Professor Hywel Thomas Re-Elected as Society President

Professor Hywel Thomas CBE FREng FRS FLSW MAE has been elected President of the Learned Society of Wales for a second three-year term, following a ballot of Fellows.

Professor Thomas became President in May 2020, shortly after the Covid pandemic sent the world into lockdown, and lead the Society through these unparalleled times. Despite the challenges, the past three years have been a period of significant growth for the Society, with the establishment of the Early Career Researchers Network, the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Olivia Harrison, significant progress on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the strengthening of ties with partners including the Welsh Government, HEFCW and the Celtic Academies.

“I am honoured to have the chance to continue in the role,” said Professor Thomas. “The Learned Society of Wales is playing an ever more important part in Welsh civic life. It makes the case for the high-quality research that comes from Wales and helps create the best environment in which our researchers, especially those at the start of their careers, can thrive.

“I would like to thank the many Fellows who give their time to support the Society in a number of ways and our staff team who have worked so hard to make the Society relevant and a trusted voice.”

Professor Thomas brings to the role a wealth of experience in higher education, research and innovation.   He is Professor of Civil Engineering at Cardiff University, the founder Director of the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC) at the University, and a UNESCO Professor in the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment. He is a Distinguished Research Professor at Swansea University. He also leads FLEXIS, a £24 million project for energy systems research in Wales. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), and a Member of Academia Europaea, the Academy of Europe.

In 2017 he received a CBE for services to academic research and higher education.

In 2021, he was elected as a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the highest honour bestowed by the Chinese government to a foreign scientist for contributions and achievements in science and technology.