Keynote speakers

We are delighted to confirm the following speakers for this event:

Chair: Dr. Emma Hayhurst

NRN-LCEE Returning Fellow, University of South Wales

More about Dr Emma Hayhurst

Dr. Emma Hayhurst is a microbiologist and educator based at the University of South Wales with applied research interests in the area of antibiotic resistance and infection control. After a break of several years she returned to active research in 2016 when she was awarded an NRN-LCEE Returning Fellowship.  She has since put this to good use and has a number of ongoing research projects working with industrial and academic partners.  She is a Longitude Prize Discovery Award winner and a Fellow of the HEA.

Professor Shareen Doak

Director of the Centre for NanoHealth, Swansea University

"Out of the desert and into the sea"

More about Prof. Shareen Doak

Professor Shareen H. Doak is an internationally recognised expert in genetic toxicology (with an emphasis on nanomaterial safety) and in the molecular biology underlying prostate cancer progression. She is lead of the In Vitro Toxicology Group at Swansea University Medical School and is the Medical School’s Director for the Centre for NanoHealth. Shareen sits on the UK Government Committee on Mutagenicity and is a member of the ILSI/HESI International Genetic Toxicology Technical Committee. She is a European Registered Toxicologist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Professor Laura McAllister CBE, FLSW, FRSA

Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales, Cardiff University

"Who wants a team of Gareth Bales? Why diversity always makes a positive difference"

More about Prof. Laura McAllister

Professor Laura McAllister is Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre. She is an expert on devolution, Welsh politics and elections, and gender representation and the feminisation of politics.

A graduate from the London School of Economics (BSc Econ in Government) and Cardiff University (PhD in Politics), she holds Honorary degrees and Fellowships from Universities of Bangor, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, South Wales, Swansea, University of Wales Trinity St. David’s and Bridgend College.

Laura currently chairs the Assembly’s Expert Panel on Electoral Reform (since 2017) and is a former member of the Assembly Remuneration Board (2014-15), Independent Panel on AMs Pay and Support (2008-09), and the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales (2002-04).

A former Wales football international and national team captain with 24 caps, Laura was Chair of Sport Wales from 2010-16 and a Board Member of UK Sport. She is a Director of the Football Association of Wales Trust and a member of UEFA Women's Football Committee.

Laura is a Trustee Board member of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Society of the Arts. She was awarded CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2016.

Dr Mark Richards

Department of Physics, Imperial College London

"How interdisciplinary research can engage diverse groups through outreach"

More about Dr Mark Richards

Dr Mark Richards has a BSc in Chemistry (Manchester) and a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London. His research centred on the spectroscopic study of nitric acid vapour for atmospheric remote sensing retrievals. After working in finance for a while, Mark returned to Imperial in 2002 as a Postdoctoral researcher within the High Energy Physics Group to manage a Technology Transfer program. He has since co-founded Duvas Technologies, an Imperial spin-out company specialising in wireless air sensing networks for real-time pollution mapping. Mark is currently a member of the Physics teaching staff and is also the departmental Head of Outreach. 

Mark is an active member of Imperial As One - the Universities' Race Equality Advisory Group, and has been involved in numerous widening participation and outreach programs that aim to encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to pursue science and engineering as career choices. As a student, Mark spent most of his spare time DJ-ing as DJ Kemist and more recently founded Xtremix Records, an independent label that provides a remixing service to the music industry.

Professor Karen Holford

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

"10 myths I’d like to bust about science, engineering and leadership"

More about Prof. Karen Holford

Professor Karen Holford is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University. Her career began at Rolls-Royce in Bristol, followed by a PhD at the University of Wales, and a senior engineering role at AB Electronic Products, developing products for companies such as BMW, Jaguar and Rover. She joined Cardiff University as an engineering lecturer in 1990, becoming Head of School in 2010, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College in 2012, and taking up the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor in April 2017.

Since moving into academia, Professor Holford has helped to build the now substantial international reputation of acoustic emission (AE) research at Cardiff University, which has greatly improved the safety monitoring of bridges and other structures.

Professor Holford was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2015, is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. She is also a member of the STFC Council and the ESPRC Strategic Advisory network, an UpRising ambassador and in 2016 was named in the Daily Telegraph’s list of the Top 50 most influential women in engineering.