Employee Spotlight: November 2021

November 26, 2021

WRc graduate engineer awarded IChemE’s 2021 SIESO Medal

Lauren Averill, Graduate Water Process Engineer at WRc, has been awarded the SIESO Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) for her work on the process safety project Deepwater Horizon – an interactive experience.

The SIESO Medal, launched in 2019, is an annual competition that seeks to raise awareness of process safety among science, business and engineering students. Applicants must present a major accident in a unique way, displaying the learning outcomes.

To win the award, Lauren and her team from the University of Bradford created Deepwater Horizon – an interactive experience, a website designed as an interactive training session to explain the process safety requirements for offshore drilling following the catastrophic events of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A catastrophic oil well blowout occurred on-board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in 2010, resulting in 11 deaths, the demise of the rig and the largest oil spill in history. The events that led to the accident and the emergency response have since become a landmark case in process safety, law and politics.

As part of the submission process, Lauren and her team also had to write an article detailing the accident, the process safety issues and the learning outcomes.

Jon Prichard, Chief Executive of IChemE, commented, “The judging panel noted that the submission stood out for the appreciable effort that had gone into producing the interactive training session, resulting in an incredibly effective way of sharing lessons. They unanimously agreed that this entry was a worthy winner of the award.”

Congratulations, Lauren!

Lauren Averill

A new era for ADAS Soils, Crops and Water

ADAS has announced a new leadership team for its Soils, Crops and Water (SCW) business.

Managing Director James Clarke stepped aside on 1 November to take on an exciting new role as ADAS Research Director, so the business will now be led by Lucy Wilson as Managing Director, supported by three Associate Managing Directors: Faye Ritchie, Lizzie Sagoo and Sarah Kendall.

Lucy, Faye, Lizzie and Sarah commented, “We would like to thank James for all his hard work, dedication and leadership over the years and wish him all the best for his new role. We look forward to working with our colleagues across the group to ensure that SCW continues to be a success.”

James added, “My focus will now be on agriculture and farming, specifically, applied research and its transference into business opportunities and consultancy. The incoming team of Lucy, Faye, Sarah and Lizzie is excellent for the business and signifies a new era for SCW. SCW is a business that continues to perform robustly and has a strong and diverse order book. In time, the new team will evolve SCW to new areas and introduce new innovations. I wish them the best of luck.”

And, just ahead of taking up this new role…

Royal accolade for ADAS Research Director, James Clarke

James was commended by The English Panel of The Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) for his 40-year career in agricultural research. The awards ceremony was held on 5 October in the House of Lords and was hosted by Lord Taylor of Holbeach FRAgS in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, Fellow. James received the award in recognition of his contribution to agricultural policy development and research and his role in championing farmer-centric research throughout his career.

As an expert in all aspects of arable production, specialising in integrated farming, sustainable agriculture and crop protection, James has long been respected and recognised throughout the UK’s farming and agricultural research community.

James began working with ADAS in 1979, starting his career as a local adviser in Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk. From there, his roles have included regional agronomist, research centre manager and, most recently, manging director of the ADAS soils, crops and water (SCW) team. Alongside his work at ADAS, James is currently chair of the UK Weed Resistance Action Group and is a former chair of the Pesticides Forum. After receiving his award, he is now also associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS). More recently, James has been appointed to join the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides.

“James can be rightly proud of this tremendous recognition by CARAS of his unstinting dedication to the promotion of agriculture and agricultural research, to which he has devoted over four decades of his life. His colleagues and friends in ADAS share that pride and salute his outstanding achievements,” commented Andrew Walker, Managing Director of ADAS.

Congratulations, James, on your achievement.

Center: James Clarke