Starting in January 2015, Jane took over from Andy Akerman, who was with Diamond since 2009 and retired in late 2014. Jane’s background spans both the private and public sectors, and she has over 30 years of regional and global experience in business and financial management. In her previous role as Finance Director at Queen Mary University of London, Jane honed her skills in an academic environment. Jane is also particularly familiar with the UK’s synchrotron. Diamond is a joint venture between the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Wellcome Trust, and Jane previously held the post of Executive Director of Finance at STFC, where she contributed to the strategic direction of the organisation and the financial plan, as well as leading on all aspects of financial and management accounting.
Diamond’s CEO, Professor Andrew Harrison, comments: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Jane on board. Her wealth of experience in high level strategic financial planning and her working knowledge of government departments, funding councils, academia and the pharmaceutical sector will be a great asset to Diamond. Science is an internationally competitive field and Diamond needs people of Jane’s calibre to ensure that we retain our position as a world class facility. We are extremely grateful to Andy Akerman for his considerable contribution to the organisation over the last six years and wish him all the best for the future.”
Jane adds: “After just a few months at Diamond, I am delighted to say that the organisation is as I hoped and expected. It is an extremely dynamic organisation where the scale and scope of what is achieved makes it a stimulating and vibrant environment to work in. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked in research focused environments and Diamond is no exception. I have been impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of all staff and the real sense of belonging and desire simply to be the best. As someone who does not like the word ‘can’t’ it is personally great for me to be able to work in an organisation with such a can-do attitude. As we move into a more fully operational phase and start fulfilling the new strategy, it is critical that the Finance and Corporate Services underpin and help enable Diamond to be as successful as possible and I know that the FCS Directorate will do all that they can to facilitate this.”
Jane joins Diamond at an important time. Eight years into its operation, Diamond is one of the world’s most advanced scientific machines. Thousands of researchers from academia and industry use the facility every year, exploiting the intense beams of electron light produced by the synchrotron to carry out experiments into everything, from viruses and vaccines, to engineering and technology.
Building began on Diamond in 2003, and the phased construction process is still ongoing. There are now 25 experimental stations, or ‘beamlines’, around the synchrotron where scientists can use Diamond’s light. This number is set to increase to 33 by 2018. With so many facilities now online, the synchrotron has transitioned from a facility under construction to an operational machine. Thus, Diamond is in the process of looking ahead, and is laying out its 10 year vision for the future of the facility. Jane’s skills and experience will be vital to this process, helping to ensure that Diamond maintains its status as a world class facility.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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