BGS news

Karen Hanghøj named Director of the British Geological Survey

03/07/2019 By BGS Press
Karen Hanghoj

Today, it was announced that Karen Hanghøj will take up the role of Director of the British Geological Survey (BGS) from October 2019.

Karen will join NERC from EIT RawMaterials, a knowledge and innovation community supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. She brings extensive experience including with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, as an academic researcher and in business. She is also currently a member of a range of international advisory boards including the high-level Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership for Raw Materials, a range of H2020 projects and the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) Minerals Working Group.

Karen’s expertise will ensure that BGS is well-placed to meet future challenges and ensure it continues as a globally-leading survey, delivering services and providing infrastructure support nationally and globally. Karen is the first woman to hold the post.

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Karen’s wealth of knowledge and international experience in science and innovation, including commercialisation makes her very well-placed to take on the role of the BGS Director. Under Karen’s leadership, I am confident that the BGS will continue in its role as a world-leading survey and will ensure new, innovative services and research continue to develop from its experience. I look forward to working with Karen and supporting her and BGS to continue its success, both in the UK and internationally.

Professor Duncan Wingham NERC Executive Chair.

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I am delighted to welcome Karen as the next director of the British Geological Survey. She will bring fresh challenge and insight that I am sure will push the BGS to further develop its role as a world-class survey. Karen, I am sure, will ensure we remain at the forefront of new ways of working for the benefit of government, business and the wider public.

Sir Keith O’Nions, Chair of the Board of the British Geological Survey.

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I am honoured to be taking up the role of the Director of the BGS. I look forward to joining such a world-renowned organisation and to leading it into its next stage. The services BGS provides are and will continue to be central to all our lives in the UK and globally, and I want to build on the depth of skill, knowledge and innovation at BGS to ensure that we continue to deliver world-class research, data and advice in the future.

Dr Karen Hanghøj.

Dr Tracy Shimmield, BGS Lyell Centre Director, will act as interim director from 1 September to 13 October, when Dr Hanghøj takes up her post.

1. The BGS, a component body of NERC, is the nation’s principal supplier of objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and information for decision making for governmental, commercial and individual users. The BGS maintains and develops the nation’s understanding of
its geology to improve policymaking, enhance national wealth and reduce risk. It also collaborates with the national and international scientific community in carrying out research in strategic areas, including energy and natural resources, our vulnerability to environmental change and hazards,
and our general knowledge of the Earth system.

2. NERC is the UK’s main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and
from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world’s most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a part of the non-departmental public body, UK Research and Innovation. NERC has an annual budget of around £330 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

3. Karen holds a PhD in Geology from University of  Copenhagen, and has worked extensively with research on geological processes in the lower crust and mantle and their associated mineral deposits. She has spent more than ten years working in the US as a Research Associate at Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution and as a Research Scientist at Columbia University and has furthermore worked as a consultant to the minerals exploration industry for more than 20 years. Before joining EIT RawMaterials Karen was head of Department of Petrology and Economic Geology at the Geological Survey for Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).

For further details please contact:

Sarah Nice, Head of Engagement and Communications, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG

Press Office: 07790607010

Email: Twitter: @BritGeoSurvey

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