Skip to content

CaSE announces the appointment of new Chair of Trustees

The Campaign for Science and Engineering are delighted to announce that Dr Bob Sorrell has been made the new Chair of Trustees.

The appointment took place at today’s CaSE AGM, which also included the appointment of new trustees to the Board.

The CaSE Board has a vital role to play in helping set the strategic direction of CaSE and overseeing the good governance and financial management of the organisation. Dr Sorrell’s appointment as Chair of the Board follows an extensive recruitment process by the CaSE Nominations and Appointments Committee, which found him to be the ideal candidate for the role. Dr Sorrell has 30 years’ experience in science and engineering policy, having worked at BP since 1987, as well as serving in a variety of advisory roles, including six years as a CaSE trustee. 

Dr Sorrell replaces Professor Graeme Reid, whose term as Chair has now expired. Under the stewardship of Professor Reid the organisation has excelled in fulfilling its mission as a champion for UK science and engineering. The Board of trustees and CaSE thank Graeme for his leadership as Chair over the last six years.

As well as the new Chair, CaSE also welcomes the appointment of the following trustees to the Board; Dr Stephen Breslin (Chief Executive, Glasgow Science Centre), Dr Mark Downs, (Chief Executive, Royal Society of Biology), Catherine Johns (Chief Executive, Kielder Observatory), Professor Andrew Jones, ((Interim Deputy President), City, University of London), and Ron Mobed (former Chief Executive Officer, Elsevier).

The following trustees have stepped down from the Board having ended their term and are thanked for their valuable contribution to CaSE; Jim Al-Khalili OBE, Nida Broughton, Rosemary Cook CBE, Conor McKechnie and Helen Swift.

Commenting on Dr Sorrell’s appointment, CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main said:

“I am tremendously excited to welcome Bob Sorrell to lead a new chapter for CaSE as Chair of the Board. His rich insight in to the contributions of science and engineering across industry, academia and Government will be an asset to CaSE as the organisation grows and develops further. I am looking forward to his leadership of the board, which he knows well having served as a trustee on the CaSE board for a number of years.”

“It has been a great pleasure to work with Graeme as Chair of CaSE over the past six years, during which time he has expertly steered CaSE through a period of growing influence in a remarkably turbulent political environment.”

Commenting on his appointment as CaSE Chair of Trustees, Dr Bob Sorrell said:

“I am delighted to be appointed as CaSE chair.  I have had the opportunity over the past six years to be on the Board and witness first-hand the significant contributions they have made to support UK science and engineering.

I am looking forward to working with Sarah and the Board through what promises to be a very exciting phase of CaSE’s future development.  Graeme will be greatly missed; but I am fortunate in having had the opportunity to work with him and Sarah over the past few months to ensure there will be a smooth transition.”

Commenting on the conclusion of his tenure as Chair, Professor Graeme Reid said:

“Chairing the board of CaSE while working with Sarah and the wonderful team has been a great privilege. I have watched the reach and influence of CaSE grow year after year in immigration regulations, regional policy, research funding and more.  Much of the work is behind the scenes – making an impact rather than making a noise.  They are so effective.

Bob Sorrell brings an extraordinary range of leadership experience in research and innovation.  His wisdom, authority and good humour make him a terrific choice as chair of the board of CaSE and wish him every success in the role.”

About Dr Bob Sorrell

Dr Sorrell brings to CaSE Chair role over 30 years’ experience in the science and engineering sector.

Robert is an independent Technology and Policy Advisor.  Prior to that he was was BP’s Vice President for Research & Innovation for BP’s global Formulated Products (Fuels and Lubricants) Technology, and also BP’s technology policy advisor for the UK and EU. Robert joined BP in 1987 from Durham University having earlier completed his PhD at Cambridge University. Dr Sorrell has served on the CaSE board as trustee since 2014.

Other trustees appointed

Dr Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive, Glasgow Science Centre 

Stephen has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Glasgow Science Centre since 2012. Stephen’s background is in engineering and he holds a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Strathclyde. 

Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Biology

Mark has been Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Biology since its inception in 2009. Mark joined the RSB from the RNID, where he was the Executive director for Science and Enterprise. Mark joined RNID after spending three years as the UK’s lead policy official at the Department of Trade and Industry. 

Catherine Johns, Chief Executive, Kielder Observatory

Catherine was appointed as CEO of Kielder Observatory in 2019. She is a former Vice-Chair of the United Kingdom Science Park Association and a Board Director of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), where she founded Women in IASP, to promote the profile of women in the science park industry. nd.

Professor Andrew Jones, Deputy President (Interim), City, University of London

Professor Andrew Jones is Deputy President (Interim) and Professor of Economic Geography at City, University of London. He is an inter-disciplinary social scientist with a background as an economic geographer. Andrew is a trustee and Honorary Treasurer of the Academy of Social Science and holds several UKRI appointments.

Ron Mobed, former Chief Executive Officer, Elsevier

Ron has held executive positions in information and analytics companies including seven years as CEO at Elsevier and five years as President/COO at IHS. He is currently a Non-Executive Director at Aveva PLC, a FTSE100 global leader in industrial software, notably to the energy sector, a Non-Executive Director at Ordnance Survey and a Supervisory Board Member at Fugro N.V., the world’s leading geo-data specialist.