into the complexities of the world's oceans has been key to establishing NOC's reputation as one of the world's top oceanographic research centres. His immense contribution in establishing NOC as a leader in the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for marine science cannot be overstated and his vision in founding the Marine Autonomous & Robotic Systems (MARS) group, firmly cemented this position.

Captain Robin Plumley also received a MBE for services to marine science. Captain Plumley retired in January this year as the NOC's research ship manager, having originally joined NERC as a 4th Officer with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in 1976. While the longevity of Robin's service is undoubtedly noteworthy in itself, it is his consistently outstanding contribution to advancing the scientific effectiveness of NERC's ships and the people that crew them that has been recognised. During his career he served in seven Royal Research Ships, four of which he commanded. He was appointed the first Captain of the new RRS James Cook, which transformed the ability of the UK marine science community to research the deep ocean environment. In 2007, he moved ashore as research ship manager, where his vast experience underpinned his standing as an international expert in his field.

The awards will be presented in the autumn.


Further information

NERC media office
01793 411561
07917 557215