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The competition is now closed but you can find out more about the judges who were involved below.

Kim Aumann

Co-Director of Boingboing

Kim is Co-Director of the Boingboing Community Interest Company, ( where she works with academics, practitioners, parents, carers and young people, developing a resilience approach to support socially excluded children and families. Previously the co-founder and Director of the award winning charity Amaze (, Kim continues to work with parents of children with disabilities and special educational needs and provides a consultancy and training service for the organisation. She has partnered with academics from diverse disciplines (Graphic Design, Geography, Arts, Business Marketing, Environment & Technology, Health and Social Sciences), facilitated communities of practice that bring knowledge sets together and more recently, has linked with community partners and public engagement organisations to establish the UK Community Partner Network. Kim is a Visiting Fellow with the Faculty of Health and Social Science at the University of Brighton and has published articles and book chapters on the value of community-university partnership working, parent support and the resilience approach.

Steve Cross

Steve Cross

Head of Public Engagement, UCL

Dr. Steve Cross is UCL's Head of Public Engagement, and together with colleagues ran the Beacons for Public Engagement programme in London. He's also the founder of the research comedy programme Bright Club, which runs across the UK, Science Showoff, a touring chaotic science communication cabaret and Museums Showoff, where museum staff share their projects in an anarchic way. He's a member of the board of At-Bristol, one of the UK's foremost science centres, and won the Joshua Phillips Award for Innovation in Science Engagement in 2010. Before UCL Steve worked in exhibition development for museums and science centres, including Wellcome Collection, the Science Museum and the Centre for Life.

Simon Denegri

Simon Denegri

Chair of INVOLVE

Simon Denegri is Chair of INVOLVE – the national advisory group for the promotion and support of public involvement in research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – and NIHR’s National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research. He was Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) from 2006 until 2011 and, prior to this, Director of Corporate Communications at the Royal College of Physicians from 2003. He also worked in corporate communications for Procter & Gamble in the United States from 1997 to 2000. He has a long-standing personal and professional interest in the needs and priorities of people with dementia and their carers and currently chairs the Lay Champions Group for the national portal on dementia research that is to be launched this year. He is a member of the NIHR Advisory and Strategy Boards, is INVOLVE’s representative on the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Board.

Sophie Duncan

Sophie Duncan

Deputy Director, NCCPE

Sophie is has worked in public engagement for over 15 years. She is currently the deputy director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, a role that includes overseeing NCCPE projects and communications. Originally trained as a physicist she started her career at the Science Museum in London where she was involved in exhibition design and public events. She then became programme manager with Science Year – a government initiative to promote science to teenagers. Following this, Sophie spent 7 years working at the BBC – managing the creation and delivery of national learning campaigns including People’s War. She is passionate about engaging with the public, and committed to finding more effective ways to support public involvement in higher education.

Helen Featherstone

Helen Featherstone

Catalyst Project, University of Exeter

Helen Featherstone, PhD, runs the Exeter Catalyst project. She works across the university supporting engaged research and creating the conditions for engaged research to flourish. Prior to joining the Catalyst family, Helen was a post-doc researcher at UWE, Bristol looking at the publics' roles in public engagement. Helen continues to teach on the MSc Science Communication course at UWE. Alongside her research and teaching experience, Helen has extensive experience in practical STEM engagement activities primarily in interactive Science and Discovery Centres. For 14 years she has been responsible for all aspects of these activities including fundraising, project management, content and event delivery, collaborative working and evaluation. For 3 years (2010-2013), Helen was Chair of the Visitor Studies Group. The group for audience researchers in non-profit visitor centres such as museums, galleries and botanic gardens. The VSG advocates putting visitors at the heart of cultural experiences.

