Top scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and University of Reading have won awards for their dedication and determination to develop weather research.
The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) awards are handed to researchers who have made significant contributions to meteorology.
The 2022 awards, announced this week, saw NCAS’ Professor Ed Hawkins and Professor Bryan Lawrence honoured.
Professor Ed Hawkins has been awarded the Hugh Robert Mill Award for Precipitation Research for his Rainfall Rescue project.
The Rainfall Rescue project, launched in March 2020, led to national rainfall data from as far back as 1836 becoming available after Professor Hawkins and 16,000 volunteers helped to restore 66,000 pages of weather observations containing 5.2 million numbers. The venture was completed in 2022 and the results have provided more context around recent changes in rainfall due to human-caused climate change.
Professor Hawkins said: “As a nation, we love talking about the weather, and rainfall in particular. Recent experiences with droughts and floods across the UK have highlighted the need to learn more about past variations in rainfall to put these events into a longer-term context. The resulting data are now incorporated into the official UK rainfall statistics and have dramatically improved our estimates of rainfall patterns back to the early 1800s.”
Professor Bryan Lawrence was presented The Award for Innovation in Development of Computational Models, Tools or Visualisation.
Professor Lawrence’s award recognises his work in making national and international contributions to the design, development, implementation, and governance of computational and data services for environmental science. He played a key role in the instigation and subsequent evolution of the JASMIN data analysis facility, which was set up to support the analysis of large archived datasets.
Professor Lawrence said: “Much of the motivation for JASMIN arose from the NERC DataGRid e-Science project, two learnings of which were that “my colleagues had big aspirations but were hamstrung by technology” and “sometimes distributed is not the right answer”. So, this is an award for believing in my colleagues and (for once) being able to follow through a pathway to impact by operationalising some research outcomes.”