Professor elected to Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship


The Royal Academy of Engineering has elected the University of Leeds’ professor of Nanomanufacturing Innovation, Terry Wilkins, to its fellowship.

Professor Wilkins, who is based in School of Chemical and Process Engineering, is an innovator of novel, game-changing technologies that have had a significant impact on the healthcare and advanced materials industries.

Since being appointed as Europe’s first professor of nanotechnology manufacturing in 2005, his work has led to the development of novel translational nanotechnology research at the University.

Professor Wilkins’ innovative high speed measurement systems have created enormous financial and social benefits and have influenced industry widely.

Applications of these systems have included the diagnosis of metabolic diseases, and cancer and eliminating the need for radioactive licenses for clinical laboratories worldwide.

He has also achieved success in advanced materials and environmental engineering throughout his career, evidenced respectively by his contribution to the creation of the world’s first and most successful DNA fingerprinting business, Cellmark and ICI’s HFCs healing the hole in the ozone layer.

Success as a serial innovator has led to service pro bono as a high-level expert advisor to the UK government, including the former Minister for Science and Universities, David Willets; the European Commission, and EU Parliament, covering the nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology and production technologies (NMBP) and the Marie Skladowska Curie mobility programmes respectively.

As a member of many UK and EU policy committees, from 2002 onwards, his experience has guided industrial research and innovation investment policy.

As a result, Europe now outcompetes the US in the large fast growing nanotechnology market and has created a worldwide nanosafety research community led by the region.

Professor Wilkins said: “It is with some pride I join the ranks of the Faculty’s 18 Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows whose work I greatly admire.”

Professor Giles Davies, the Faculty of Engineering Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation said: "Professor Wilkins’ dedication to the profession over many years has resulted in significant impact in the industries his research has supported, government policy, and the development of his field academically.

"The Faculty of Engineering is proud of his contribution and applauds his election to the fellowship of Academy, it is very well deserved.”

Among the other eminent engineers elected to the fellowship at the same time as Professor Wilkins are Keith Howells, Chairman of engineering and development firm Mott McDonald, Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff from the University of Nottingham, Professor Eleanor Stride from the University of Oxford, and Professor Julian Allwood from the University of Cambridge. The full list of 2017 fellows can be found here.

Further information

Journalists with questions or interview requests should contact Peter Le Riche in the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 2049 or email