Susan Grant

Susan Grant

GCU Community & Public Engagement Coordinator

Susan Grant co-ordinates Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Community and Public Engagement agenda and supports the work of the Community and Public Engagement Steering Group. Susan also adds to GCU’s engagement portfolio through her own projects, for example ensuring that the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has a lasting legacy. Susan comes from an outreach background, having most recently worked on GCU's widening access and community engagement project, The Caledonian Club, where she developed projects mapped to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence which raised aspirations and built key life skills and confidence in children from aged 3-18 and their families. @GCUEngage;

Steven Hill

Dr Steven Hill

Head of Research Policy, HEFCE

Steven Hill is Head of the Research Policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Prior to joining HEFCE Steven was Head of the Strategy Unit at Research Councils UK, covering a range of research policy issues, and had several roles in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, working on evidence-based policy making. Earlier in his career Steven was a university lecturer at the University of Oxford where his research focussed on plant physiology and biotechnology. 

Rick Holliman

Dr Richard Holliman

Champion for Public Engagement, Open University

Dr Richard Holliman is the Open University’s (OU’s) first Champion for Public Engagement with Research. He is the academic lead on the OU’s Public Engagement with Research Catalyst, ‘An open research university’, and the Principal Investigator on the OU’s ‘Engaging Opportunities’ project which is part of the RCUK-funded School-University Partnership Initiative. He has overall operational responsibility for coordinating and leading all aspects of these action research projects, and helping to shape strategic objectives for OU public engagement with research. Alongside his role in leading the research phases of these projects, Richard is also responsible for connecting the work of the projects with the university’s decision-making forums and senior managers. He also contributes to the wider RCUK-funded Catalyst and SUPI programmes, which are coordinated by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. His research publications are hosted on Open Research Online.

Alistair Jarvis

Director of Communications and External Relations, Universities UK

Alistair was formerly Director of Communications and Marketing at the University of Birmingham. His department won the Outstanding Marketing/Communications Team of the Year Award at the 2012 THELMA Awards. Previously, he held various senior communications and campaigning roles. Alistair is also a Board Director of and an external adviser to the social enterprise Student Funder. He was educated at the Universities of Kent, Leicester and the Institute of Education, University of London.

Kerry Leslie

Kerry Leslie

Head of Public Engagement with Research, RCUK

Kerry has worked for the Research Councils for over ten years. Initially, Kerry worked for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the Engineering research programmes and then as Head of Public Engagement for EPSRC. Since April 2005, Kerry has been the Head of the Research Council UK's Public Engagement with Research team. Her PhD in Astrophysics was gained at University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory. She is a British Science Association Council member.

Richard Marggraf TurleyRichard Marggraf Turley

Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination, Aberystwyth University

Richard Marggraf Turley is Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination at Aberystwyth University, and previously co-directed Aberystwyth’s Centre for Romantic Studies between 2005 and 2013. As a Romanticist he works on literature and political culture in the early nineteenth century. He is also passionate about the ways in which literature can open shared spaces of imagination for discussing pressing contemporary issues such as sustainability, food security and surveillance. Richard makes regular media appearances talking about the interface of the Arts and Sciences, and has served on the English panel of judges for the 2013 Wales Book of the Year. In 2007, he won the Keats-Shelley Prize for poetry. His next book, co-authored with Jayne Archer and Howard Thomas, is Food and the Literary Imagination (2015). His novel set in the Romantic period, The Cunning House, is also forthcoming in 2015.

Paul MannersPaul Manners

Director, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Paul is responsible for the strategic direction of the NCCPE. Originally trained as a secondary English teacher, he worked for twelve years at the Open University as a producer of TV, radio and multimedia before joining the BBC as an executive producer of a number of national public engagement campaigns. He advises a number of national organisations on learning and engagement, including the National Trust and the Science Museum.

Katrina Nilsson

Katrina Nilsson

Head of Contemporary Science, Science Museum

Kat started out as a Plant Biologist which she originally studied at Manchester University then lept from research at Sheffield University into stand-up comedy which was predominately science. In the early days of the internet she produced on online content for the BBC and Chanel 4. She gained an MSc in Science Communication while working for Science Line then moved to the Science Museum. Here she led the Dana Centre’s event programme – the world’s first adults-only venue for dialogue on science with cross-disciplinary programming of zeitgeist-hitting events. In her current role as Head of Contemporary Science at the Science Museum she reinvented the Museum’s science news gallery. Her team work like journalists covering the latest science, technology and engineering and medicine in innovative exhibits, exhibitions and events.

