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EPSRC CDT in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future


Sensors and the future of environmental monitoring

Defra published its 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment in January. This set out Defra’s objectives for clean air and water, thriving animal and plant communities and reducing the risk from environmental hazards such as flooding, drought and coastal erosion. To achieve this, and to measure our progress in delivering the plan, we will need new approaches and methods to monitor the physical, chemical and biological environment and to assure the trustworthiness, quality and openness and of environmental data.


Ian WilliamsIain Williams

 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Iain Williams is Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Iain leads Defra’s science and research strategy and is responsible for advising on scientific capability requirements for the department, domestic and international research partnerships, independent scientific advice, and the use of emerging and disruptive technologies and methods (including leading the Defra’s Earth Observation policy).

Iain has held numerous scientific posts in government including UK’s Home Office Science and Technology Counsellor in the British Embassy in Washington DC, Chief of Staff to the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, Head of Science Quality in Defra and research programme manager roles in horticulture, plant health and agri-environment.

Iain’s research background is entomology, epidemiology and population dynamics having held research posts at Imperial College, London and the University of East Anglia. 

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