Royce appoints Chief Scientific Officer

The Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials (Royce) is delighted to announce that Professor Ian Kinloch will join the Institute as Chief Scientific Officer, transitioning into the role over the Summer and taking up the full reins in the Autumn.

Professor Philip Withers, Royce’s Chief Scientist since its inception and a driving force behind the establishment of Institute, will be taking a step back from the day-to-day executive role at Royce, taking a sabbatical in Australia and Grenoble; Royce has therefore gone through a global search for a new scientific leader to pick up the reins from Philip and inject their own energy and insight to the Institute.

After an extensive round of interviews including individuals from overseas, Royce has appointed Professor Ian Kinloch into this key role.

Ian became Professor of Materials Science at the University of Manchester in 2012. He has driven research strategy across a number of departments within the university and collaborated with researchers at other universities and in industry.  He is recognised for taking a ‘holistic’ research approach that follows nanomaterials from their production through to their processing and ultimately to applications in the composites and the energy transition. His research bridges the academia-industrial divide with industrial collaborations including the co-development of a nanotube production route which was commercialised during his post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge through to his current RAEng Research Chair with Morgan Advanced Materials.

Commenting on his appointment Professor Kinloch said:

“I am delighted to be joining the Royce Leadership Team to steer Royce’s strategic research direction at a pivotal time for the Institute and for materials science and engineering. I am looking forward to working across the Royce Partnership to drive and develop our overarching science strategy, and to ensure impact from our National Materials Challenges and Research Areas.

“I will help the expansion of Royce’s interaction with the wider community, including industrial and international links. Importantly, working with my colleagues, I will contribute to Royce’s culture of inclusion that allows all members of our materials community to achieve their potential and aspirations in education, research and professional development.”

Royce CEO, Professor David Knowles said:

“The appointment of Royce’s new CSO has been an uplifting experience,  despite the fact that Phil stepping back from the day-to- day aspects of Royce as he goes on sabbatical will leave a big hole to fill.

“In our search for a replacement I’ve been fortunate enough to talk with some fantastic research leaders based both overseas and in the UK who demonstrated a huge range of talent to bring to Royce and I hope will stay engaged with us going forward. 

“Ian really stood out as an experienced scientific leader, with an impressive portfolio of experience across both academia and industry, but more importantly a passion to develop an inclusive culture across the materials research community.  I’m really looking forward to him bringing his extensive knowledge and new ideas to Royce and I trust that materials researchers and innovators around the UK will assist him in continuing to raise the profile and impact of our critical discipline.”

Royce Interim Governing Board Chair, Annalisa Gigante, added:

“We’re delighted with this appointment and to have had the opportunity to meet such outstanding international as well as UK based candidates who are keen to support the ongoing growth of the Henry Royce Institute and the materials research and innovation community.

“We wish Professor Kinloch all the best in this exciting new role and look forward to working with him.”

Ian will hold the role Chief Scientific Officer at Royce while retaining 50 per cent of his time as a Chair in Materials Science at the University of Manchester. He will lead and own Royce’s national science research strategy, working with the Royce Research Area leads and their Steering Groups as they support national programmes and initiatives, building research partnerships across our wide research community.

The role will interface will all Royce’s mission pillars, including advocacy, foresighting, training and technology translation.  Naturally, many initiatives will work in tandem with the extensive capabilities across the Royce equipment portfolio in our Partner organisations, overseen by Professor Tony Horner, Royce Chief Technology Officer.