Back to news list

Prestigious engineering Fellowship helps integrate science into policy-making

Prestigious engineering Fellowship helps integrate science into policy-making

Prestigious engineering Fellowship helps integrate science into policy-making

Press Release issued 25/9/23

The Materials Processing Institute and The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and are delighted to announce their appointment of Dylan Sherman as the 2023 Ashok Kumar Fellow.

The Ashok Kumar Fellowship is offered in partnership with POST (the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology) and is an exciting opportunity for an early-career researcher to interact closely with policy-makers and activities in both Houses of Parliament. The Fellow will assist POST in providing briefing material for Parliamentarians on emerging science topics, gaining real-world experience of how research evidence is communicated to decision makers.

The Fellowship is named in memory of the late IChemE Fellow and Middlesbrough MP, Ashok Kumar, who died suddenly in 2010 aged 53. Ashok spent 14 years working as a research scientist prior to his parliamentary career and had a strong belief in the importance of research and development.

Dylan Sherman, currently in his final year of a DPhil in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, UK, said: “I am so grateful to have been offered this opportunity to engage in the communication of science within the UK Parliament. I’m looking forward to contributing to the ever-growing voice of POST in providing the relevant research for evidence-based decision making, as growing the network between our science community and Parliament is critical to achieving sustainable change. I thank IChemE and the Materials Processing Institute for sponsoring the Fellowship and I hope I can continue the important legacy of Ashok Kumar."

Yvonne Baker, IChemE CEO, said: “Congratulations to Dylan on his appointment! The Ashok Kumar Fellowship is a valuable opportunity for an outstanding young researcher who will be uniquely placed to ensure our professions’ expert voices are heard in Parliament while building their knowledge, insight, and professional networks under the expert auspices of POST. Working to effectively bridge the gap between scientists and political decision-makers is a fitting tribute to a talented chemical engineer, as well as key to enabling us to engineer a sustainable world.”

Jon Bolton, Materials Processing Institute Chairman, said: “The Ashok Kumar Fellowship enables UK Parliament to benefit from dedicated research into a specific area of scientific importance which helps enable informed debate, discussion and decision-making among parliamentarians. We are delighted to continue to support this fellowship in partnership with POST and IChemE. Dylan secured this opportunity following a rigorous selection process involving several excellent candidates; so, it is testament to his abilities that he was selected. I have no doubt that he will make a significant and positive contribution to POST.”

Lydia Harriss, Senior Physical Sciences Adviser and International Lead at POST, said: “We were delighted to award this year’s Ashok Kumar Fellowship to Dylan, whose exceptional application stood out from a field of very strong candidates. His research and communication skills, combined with his background in both materials engineering and law, put him in a great position to make a valuable contribution to POST’s work. We very much look forward to welcoming him onto the team next year.”

Read more about the Ashok Kumar Fellowship at:


POST (the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology)



For more information please contact:

Lucy Cook, Communications Manager, IChemE

t: +44 (0) 1788 534454


Ann Baylis, Communications Executive & PR Lead, IChemE

t: +44 (0) 1788 534477


Andrew Cargill, Marketing Manager, Materials Processing Institute

t: +44 (0) 1642 382047


Devyani Gajjar, Physical Sciences and Digital Adviser, POST

t: +44 (0) 207 219 5829


25 September 2023