The Women of Made Smarter Innovation: Part 2

Posted on 23 Mar 2022 by The Manufacturer

Two weeks ago, we celebrated International Women’s Day by introducing some of the incredible women involved in the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge. We would like to continue highlighting some of the other amazing women involved in the programme. By celebrate women in the manufacturing sector, we can hopefully encourage more young women to venture into the industry.

Lydia Gardner is the Head of the Manufacturing the Future Theme in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and supports the Made Smarter Innovation Research Centres. Appointed in January 2020, following 4 and a half years in the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) prior to this, Lydia leads the delivery of strategic activities aimed to enable a prosperous and productive UK, supported by a thriving, research and knowledge-led manufacturing base, with the mission to create and capture the benefits of basic research for UK manufacturing industries.

“I find it really interesting to see how research can help drive digital innovation in business and enjoy being a part of Made Smarter Innovation to support manufacturing sectors in that endeavour. It is great to be a part of something where there is genuine engagement and support from colleagues and the research and innovation community we work with.”

Laura Totterdell is a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Manufacturing the Future theme, supporting the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge.  Laura’s background is in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and after her PhD she taught Science for two years in a secondary school.  She then joined the EPSRC in 2017 and has had roles in the EDI & People team, the AI & Robotics team. Laura spent around 9 months working on Made Smarter Innovation in 2020 and has recently re-joined the team after returning from maternity leave in October 2021.

“Made Smarter Innovation is a really interesting opportunity to work with colleagues across UKRI to create an integrated programme that bridges across from research to later-stage innovation and implementation.  I think it’s important to support the manufacturing sector in bringing new technologies through the pipeline so they can actually be used to benefit UK industry and I appreciate the particular benefits that the MSI ISCF programme has in being able to bring different people together from across the landscape to turn exciting research ideas into reality.”

Charis Cook, a senior innovation and impact manager, is a plant scientist by training. Charis worked with the plant science research network GARNet before moving to BBSRC in 2015. She has been at UKRI ever since, moving to ESRC in 2020. Charis is focused on exploring how social science can support innovation for UK industry and society, including manufacturing and she supports the InterAct programme. Outside of work, she is usually negotiating with her two small children, or reading a novel while drinking tea or wine (depending on the time of day).

“It’s fascinating to see how social science can support innovation and productivity in manufacturing. It’s great to support academics, many of whom are women, who are passionate about improving the environmental and ethical credentials of the industry.”

Tabbasum Naz is a Research Fellow at CMAC, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In June 2022, Tabbasum will join the Made Smarter Innovation – Digital Medicines Manufacturing Research Centre (DM2) project funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), where she will be working on data digitalisation and development of ontologies in the domain of medicine manufacturing.

Tabbasum has experience working with the wider CMAC partner network, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer and GSK on a variety of heterogeneous pharmaceutical manufacturing data. Currently, she is completing her work for the Digital Design Accelerator Platform (DDAP) project funded by UKRI.

The DM2 Research Centre will allow Tabbasum to further her research on data digitalisation in pharmaceutical manufacturing and work on the development of data architectures, models, ETL and ontologies to underpin future medicines discovery and development.

Sherrie Rad is an Innovation Lead for the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and sits within the programmes core team. Joining early in 2022, Sherrie was previously an Innovation Lead for the Transforming Construction Challenge at UKRI. With a background in the commercial world, Sherrie led on digital and artificial intelligence.

To find out more about Made Smarter Innovation and how you can get involved with any of the programmes, head to Made Smarter or UKRI.