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Aston university’s vice-chancellor appointed to government’s climate change committee

6 August 2008 – for immediate release

Aston University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julia King, was appointed by the Environment Secretary last week to join a key independent advisory board on climate change.

The committee, to be established under the Climate Change Bill (currently before Parliament), will provide independent, expert advice to government ministers on how the UK can meet its climate change goals. The appointment follows the King Review – a high profile review of vehicle and fuel technologies by Professor King - which was published as part of the budget in March 2008. The review was requested by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, and findings should help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport over the next 25 years.

Hilary Benn, Climate Change Secretary, said:

“The Committee on Climate Change will play a fundamental role in steering the UK’s path towards a low carbon economy. I am delighted to appoint Julia King as the sixth member of the Committee. Her knowledge and experience in transport and particularly in reducing emissions from it will make an invaluable contribution to the Committee’s work.”

Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor, Aston University, added:

“I am very excited to be joining the Climate Change Committee. The Climate Change Bill is an important and challenging piece of legislation for the UK. The Bill, and the associated carbon budgets, should provide the strong focus across government and business which is needed to have a real impact in driving down CO2 emissions and in meeting our international commitments. I feel it is a rather special opportunity to be part of such an important process.”

Professor King took up the top position at Aston University in December 2006. She is one of the country’s leading engineers and has recently been appointed to the first governing board for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

During her successful career in academia and industry, Professor King has held a number of senior positions at Rolls-Royce (including Director of Advanced Engineering for the Industrial Businesses and Managing Director of the Fan Systems Operating Business) and has been Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics and Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College. She recently stepped down as chair of the MoD’s Defence Science Advisory Council and has led a Royal Academy of Engineering Working Party looking at the education of engineers for the 21st Century. Despite her many other commitments, Prof King continues to play an active role in encouraging women and young people to go into the sciences and engineering.

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Notes to editors

For more information contact Laura Plotnek, University Communications Team, Aston University on 0121 204 4549 or l.plotnek@aston.ac.uk.

About the Committee on Climate Change

• The Committee on Climate Change is being established as a high-profile independent statutory body. It will be the first of its kind, bringing together different strands of expertise from the fields of climate science and policy, economics, business competitiveness and financial management. It will draw on existing information and undertake its own analysis to provide expert advice to Ministers.

• To ensure the Committee is able to provide its advice on the first three carbon budgets by December 2008, as required in the Bill currently before Parliament, the Committee is currently operating in “shadow” form as a non-statutory body.

• The appointment process has been regulated and monitored by the Commissioner for Public Appointments to ensure that it has been made on merit against established criteria and after fair and open competition. This process is also in accordance with the Nolan Principles.

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