Sir James Burnell-Nugent shaking hands with Prof. Terence Lewi

New Chair for PML

From left: Professor Stephen de Mora, Sir James Burnell-Nugent and Professor Terence Lewis


Sir James Burnell-Nugent to follow Professor Terence Lewis as Chair of the Board of Trustees at PML.

Terence Lewis FRCS became a PML trustee in 2002 so has been involved with the Laboratory since it became an independent research charity. He took over as Chair of Trustees in 2009 and amongst the notable achievements during his tenure has been the building of the Lady Isobel Laing Marine Matters Centre (MMC). Used for hosting conferences and delivering lectures and seminars, the MMC has transformed PML’s science communication and knowledge exchange activities. Terence not only played an active part in the original ideas and designs for the MMC, but also contributed significantly to raising the necessary finance to complete the project, especially through a major donation from the Kirby Laing Foundation. During his period as Chair of Trustees PML saw its research projects increase by 43% with a 9.4% growth in turnover and an 11% increase in staffing levels.

Terence was formerly a consultant cardiac surgeon with a strong research background, and latterly Medical Director at Derriford Hospital, so building upon the links between the environment and human health was a natural research area for PML to develop, and is now a key plank of the Laboratory’s science interests. “I have greatly enjoyed 14 years with PML; the first 7 as a Trustee under the chairmanship of the late Lord Christopher Kingsland, at a time when PML became an independent research organization”, he said.  “It was a huge transition which went very well.  My last 7 years as Chairman have been a period of consolidation and growth, not only in size but also in reputation, such that PML is now recognised worldwide as an outstanding leader in the field of marine science and understanding – undoubtedly the most important agenda for this and the next generation. It has been an exciting and humbling experience working with such committed and challenging people. The future for the organization looks excellent.  I am proud to have been able to have helped.”

Incoming Chair of Trustees, Sir James Burnell-Nugent, KCB, CBE praised Terence’s important input into PML’s past and current achievements:  “I would like to thank Terence Lewis for his enormous personal contribution and leadership in the success story of Plymouth Marine Laboratory.  In particular, as Chairman for the last 7 years, he has overseen PML’s transition to a sustainable not-for-profit organisation, remaining at the leading edge of marine research, as well as putting our trading company, PML Applications on a sound footing for further growth. These are strong foundations and I look forward to building upon them as PML moves further forward into an exciting future“.

Sir James was the Commander-in Chief Fleet of the Royal Navy until 2007 and has subsequently started and run a successful business – Orchard Leadership – which gives strategic and operational advice in the private and not for profit sectors. He was awarded the CBE for inspirational leadership in 1999 and knighted in 2004. Locally he is currently High Sheriff of Devon.

PML Chief Executive, Professor Stephen de Mora, is delighted that Sir James has agreed to Chair PML’s Board of Trustees into the future. “The Chair of Trustees is a key role in any not-for-profit organisation and it has been a privilege to have worked in partnership with Terence Lewis in realising our aspirations for PML. He has made a difference and on behalf of the whole of PML I thank him for his dedication. He is a “hard act” to follow, but I am confident that Sir James is exactly the right person to help us move forward even more. His unique experience and skills will bring a different, but equally valuable, dimension to PML. I look forward to working with him to take PML to even greater success.”

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