Science & Technology – Sponsored by University of Wales

The Inspire Wales Awards are an initiative of the Institute of Welsh Affairs in association with the Western Mail.

Inspirational people from all walks of life are being honoured in the second annual Inspire Wales Awards. The awards – a partnership between the Western Mail and the Institute of Welsh Affairs – recognise the contribution of those in the fields of business, education, science and technology, arts and media, the environment and sport. They also aim to mark the work of young achievers, those who promote Wales to the world and the Welsh language in the workplace, as well as champions of citizenship. Here, we reveal the finalists in the Science and Technology category.

Professor Anthony K Campbell

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Professor Campbell has contributed a huge amount to the research field of animals and microbes that make their own light (bioluminescence) and using this for clinical diagnosis and drug research. His work has led to three major inventions, with one – the discovery of the effectiveness of flashes of light, rather than glows – leading to a method that is used in hundreds of millions of tests worldwide. His invention has brought in £20m to Wales from patent royalties, spin-out sales and grant income, and has won a slew of awards. His infectious enthusiasm has translated into eight books, more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and 40 reviews, as well as extensive lab-based genetic engineering tests in bioluminescence and how it might contribute to medicine. Prof Campbell’s inspirational teaching has also helped thousands of Cardiff University students at the School of Medicine and, from last year, at the Welsh School of Pharmacy, and his founding of the Darwin Centre in Pembrokeshire in 1993 bringing science to children across South Wales.

Ian Tansley

Founding Tywyn-based True Energy was the result of a 25-year career based to the development of renewable energy technologies to improve people’s quality of life. After his interest was pricked by making African stoves from scrap oil drums at school, Mr Tansley embarked upon a career that has seen him influence students at Bradford University and at the Centre for Alternative Technology in his hometown of Machynlleth. One of the beneficiaries of his expertise, Fred Attah, went on from being a trainee technician with Mr Tansley to become a trusted solar consultant to the World Bank; UN and a host of aid organisations. His valued work has been recognised as far back as 1988, being used as examples of best practice by the Design Council. He has also devoted a large part of his career to using his expertise to some of the most remote places of Africa and Asia and this dedication has also led to him spending the last six years developing his Sure Chill refrigerator technology – something that could help billions of people with little or no electricity to have a working refrigerator.

Abi Carter

Ms Carter has spent her whole professional life using her forensic science expertise for the good of others and has been an integral part of the forensic criminal investigations for five and a half years. As director and founder of Cardiff-based Forensic Resources, she initially managed all the forensic cases herself, but now oversees staff and expert witnesses in more than 45 disciplines, and in a male-dominated arena. She has developed a niche market to provide full case-management expertise, across a range of disciplines, for defence teams in criminal cases, especially in the fields of DNA analysis, toxicology and fingerprint development among others. She combines her working life with a consultative role for Kenyon International as a forensic archeologist in natural disaster emergency response, always on call for deployments around the world. Ms Carter’s novel business approach was recognised when she was awarded Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 in the South Wales Business Awards, and has inspired women in a range of areas.

Copy written by Graham Henry. Photos courtesy of Media Wales.

Also within People and Places