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Reappointment of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Chair

Mr Willetts said: “I am delighted that Mr Armitt has agreed to remain as Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council until…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Mr Willetts said:

“I am delighted that Mr Armitt has agreed to remain as Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council until 31 March 2012. He is a successful Chair, whose wide experience as an engineer, senior manager and leader will continue to be of great benefit to the Council.”

John Armitt said:

“I am pleased to be able to continue as Chair of EPSRC. The research community has a key role in ensuring that the UK develops leading edge technology which can underpin the growth of the UK economy. I welcome the opportunity to help meet this challenge for a further year.”

The reappointment is for one year from 1 April 2011.

Notes to editors

  1. Mr John Armitt’s reappointment has been made in accordance with the requirements of the Code of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

  2. John Armitt was appointed as Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on 1 April 2007. In line with the other Research Council Chairs, he receives an honorarium of £16,430. He was appointed Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on 3 September 2007, a Ministerial appointment for which he is paid £250,000 as is stated in the ODA Annual Report and Accounts each year. He holds only these two Ministerial public appointments. His career has straddled both the construction industry and the railways. He joined John Laing as a civil engineer in 1966, and was ultimately made Chairman of Laings International and Civil Engineering Divisions in 1987. In 1993 he left to become Chief Executive of Union Railways, the company responsible for developing the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link. In 1997 he was appointed Chief Executive of Costain and in 2001 Chief Executive of Railtrack plc, a year later he was made Chief Executive of Network Rail. He is currently also Chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, a Non-Executive Director of the Berkeley Group and a member of the Advisory Boards of PwC and Siemens plc. He was awarded the CBE in 1996 and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers; he also has honorary doctorates from the universities of Portsmouth, Birmingham and Reading.

  3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the Nolan recommendations there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity to be made public. John Armitt has not been involved in any relevant political activities in the last five years.

  4. The Engineering and Physical Sciences research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £850m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change.

The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC also actively promotes public awareness of science and engineering. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via research Councils UK.

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Notes to Editors

Contact Information

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Published 10 December 2010