Sir Peter Gregson appointed Chair of Henry Royce Institute 

Professor Sir Peter Gregson has been appointed Chair of the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national institute for advanced materials research and innovation.

Speaking about his appointment, Sir Peter said:

 “The Henry Royce Institute is a national asset for Advanced Materials Research and Innovation for a Sustainable Society.  I pay tribute to the exceptional work of Baroness Brown of Cambridge, CEO Professor David Knowles and Chief Scientist Professor Philip Withers and all the Partners in establishing this outstanding academic partnership. 

“In looking forward, Royce will need to work ever more closely with business to accelerate the research, development and commercial exploitation of advanced materials for the benefit of society, and I look forward to working with the Governing Board, the leadership team and partners in Government and industry to realise this ambition.”  

Outgoing Royce Chair, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Julia King, said:

“It has been a privilege to be the first Chair of the Henry Royce Institute over the past six years and to support the team in developing Royce into an important National Institute.  The work of Royce could not be more important as the UK, and the world, accelerate the transition to net-zero – with so many of the key technologies such as batteries and hydrogen and fusion relying on new materials developments.  The critical role of Royce is reinforced by the Government’s recent Innovation Strategy, with advanced materials and manufacturing cited as a key technologies.

“I wish the impressive team across the Royce Partnership continued success in continuing to develop the scope and impact of Royce, and I am delighted by Peter’s appointment and wish him every success in his new role as Royce Chair.”

Royce CEO, Professor David Knowles added:

I am delighted that we’ve been able to bring someone with Peter’s depth of experience and range of skills to Royce as we move into the next phase of our operations, which will see us continuing to develop our capabilities, engage with industry and the wider UK materials community, and help to support the translation of materials science from the lab to application.

“I’m looking forward to working with Peter and to his valued leadership of Royce during what will be an important and exciting time for us, as we work to accelerate the materials innovation required to meet society goals in key areas such as health, the circular economy and of course net-zero.

It goes without saying that we are indebted to Julia for her unstinting advocacy, political and technical insight.  Her commitment and drive, steering our Governing Board as we have moved from set-up through to our operational phase, has been an essential aspect of our success to date.”

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Executive Chair, Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, said:

“Sir Peter’s leadership experience across academia and industry will be invaluable to the Henry Royce Institute as it continues its important work to develop the advanced materials of the future.

“Royce’s work will be crucial to meeting the UK’s net- zero ambitions and delivering economic growth across the country, and we look forward to working with Sir Peter and the leadership team to achieve these goals.

“I would also like to thank Baroness Brown for her leadership over the past six years. She has helped to establish the institute as an essential component of the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem and leaves a fantastic legacy to build on over the coming years.”

Royce is ensuring that academics and industry in the UK’s materials community have access to world-class research capabilities, infrastructure, expertise, and skills development. From future cities and their energy supplies, to computing, manufacturing and medicine, the research and innovation facilitated by Royce has the potential to significantly impact peoples’ lives. With its hub in Manchester and with capability distributed across nine founding Partners (the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London together with UKAEA and NNL) and two associate Partners (the Universities of Cranfield and Strathclyde), Royce works collaboratively to create real solutions and make a fundamental difference to the UK economy.

A Materials’ Scientist by background and recipient of the Rosenhain Medal and Prize of the Institute of Materials in 1996, Sir Peter Gregson has served as Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast (2004-13) and Cranfield University (2013-21).He has been Non-Executive Director of Rolls-Royce Group plc and served on the Councils of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils. He is currently Trustee of the Royal Anniversary Trust and of Lloyds Register Foundation.

For further information contact Royce Communications Manager judith.holcroft@manchester.ac.uk