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Bridging the gap between business and academia

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Professor Christopher Snowden, a leading academic with substantial business experience, began his year-long term of office as President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on 1 October.

He is currently vice-chancellor and chief executive of the University of Surrey and has enjoyed a varied career with considerable experience of the international microwave and semi-conductor industry.

As president of the IET, Professor Snowden will act as an ambassador for the engineering and technology community.

"I am delighted to be taking on the presidency of the IET" said Professor Snowden. "The Institution plays a very important role at the forefront of science, engineering and technology, drawing together a global community of professionals and addressing key issues. I look forward to ensuring that the IET and its membership continue to prosper and fulfil this important role in society."

Professor Snowden is keen to use his year in office to bridge the gap between business and academia. He said: "Engineering is not just about manufacturing or making things, it is an integral part of our daily lives. Today's world of economic uncertainty means that it is more important than ever to elevate the central role that science, engineering and technology must play in a successful economy."

Professor Snowden was head of the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from 1995-1998. He was the founder and first director of the Institute of Microwaves and Photonics located in the school.

He is currently a non-executive director of Intense, which designs and manufactures photonic products such as laser arrays for the professional printing industry. He has previous experience as a non-executive of several other technology companies. He is vice-president of the Royal Academy of Engineering and chairs the Academy's Engineering Policy Committee.

Professor Snowden is a member of the council of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and has recently been appointed to the UK's Technology Strategy Board. He is also is a fellow of the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, IEEE, IET and City and Guilds Institute. He was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering's silver medal in 2004 for his ‘outstanding contributions to the UK microwave semiconductor industry'.


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