Sir Keith O’Nions - Curriculum vitae#

Chairman, Cambridge Enterprise Limited (from 1 September 2014)

As Chairman, I oversee the Board and strategy of Cambridge Enterprise Limited, the company responsible for supporting the commercialisation of the ideas that emerge from the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge Enterprise Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge. It currently manages close to 1,000 active IP, licensing, consultancy and equity contracts (including equity in more than 60 companies), and is working with more than 1,200 researchers at all stages of the commercialisation process.

President & Rector, Imperial College London (Jan 2010 – August 2014)

As President & Rector I was Imperial College London’s chief executive officer and oversaw all functions with a particular focus on strategic affairs and the College’s development, including Imperial’s new research and innovation campus at Imperial West, West London. Imperial College London is a science, technology, medicine and business university with a turnover of c. £800M per annum. It is consistently ranked in the top ten universities worldwide.

Director, Security Sciences and Technology Institute, Imperial College London (July 2008 – Dec 2009)

Appointed to create a new interdisciplinary Institute focussed on security challenges.

Director-General Science and Innovation, Dept. for Innovation and Universities and Skills (Jan 2004 to April 2008)

A major responsibility was the allocation and management of the UK Science budget of around £4bn a year. This covered the 7 UK research councils and the national academies, which span all research disciplines from medical and biological research, through physical sciences and engineering, particle physics and astronomy, environmental sciences to the social sciences and the humanities.

In the Innovation area the position included responsibility for management of the budgets supporting the Technology Strategy Board, the National Physical Laboratory, and National measurement System. It also included line management responsibility for the UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly Patent Office) and National Weights and Measures Laboratory.

Development of UK science and innovation policy and strategy was a key part of this role.

Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Ministry of Defence (Jan 2000 to July 2004)

The MOD CSA is the ultimate source of advice on all scientific and technical issues affecting the MOD. This included nuclear and non-nuclear matters. The position had specific responsibility for the strategy and management of the MOD science and technology budget, which supported all non-nuclear issues at ca. £450m a year. As Chair of the Investment Approvals Board the CSA advised the SofS on all MOD procurement with a through life cost exceeding £400m. This included major IT and estates investments in addition to equipment acquisitions.

The role included the position of Principal of the US-UK 1958 Mutual Defense Agreement.

Head of Earth Sciences and Professor of Physics and Chemistry Minerals, Oxford (Sep. 1995 to Dec 1999)

As Head of the Dept. of Earth Sciences at Oxford I had responsibility for teaching and research and held the Professorship of Physics and Chemistry of Minerals within the same department. In addition to being the administrative head and responsible for the department budget, I retained undergraduate teaching responsibilities and a Professorial fellowship at St Hugh’s College.

My own research interests were in isotope geochemistry and mass spectrometry.

Royal Society Research Professor, Cambridge. (Sep.1979 to Aug. 1995)

I held a Royal Society Research fellowship in the Dept. of Earth Sciences at Cambridge for some 16 years following my return from the USA. I developed a substantial research facility in mass spectrometry and a capability for isotope geochemistry at Cambridge.

I taught undergraduates and supervised PhD students for the entire period and held a Fellowship (and Vice President for the last several years) at Clare Hall

Professor of Geochemistry, Columbia, New York (July 1975 to Aug.1979)

The position at Columbia was first as Associate and then Full Professor in the Dept. of Geological Sciences. I developed new mass spectrometry facilities and isotope laboratories at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. I taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Columbia

Lecturer in Geochemistry, Oxford (Jan 1971 to June 1975)

The position at Oxford was initially as Demonstrator in Petrology and from 1972 onwards Lecturer in Geochemistry. I taught extensively at the undergraduate level and undertook research in geochemistry.

Other positions Held

  • 1995 - 2005 Natural History Museum Trustee and Chairman of Board (2003-05)
  • 1998 - 2000 UK Government’s Council of Science and Technology
  • 2008 - 2010 Non-exec Director Finemeccanica UK
  • 2010 Board of Trustees, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
  • 2013 Board Member, Singapore Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*Star)
  • 2013 Board of Trustees, KAPSARC, Saudi Arabia
  • 2016 Board of Trustees, DNRC (Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre)

Education and Qualifications
  • 1966 B.Sc. (Hons) in Geology, University of Nottingham, U.K.
  • 1969 Ph.D., University of Alberta, Canada
  • 1980 M.A. (Cantab.)
  • 1995 M.A. (Oxon).
  • 1969 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta
  • 1970 Unger Vetlesen Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oslo, Norway
  • 1988 Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar, Caltech.

Professional, HONOURS and AWARDS

  • 1979 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
  • 1980 Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
  • 1983 Fellow of the Royal Society
  • 1990 Member of Academia Europaea
  • 1997 Geochemistry Fellow (Joint Geochem. Soc. /Eur. Assoc. Geochem.)
  • 1998 Honorary Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences
  • 1997 Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • 2001 Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy
  • 2005 Fellow Royal Academy of Engineering (Honorary)

  • 1999 Knight Bachelor -Services to Earth Science (Birthday Honours)
  • 2000 Honorary Fellow, University of Cardiff
  • 2004 Honorary Doctor of Science, Herriot-Watt University
  • 2005 Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Glasgow
  • 2005 Honorary Doctor of Science, Royal Holloway
  • 2005 Docteur Honoris Causa, University of Paris
  • 2006 Honorary Doctor of Science, Loughborough University
  • 2007 Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Alberta
  • 2007 Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Edinburgh
  • 2007 Honorary Doctor of Science, Abertay University
  • 2009 Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Nottingham
  • 2010 Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Birmingham

  • 1979 J.B. Macelwane Award (American Geophysical Union)
  • 1983 Bigsby Medal (Geological Society of London)
  • 1985 Hallimond Lecturer (Mineralogical Society)
  • 1986 UK-Canada Rutherford Lecturer (Royal Society)
  • 1986 William Smith Lecturer (Geological Society of London)
  • 1990 Ingerson Lecturer (Geological Society of America)
  • 1995 Arthur Holmes Medal (European Union of Geosciences)
  • 1995 Lyell Medal (Geological Society of London)
  • 1998 Jaeger-Hales Lecturer, Australian National University
  • 2001 Urey Medal (European Association Geochemistry)
  • 2004 Bruce Preller Prize Lecturer, Royal Society of Edinburgh
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