The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes its third cohort of Policy Fellows

Following a highly competitive selection process, the Academy is delighted to announce the names of nine successful applicants who will join cohort three of its prestigious Policy Fellowships programme:

  • Simon Gallagher, Director Planning, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Claire Hancock, Deputy CSA for National Security
  • Ragne Low, Head of Heat Planning Team, Scottish Government
  • Rhona McDonald, Assistant Director, Science, Research and Innovation Directorate, BEIS
  • Susan Postlethwaite, Senior Tutor Research, Royal College of Art
  • Hannah Pullen, Senior Policy Advisor (Infrastructure, Enterprise and Growth), Infrastructure and Projects Authority
  • Patsy Richards, Decant Director, House of Commons
  • Sripriya Sudhakar, Head of Regeneration, Tower Hamlet Council
  • Cheryl W, Senior Policy Advisor, UK HMG

We look forward to officially welcoming Policy Fellows when they join us for the programme, which will take place virtually between October and December. Collectively they will meet over 90 leading engineers handpicked from the Academy’s UK and international networks. They will take part in a series of one-to-one meetings with experts, coaching and group workshops, to help them make rapid progress on their chosen policy challenge. They will learn first-hand how engineers solve problems using techniques such as systems thinking and have an opportunity to expand their personal networks with the Academy’s community of innovators and leaders.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

The Academy’s Policy Fellowships programme has been going from strength to strength and we are very pleased to invite new applicants to join what promises to be another highly stimulating programme. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how critical engineering expertise can be in solving some of the biggest problems facing the world. We really hope the next cohort of Policy Fellows will be inspired to apply what they learn as a Policy Fellow to the global challenges of the future.

Policy Fellowships: a network of policymakers connected with the nation’s leading engineers

The Policy Fellowships programme has a growing influence on policymaking practice. It now counts a peer-network of 19 alumni, including:

  • Benjamin Jones, Head of Innovation, Aviation Security Policy, Department for Transport
  • Chris Moore-Bick, Head of Policy, Strategic Research & International Engagement, Defence Science & Technology (DST) Ministry of Defence
  • Hannah Tooze, Head of Land Transport Security, Department for Transport
  • Louise Dunsby, Deputy Director Innovation, BEIS
  • Madalina Ursu, Head of Infrastructure, Greater London Authority
  • Alex Holmes, formerly Deputy Director – Cyber Security, Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, now Amazon Global Business Development
  • Katie Black, Director of Policy, National Infrastructure Commission
  • Louise Owen, Head of National Security Tech and Innovation Exchange at UK Civil Service
  • Matt Crossman, Team Leader, National Infrastructure Commission
  • Siobhan Campbell, Head of Central Research Team and Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for Transport

Next cohort: applications open until 15 October 2020

The next cohort of Policy Fellows will start in January 2021. Applications are now open and will close on 15 October 2020. For more information and download the application form please visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Louise Dunsby, Deputy Director Innovation at BEIS, Royal Academy of Engineering Policy Fellow, said: “The Policy Fellowship is transformative. Working with a fantastic cohort and team at the Royal Academy, I delved into an issue I care about and found new and exciting ways to approach problem-solving.”

Louise Owen, Head of National Security Tech and Innovation Exchange at UK Civil Service, Royal Academy of Engineering Policy Fellow, said: “I was blown away by the quality of the experts I was able to share my challenges with. Their openness to help identify and talk through new ideas has been invaluable.”

Matt Crossman, Team Leader, National Infrastructure Commission, Royal Academy of Engineering Policy Fellow, said: “I wanted to reach beyond the NIC’s usual pool of stakeholders, learn from other sectors how they analyse and manage risk across complex systems, and enable government to learn from the private sector. I was able to successfully use the valuable insights from my Policy Fellowship to inform the analysis of systemic resilience and vulnerability, which underpinned the NIC’s 2019 Scoping Report for the Resilience Study.”

Alex Holmes, formerly DCMS, now Amazon Global Business Development, Royal Academy of Engineering Policy Fellow, said: “I got so much from my Policy Fellowship… it really helped me solve a particular knotty policy challenge. It provided me with generous access to a set of experts, which allowed me to work through my team’s ideas and tap into their years of experience. It gave us a completely different perspective that we would not have otherwise had.”

Notes to editors

  1. About the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Policy Fellowships

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Policy Fellowship is an intensive professional development programme open to civil and public servants with responsibility for policy design in any sector. The programme connects policymakers with the nation’s leading engineers. It offers policymakers a unique opportunity to make rapid progress on a chosen policy challenge, to expand their personal networks with the Academy’s community of innovators and leaders, and to learn first-hand how engineers solve problems using techniques such as systems thinking.

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, the Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the most talented and successful engineers, finest systems thinkers and outstanding talent in technology for the benefit of society.

The next cohort will run from January 2021. Applications are now open and will close on 15 October 2020.

For more information and download the application form please visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  1. About the Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone.

In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.

Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.

For more information, please contact Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Tel: 0207 766 0620

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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