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John Wood, Chair of the Advisory Board of ATTRACT

Professor John Wood CBE, FREng is chair of the advisory board of ATTRACT which is a consortia of European Laboratories (including CERN and EMBL) and universities involved in developing breakthrough innovations for sensors, instrumentation and data development. Previously he was Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He is a visiting professor of materials at Imperial College London, University College London and Brunel University London. In addition to visiting chairs at Liverpool Hope and Cumbnia Universities. He graduated from Sheffield University in metallurgy followed by Cambridge University for his Ph.D. where he subsequently stayed on as Goldsmith’s Research Fellow at Churchill College. In 1994 he was awarded a higher doctorate from Sheffield and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania where he is also a “citizen of honour”. He has also received honorary doctorates from the B.S.Rahman University in Chennai and the Kwama Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. He has held several academic posts at the Open University, Nottingham University and Imperial College. From 2001‐2007 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils. During this period he was a visiting professor at Oxford and a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.


He is a non‐executive director of a number of companies including Bio‐Nano Consulting. He was a founder member of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures and became Chair in 2004 where he was responsible for producing the first European Roadmap. He became the first chair of the European Research Area Board in 2008-11. He remains a member of the European Commission’s Research, Innovation and Science Expert board. He chaired the Commission’s High Level Group on the future of Scientific Data producing the influential report “Riding the Wave” and also chaired the subsequent follow up report “The Data Harvest.” He was responsible for the international negotiations setting up the Global Research Data Alliance and was appointed one of the two co-chairs from the start.


He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999 and made a Commander of the British Empire in 2007 for "services to science,” In 2010 he was made an “Officer of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany”. In 2017 he was awarded the Platinum medal from the Institute of Materials, Mining and Minerals.

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