INSPIRATIONAL people from all walks of life are being honoured in the second annual Inspire Wales Awards.
David Williams - Finalist for IWA Environmentalist Award
by Graham Henry
The awards – a partnership between the Western Mail and the Institute of Welsh Affairs – recognise the contribution of those in the fields of business, education, science and technology, arts and media, the environment and sport.
They also aim to mark the work of young achievers, those who promote Wales to the world and the Welsh language in the workplace, as well as champions of citizenship.
Today, we reveal the finalists in two further categories.
Science & Technology
Sponsored by University of Wales
Professor Anthony K Campbell
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Professor Campbell has contributed a huge amount to the research of animals and microbes that make their own light (bioluminescence) and to using this for clinical diagnosis and drug research.
His work has led to three major inventions, with one leading to a method used in hundreds of millions of tests worldwide.
His invention has brought in £20m to Wales from patent royalties, spin-out sales and grant income, and has won a slew of awards.
His infectious enthusiasm has translated into eight books, more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and 40 reviews, as well as extensive lab-based genetic engineering tests in bioluminescence and how it might contribute to medicine.
Prof Campbell’s inspirational teaching has also helped thousands of Cardiff University students at the School of Medicine and, from last year, at the Welsh School of Pharmacy. His founding of the Darwin Centre in Pembrokeshire in 1993 brought science to children across South Wales.
Founding Tywyn-based True Energy was the result of Ian Tansley’s 25-year career based in the development of renewable energy technologies to improve people’s quality of life.
After his interest was pricked by making African stoves from scrap oil drums at school, Mr Tansley embarked upon a career that has seen him influence students at Bradford University and at the Centre for Alternative Technology in his hometown of Machynlleth.
One of the beneficiaries of his expertise, Fred Attah, went on from being a trainee technician with Mr Tansley to become a trusted solar consultant to the World Bank, UN and a host of aid organisations.
Mr Tansley has also devoted a large part of his career to using his expertise in some of the most remote places of Africa and Asia – and this dedication has also led to him spending the last six years developing a refrigerator technology that could help billions of people with little or no electricity to have a working refrigerator.
Abi Carter has spent her whole professional life using her forensic science expertise for the good of others – and has been an integral part of forensic criminal investigations development for five-and-a-half years.
As director and founder of Cardiff-based Forensic Resources, she initially managed all the forensic cases herself, but now oversees staff and expert witnesses in more than 45 disciplines, and all in a male-dominated arena.
She has developed a niche market to provide full case-management expertise, across a range of disciplines, for defence teams in criminal cases, especially in the fields of DNA analysis, toxicology and fingerprint development among others.
She combines her working life with a consultative role for Kenyon International as a forensic archeologist in natural disaster emergency response, and is always on call for deployments around the world.
Ms Carter’s novel business approach was recognised when she was awarded Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 in the South Wales Business Awards, and has been recognised for inspiring women across Wales.
Sponsored by Viridor
In the past decade, Katie Jones has played an integral part in spreading the green message and promoting local produce to Wales.
She has spent much of the last three years as Wales development co-ordinator of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG), involved in delivering Growing Together in Wales, where her work has helped revitalise communities.
Her community growing initiatives have benefited more than 7,000 people and increased membership of FCFCG by 800%.
Her leadership has been instrumental in the development of community growing initiatives such as Orchard Cardiff and Tyfu Pobl, for which she helped secure £1m funding.
She also helped develop alley-gating project How Green Is Your Alley and the founding of Cardiff’s first mini agricultural show.
Ms Jones’ dedication to the cause is shown in how she combines her formidable workload with volunteer work in her local community in her spare time, including helping environmental dive group Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners to clear up rubbish in the sea.
Louise Tambini has dedicated 14 years of her working life to improving the environment around Wales – and can claim credit for engaging communities to care for their local area.
As projects manager for Keep Wales Tidy since 2002, and working for the organisation since 1997, Ms Tambini has helped bring projects to thousands of community groups.
She has played an integral part in Keep Wales Tidy’s “Tidy Towns” initiative, which brought more than 16,000 environmental projects to 1,200 community groups in the last three years.
Her inspirational leadership in promoting – as a volunteer and committee member – the work of Cardiff Rivers Group since its founding in 2009, attracted more than 170 volunteers, resulted in a nomination for a Tidy Wales Award, and forced an increase in the group’s activities to fortnightly.
Ms Tambini’s tireless work was demonstrated this year in landing £5,000 funding from Cardiff council for a storage unit for the group, which will aid the vital work of the volunteers.
A serial energy entrepreneur, Mr Williams has dedicated 34 years of his working life to developing renewable energy technologies from their infancy.
As founder and chief executive of Cardiff-based Eco2 and through his work as Generation Projects Managers for Renewables at Swalec and at Energy Power Resources (EPR), Mr Williams, from Newport, has been at the forefront of commercialising new technologies.
Mr Williams’ work helped Swalec become a successful developer of early renewable energy projects, while he helped EPR generate 12.5% of all UK units before it was sold for £200m in 2004.
Projects Mr Williams has helped bring to fruition have since saved three million tonnes of CO2, 10% of the Government’s 2010 emissions target.
His current venture, Eco2, works on a number of wind power projects in the UK and pioneering £1bn biomass programmes that aim to revolutionise the renewables markets across Europe.
Biomass fired up?