A series of conversations with distinguished academics hosted by Professor Dame Athene Donald.
What do academics actually do? What motivates them to get out of bed each morning and to deliver what is — or in many cases what isn't — expected of them?
For a student setting out, the life of senior academics may seem very mysterious, particularly as many may end up taking on responsibilities and activities far removed from where an individual started. The trajectory from student to senior academic is rarely a straight line, with twists, setbacks, timeout and/or opportunities (taken or declined) all to be combined with a personal life.
This series of conversations aims to explore the individual paths of some eminent academics who have made it to the top in their own particular ways. How have they found their own solutions to 'life', what tips do they wish they'd been given earlier on, and what might they view, retrospectively, with most pleasure or regret?
The next in this series of conversations will be with Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister Digital, Science and Technology.
Chi Onwurah is a British Member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and is also Shadow Minister Digital, Science & Technology.
From Oct 2016 – April 2020 Chi was Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy Science & Innovation (and Shadow Digital Minister Feb-April 2020) Sept 2015-October 2016 Chi was Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. From Jan 2013 - Sept 2015 Chi was Shadow Cabinet Office Minister leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency. From Oct 2010 – Jan 2013 Chi was Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on Broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM.
Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010 she worked as Head of Telecom's Technology at the UK regulator Ofcom focussing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with Next Generation Networks.
Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS. She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France,
Chi is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She was born in Wallsend and attended Kenton Comprehensive School in Newcastle, where she was elected the school’s ‘MP’ in mock elections aged 17.
Chi is a Presidency Member of the Party of European Socialists (PES), and a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET) and the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI) and also an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Assocation.