Professor Newnes (Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Budd (Mathematical Sciences) have built strong industrial links and championed cross-disciplinary working during careers spanning three decades at the University.

Professor Linda Newnes joined the University of Bath in 1991. Her research focus is on whole life value analysis (economic, environmental, and societal costs) from concept design through to the in-service/in-use/re-use phases. She leads a £1.8M Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant on Transdisciplinary Engineering Design, which aims to remove the barriers between different disciplines and job functions and in doing so fundamentally change how 21st century products are designed.

She also leads the £5 million Centre for People-Led Digitalisation, which is focused on increasing uptake, and maximising the benefits, of digital technologies by understanding how people interact with them. Most of her research is industry focussed and her impacts have created benefits and value to, among others, the aerospace and defence sectors, medical device design, the oil and gas industries, green technologies, and utilities.

Professor Chris Budd has been Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University for over twenty years and is Director of Knowledge Exchange of the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation. He is also Chair of Mathematics at the Royal Institution and Professor of the Public Understanding of Mathematics at the ICMS, Edinburgh. His research interests circle around interdisciplinary industrial and applied mathematics, particularly complex nonlinear problems arising in real applications. His work with the Met Office has led to significant improvements in the accuracy of weather forecasting code. He is also carrying out research on climate modelling and collaborates with the energy industry, the aerospace industry, the telecommunications industry and the food industry.

He has been very actively engaged in using mathematics in the fight against Covid-19 as one of the founders of V-KEMS, the (award winning) Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences, which has run many workshops tackling a wide range of Covid-19 related problems. The results from these are used by SAGE to help to guide policy decisions.

Professors Newnes and Budd were presented with their Research Medals during the 2021 winter degree ceremonies.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian White commented, “I am delighted to award this year’s Research Medals to two Professors who have demonstrated how working across subject, academic and industrial boundaries can help to solve large-scale problems and achieve real-world impact.

“In awarding the Medals, I would also like to pay tribute to the other significant contributions that both make to our community. Linda’s work in developing and supporting others along with her leadership of the Aurora programme and the University’s Athena SWAN submissions has been outstanding. Chris has made a major contribution to the advancement of the public understanding of and engagement in science and mathematics and, through his extensive outreach work, he has inspired the next generation of industrial mathematicians."

The Vice-Chancellor's Research Medal was established in 2009 and is awarded annually in recognition of sustained research excellence and impact.