BRE appoints new chief scientist and engineer


Building science centre announces arrival of University College London Professor of Engineering Systems, Jeremy Watson

Building science centre, BRE, has appointed University College London Professor of Engineering Systems, Jeremy Watson, to lead its built environment research programme.

The programme, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, is designed to address the many challenges faced by the sector, including climate change mitigation, adaption and resource scarcity. It is delivered by BRE and its five BRE trust- funded university centres of excellence, which are based in Bath, Cardiff, Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Brasilia.

Watson will specifically look at setting strategic research goals around the role of digital in delivering cites of the future as the UK’s and the global population continue to grow and become more urbanised. Built environment resilience will also be a key focus as the extreme effects of climate change continue to threaten our existing built and civil infrastructure.

Chief executive of BRE, Dr Peter Bonfield, said: "Jeremy has a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the research and policy fields that we plan to draw on. He has extensive connections to academia, industry and government which will help us steer a more collaborative approach to our programme so we can drive positive change in the built environment on a global scale – that is BRE’s mission.”

Watson is concurrently vice dean and Professor of Engineering Systems in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, working in the Department of Science Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at the University College of London (UCL).

An engineer by training, he has experience as a practitioner and director of pure and applied research and development in industry, the public sector and academia. Until November 2012, he was chief scientific advisor for the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG). He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2013 Birthday honours for services to engineering.

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He said of his new role: "I am delighted to be joining BRE – a highly-esteemed organisation with great assets in people, knowledge and market position. I am very keen to catalyse this potential to grow economic and social value in new and existing areas of business."