Professor Paul Monks BSc, DPhil, FRMetS, FRSC

Chief Scientific Advisor & ERP Public-side Co-chair
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (ESNZ)

Professor Paul Monks is Chief Scientific Adviser at Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (ESNZ).

Prior to joining the department, he was Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, where he remains a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry and Earth Observation Science.

His research experience covers the broad areas of air quality, atmospheric composition and climate change that has provided a platform for translation into diverse areas including forensic science, CBRN, microbiology and food safety, natural resource management and breathomics (breath analysis as a medical diagnostic).

Paul was the Chair for 10 years of the Defra Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) and Deputy Chair of the Defra Science Advisory Council, alongside roles in the UKRI-NERC advice structures. He has worked internationally as the European representative on the Environmental Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry Scientific Steering Committee (EPAC SSC) of the World Meteorological Organisation and ICACGP (International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution).

As founding director of G-STEP (a university innovation initiative), he developed a business facing organisation with the aim of innovating using space based (EO) data to enhance the competitiveness of industry, particularly focused on SMEs.

The BEIS Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the department’s policies are supported by the best science and engineering advice available
  • advising ministers and senior officials on science and engineering matters
  • acting as head of the science and engineering profession within BEIS
  • working with the wider community of Chief Scientific Advisers to share good practice and resolve cross departmental problems