Erinma Ochu

Erinma Ochu

Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, University of Manchester

Dr Erinma Ochu is a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow based at The University of Manchester exploring innovative ways the public can participate in biomedical research. Trained originally as a neuroscientist, her diverse career includes working in the film, TV and cultural sector and more recently coordinating citizen-led initiatives including Catalyst, a Lancaster University-led initiative exploring how technology can support citizen-led social innovation. She is an RSA fellow and serves on the BBSRC Science and Society panel.

Ellen PearceEllen Pearce

Director, Vitae

Ellen Pearce is Director of Vitae and CEO of CRAC: the Career Development Organisation which manages Vitae. She is responsible for the strategy, work and activities of Vitae which aims to enhance the quality and output of the research base, through supporting the training and development of world-class researchers. Working in the area of personal, professional and career development for researchers since 2002, Ellen has led several key initiatives in the last few years. Currently, she leads the process for UK institutions to gain the European HR Excellence in Research Award, now held by over 80 UK organisations. She is a member of the EURAXESS steering group and a European peer reviewer for the HR Excellence in Research Award.

Stephen Roberts

Stephen Roberts

Public Programme Manager, Natural History Museum

Stephen has been involved in face to face science communication for 20 years working in three different EU countries and at the NHM for the last 10. Stephen provides overall direction for the rich programme of events and activities at the Museum ranging from a single researcher engaging a small group in conversation on our galleries to a festival with nearly 500 researchers engaging with more than 10,000 members of the wider public. Having managed the successful Nature Live programme and team of eight science communicators for 5 years Stephen has a particular expertise in facilitated scientist-public engagement and works closely with scientists in developing the quality, scope and impact of live engagement.

Albert Rodger

Professor Albert Rodger

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Vice-Principal for External Affairs, University of Aberdeen

Professor Albert Rodger is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the University of Aberdeen's Vice-Principal for External Affairs. He provides leadership for initiatives aimed at cultivating high quality relationships with the University’s external communities. Throughout his career Professor Rodger has engaged in research into geotechnical dynamics, which has led to a number of patented and licensed inventions. In 1997 he was awarded the Halcrow Premium from the Institution of Civil Engineers for his research and the John Logie Baird Award for Innovation for an invention which has the Trade Mark GRANIT. In 2000 GRANIT was awarded Millennium Product Status. Professor Rodger was awarded the Silver Medal of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2000. Professor Rodger was appointed the first Director of the Northern Research Partnership of Universities in 2007. He has also been a key contributor to the development of the National Subsea Research Institute and became its first Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Professor Rodger is a Board Member and Chair of Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee of the Scottish Funding Council.

Alice Taylor-Gee

Manager of Science in Society, British Science Association

Alice is Manager of the Science in Society team at the British Science Association developing a unique and innovative programme of schemes and events for scientists, science communicators and the public. She disseminates and shares good practice amongst the science communication community by running the annual Science Communication Conference. Alice has been on the judging panels for both BBSRC and EPSRC public engagement grants and been a reviewer for Wellcome Trust public engagement awards. She has also been a guest lecturer on the Science Communication Masters course at the University of the West of England. She has a Masters in Chemistry from the University of East Anglia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Science Communication from the Australian National University. She has managed the team since 2006 and currently works part time.

Alan Winfield

Alan Winfield

Professor of Electronic Engineering and Director of the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol

Alan Winfield is Professor of Electronic Engineering and Director of the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK, and Visiting Professor at the University of York. He conducts research in swarm robotics in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and is especially interested in robots as working models of life, evolution, intelligence and culture. Alan is passionate about communicating research and ideas in science, engineering and technology, and was awarded a Senior Media Fellowship in 2009. He led UK-wide public engagement project Walking with Robots, awarded the 2010 Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke medal for public promotion of engineering. His book, Robotics: A Very Short Introduction, was published by Oxford University Press in September 2012, and he blogs about robots, open science and related topics at