A thank you to the outgoing Chair of the Royce Strategic Advisory Board (SAB)

The year 2023 marks the end of Professor Mark E. Smith’s term as Chair of the Royce Strategic Advisory Board (SAB).

Mark was appointed to the Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) in 2016 when Royce had just been established with its founding Partners. The SAB, which was initially known as the Strategic Facilities Advisory Board, was initially set up to oversee the purchasing of Royce equipment and the specification of the new/refurbished space to house it.

Its role has evolved over the years to provide expert advice to Royce’s Executive officers and to act as a critical friend, along with providing advice to the Governing Board on how successfully the Royce vision and original goals are being achieved (or what needs to change!), including the evaluation of any metrics.  It also ensures the quality and timeliness of scientific output.

Professor Phillip Withers, Royce Chief Scientist and SAB ex Officio member said:

 “I would like to thank Mark for his many years of service and dedication to the Royce Strategic Advisory Board. Right from the very beginnings of Royce, Mark has overseen the procurement and incorporation of over £200million of experimental facilities across Royce Partners, and provided independent support to numerous annual funding campaigns including our major Industrial Collaboration and Materials Challenge Accelerator Programmes. 

“He’s also supported the evolution of an incredibly dynamic and engaged SAB. The Board quickly became very effective and established itself as being completely independent, resulting in a recommendation that we could dispense with what was the then Value for Money Committee – a real demonstration of the SAB’s authority and robust oversight.”

Professor David Knowles, Royce CEO and SAB ex Officio member added:

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mark for his many years of committed service – his contributions of ideas, advice, and enthusiasm have been invaluable in steering Royce from our early days, even before we had our headquarters building or Partner facilities in place. 

“His many years of guidance and advice have helped us to accomplish so much as a national institute, allowing us to deliver on our role as a catalyst for materials innovation across industry and academia. On behalf of everyone at Royce we send our deep appreciation for his leadership of and service to SAB – we wouldn’t be where we are today without Mark’s steadfast commitment to supporting us in meeting our goals and successfully navigating some interesting waters along the way.”

Professor Mark E. Smith is the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton. As President and Vice-Chancellor he is the Chief Executive of the University and has overall responsibility for its operations.

Mark’s successor will be announced in January.

Photo – first meeting of the SAB in February 2016

Attending Members:  Helen Atkinson (University of Leicester), Phil Cartwright (High Value Manufacturing Catapult), Ann Kramer (Electrospinning Company), Mick Steeper (Primetals Technologies Ltd.), Henri Winand (Intelligent Energy). By teleconference: Phillipe Chapelot (CEA), Rob Hardeman (Seagate).

Observers:  Lucy Williams (EPSRC), Jane Nicholson (EPSRC), Philip Withers (Interim Science Director, Sir Henry Royce Institute, UoM); Secretariat: Janis Ferberg (UoM)