Nigel Williams, Secretary, Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
After nearly four decades in the Royal Navy, Nigel took on the role of Secretary for the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 in 2010. First established to stage the Great Exhibition in 1851, the Royal Commission's extraordinary history is founded on an inspired vision of the importance of education to industry. It first acquired the site in South Kensington on which the three great museums, the Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College and other Colleges now stand. In 1891, the Commission then set up an education and research awards programme which runs to this day, and has funded luminaries such as Nobel laureates Professor Peter Higgs, Sir James Chadwick and Paul Dirac. Nigel oversees the running of the Commission and this programme, which now awards over 35 fellowships for top level research in science, engineering and design, and makes Special Awards to support projects consistent with its aims, such as raising the awareness of the young to the opportunities presented by science and engineering.
The Great Exhibition at Home Challenge is a positive contribution to independent learning at home during this period of unprecedented Covid-19 disruption from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Big Ideas.