Peter Shadbolt, Dr Piers Barnes and Dr Marianne Ellis, elected top Rising Stars on the evening
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council brought the UK’s most inspiring engineers and scientists to Parliament last night at a special reception to celebrate the RISE programme, launched this year with the Royal Academy of Engineering to mark EPSRC’s 20-year anniversary.

RISE Leaders and Fellows were joined by the newly awarded Rising Stars, the next generation of engineers and scientists expected to become leading researchers in the future.

As part of the campaign, the RISE Leaders, selected for their engagement, influence and impact in research, each endorsed a Rising Star researcher whomt they considered to be on a stellar path in their research.

The next stage of the year-long RISE campaign will see high profile public figures from the media, government and business paired with a RISE Leader, enabling an exchange of insight into the latest research. By spending time with the RISE Leaders, the RISE Champions will also see how they communicate science and engineering.

Engineering RISE Leaders include Professor Jeremy O’Brien, RAEng Research Chair in Emerging Technologies at the University of Bristol and Professor Rachel Williams, former Royal Academy of Engineering Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. They are paired respectively with prestigious champions Lord Finkelstein, Executive Editor of The Times, and Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser.

Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

"Pairing world class science and engineering researchers with eminent figures from the worlds of politics and journalism is an opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas that could not be so simply achieved otherwise.”

"This is a clear example of how RISE, part of the Engineering for Growth campaign, is bringing engineering to the heart of society"

Leaders, Fellows and Rising Stars were recognised during a reception at the House of Parliament, part of the RISE campaign to celebrate inspirational scientists and engineers in occasion of EPSRC’s 20th anniversary.

On the night, a special commendation was also given to the three top Rising Stars by an esteemed panel of judges. The winners of the Rising Stars awards are Dr Marianne Ellis from the University of Bath, Peter Shadbolt from the University of Bristol and Dr Piers Barns of Imperial College London.

The RISE awards celebrate the inspirational scientists and engineers leading innovation in engineering, physics, maths, and computer science. The RISE campaign is being run by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to celebrate their 20th anniversary, in partnership with Royal Academy of Engineering as part of the Engineering for Growth campaign.

Notes to Editors

  1. RISE Fellows

    Professor Polina Bayvel FREng, UCL
    Professor Nigel Brandon OBE FREng, Imperial College London
    Professor Richard Catlow FRS, UCL
    Professor Dame Athene Donald DBE FRS , University of Cambridge
    Professor Peter Edwards FRS, University of Oxford
    Professor Robin Grimes FREng, Imperial College London
    Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE FREng FRS, University of Southampton
    Professor Robert MacKay FRS, University of Warwick
    Professor Anne Neville FREng FRSE, University of Leeds
    Professor David Parker FRS, University of Durham
    Sir David Payne CBE FREng FRS, University of Southampton
    Professor Sir John Pendry FRS, Imperial College London
    Professor Gareth Roberts FRS, University of Warwick
    Professor Peter Sadler FRS FRSE, University of Warwick
    Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FREng, University of Southampton
    Professor Andrew Sherry FREng, University of Manchester
    Professor Maurice Skolnick FRS, University of Sheffield
    Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng, University of Oxford
    Professor Richard Williams OBE FREng, University of Birmingham
  2. RISE Leaders, RISE Champions and RISING stars

RISE Leader

RISE Champion

Rising Stars Nominated by RISE Leaders

Professor Jim Al-Khalili

University of Surrey


Liam Byrne, MP Shadow Minister BIS

Dr Radu Sporea, University of Surrey

Professor Sadie Creese

University of Oxford


James Quinault, Cabinet

Office, Director OCSIA (Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance)

Dr Jason Nurse, University of Oxford

Professor Leroy (Lee) Cronin University of Glasgow


Dave Allen, Head GSK Respiratory Therapy Unit


Dr Oren Scherman, University of Cambridge


Professor Harald Haas

University of Edinburgh


Jonathan Legh-Smith, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Research, BT


Dr Lev Sarkisov, University of Edinburgh


Professor Stephen Haake Sheffield Hallam University


Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Council of the City and Guilds of London Institute


Dr Jon Wheat, Sheffield Hallam University


Professor Jenny Nelson

Imperial College London


Zac Goldsmith, MP


Dr Piers Barnes, Imperial College London


Professor Jeremy O’Brien University of Bristol


Danny Finkelstein, Executive Editor, The Times


Peter Shadbolt, University of Bristol


Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga University of Leicester


Professor John Perkins, BIS CSA

Dr Hernan Rey, University of Leicester


Professor Kevin Shakesheff University of Nottingham


Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust


Dr Marianne Ellis,

University of Bath


Professor Rachel Williams

University of Liverpool


Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Dr Paolo Paoletti, University of Liverpool


  1. Profiles of RISE Leaders are available on EPSRC’s website:
  2. The judging panel for the Rising Star Awards was Imran Khan, CEO British Science Association, Sarah Main, Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering, Claire Craig, Deputy Head Government Office for Science, Mark Smith, Vice Chancellor, Lancaster University.
  3. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.
  4. Engineering for Growth is a partnership campaign to demonstrate the contribution of engineering to the UK economy and society. This involves promoting the economic impact and societal benefits delivered by engineering; raising awareness of the issues that explore how engineering could make a bigger contribution; and increasing the profile of EfG partners and supporters' activities that will help create growth in the economy.

For further information please contact:

EPSRC Press Office for images of rising stars and images of the evening. Telephone. 01793 444 404 or Giorgio De Faveri at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0655; email:  Giorgio De Faveri

Related articles