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Introduction from the new CaSE Chair

27 Jan 2021

The new CaSE Chair Dr Bob Sorrell writes his opening message to CaSE’s members and supporters

Following my appointment as chair of CaSE at the December 2020 Annual General Meeting I wanted to reach out and introduce myself and share a few thoughts with you all.  

First of all, I wanted to say how delighted I am to take on the role of chair, succeeding Graeme Reid in the post. I have had the great pleasure of serving for six years as a trustee of CaSE. I feel during that period I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the great work that CaSE does. I remain committed to pursuing CaSE’s core objectives and look forward to working with Sarah and the Board to update our existing strategy, the current phase of which concludes at the end of 2021.

We can all see the enormous and varying challenges ahead of us as we deal with the impact of COVID19 in all our lives in different ways. I am heartened by the great stories that I hear every day of individual efforts to address this and I am particularly struck by the role that UK engineers and scientists, often working in collaboration with their international counterparts, have played in addressing the challenges of the pandemic.

Looking forward I feel it has never been so important to continue with CaSE’s work and drive the STEM agenda in a UK and broader EU context. The Government’s ongoing commitment to investing 2.4% of GDP in R&D remains a central pillar of the UK’s aim of a more research-intensive economy. Alongside this, thanks to the enormous efforts of the UK government negotiating team, we have an excellent outcome from the Brexit negotiations with the UK securing associate membership of Horizon Europe. We will communicate further on the implications of this soon, but I am in no doubt this is a great outcome for the UK and our European partners.

2021 sees us recruit five new trustees to the CaSE Board and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank our outgoing trustees and welcome our new ones. There is a significant amount of work ahead of us and I feel we are well set up to tackle this. One of the things that I am always struck by is the enormous value that CaSE brings as a result of our diverse membership base and I want to ensure that diversity of thought and opinion continues to prosper and is reflected in our work.