Professor Brian S Collins
CB, FREng, FBCS, CITP, FIET, C Eng, FIOP, FICE, FRSA, RCDS, MA, DPhil
Over the past 30 years, Prof Brian S Collins has held senior leadership posts in UK government, corporate, philanthropic, and academic institutions, all centred around the interface of science and engineering knowledge and expertise with public policy.
Brian joined UCL in August 2011 as Professor of Engineering Policy, and the Director of the Centre for Engineering Policy. In this capacity, Brian has been leading (with Dr Jason J Blackstock) the creation of STEaPP and the related cross-Faculty Institute focused on policy engagement and decision support.
Between 2006 and 2011, Brian served as Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) to two government Departments (Transport 2006-11; Business Innovation and Skills 2009-11), with responsibility for overseeing the Departments’ science, engineering and technological activities, and ensuring that rigorous science and engineering evidence is used systematically throughout both Departments’ policy processes (particularly including investment policy). In these capacities, Brian was also a member of the cross-government Chief Scientific Advisers Council (convened by the Government Chief Scientific Advisor), which has responsibility for a wide range of pan Government Science Technology and Engineering issues – including (but not limited to): national infrastructure; adaptation and mitigation to climate change; national reaction to extreme events; engineering, systems and technology innovation; the role of space in the UK economy; cybersecurity; and energy conservation in transport.
Brian’s CSA service followed from a distinguished career as both a leading scientist within the UK’s military and intelligence research community (1987-91 Director of Science and Technology at Government Communications Head Quarters; 1973-85 Royal Signals and Radar Intelligence, leaving as Deputy Director), and information and communication technology leader within the corporate and philanthropic worlds (1999-2002 Global CIO at Clifford Chance; 1994-1997 IT Director for the Wellcome Trust). In academe, prior to UCL Brian held the position of Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield University (2003-06 full time and Head of Department; 2006-08 on part time secondment; 2008-11 on full time secondment), is currently Emeritus Visiting Professor at City University London and Visiting Professor at Wollongong University (New South Wales, Australia), and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Kingston University (London).
Brian was bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen the Honour of Companion of the Bath (CB) in the 2011 New Years Honours list, and is an elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (since 2009). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers, of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, of the British Computer Society, and of the Institute of Physics. Brian holds his MA in Physics and a DPhil in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford, and remains an Open Scholar St Peters College.
Dr Jason J Blackstock
PPhys, PhD, MPA
With a unique background incorporating research physics, technology development, public policy, and international affairs, Dr Jason J Blackstock is emerging as a leading international scholar and policy adviser on the interface between science and global public policy.
Jason joined UCL In January 2013 as Deputy Director of the Centre for Engineering Policy and, together with Professor Brian Collins, has been leading the creation of STEaPP and the related cross-Faculty Institute focused on policy engagement and decision support.
Between 2008 and 2012, Jason developed and led research and policy engagement programs from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada) that examined the complex interactions between the scientific, political and global governance dimensions of our planetary climate and energy challenges. These programs developed internationally recognized activities on the science and policy of emerging geoengineering technologies, short-lived climate forcers and sustainable energy transitions, generating over two dozen scholarly and policy-oriented articles and publications (e.g. Science, Nature and Green Futures) and leading to over 40 invited presentations to leading academic and policy institutions across five continents. During this time, Jason was a member or leader of five international technology assessment processes, including the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (www.srmgi.org) and the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 (www.wgsi.org), and has provided expert testimony and advice to legislative committees and policymakers around the world.
Jason obtained his Master (Edinburgh, 2001) and PhD (Alberta, 2005) in physics, followed by his Graduate Certificate in International Security (Stanford, 2006) and Master of Public Administration (Harvard, 2008). From 2003 to 2007, he worked as a Research Associate of Hewlett Packard Lab’s Quantum Science Research Group. Jason is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS) at the University of Oxford, and an Associate Professor (Adjunct) of the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. In 2010 Jason was elected an Associate Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.
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