Please tell us about your role at PNDC

As Innovation Engagement Manager at PNDC, I support the development of innovative ideas and projects aligned to our core programme focus areas of Advancement of Power Networks and Decarbonisation of Heat. Most days my work involves collaborating with partners, identifying funding sources and helping refine project scope – some days I’m at engagement events, other days I’m editing to word count.


When did you join PNDC?

I joined PNDC at the beginning of April 2022, and have come to realise that every other week is an exceptionally busy week. With new facilities due to open in 2023 our academic teams are also growing – it is an exciting time to be working in energy and net zero innovation.

What was your background before joining PNDC?

I worked at University of Leeds for 7 years supporting development of large (+£1M), interdisciplinary research and innovation bids and proposals, primarily for water and fluid dynamics research groups. Prior to that I spent nearly two decades working in environment sector roles, including Environment Agency (Waste Licensing), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Area Support Team), and Yorkshire Water (Innovation Development, Data Governance, Environmental Regulation and Asset Planning).

I have an undergraduate degree in Medical Anthropology, a Masters in Biodiversity & Conservation and a CIWEM (Chartered Institute of Water & Environmental Management) Certificate. Originally from the USA, I moved to the UK in 1997 and became a citizen in 2016.

What do you enjoy most about working at PNDC?

The quality of research and innovation delivered by PNDC is inspiring, our partners are dedicated to making progress on the transition to net zero, our facilities are expanding—it’s an exciting time be working at PNDC.

What can we find you doing in your spare time?

Playing the piano, pottering around with the houseplants or garden, walking the dog, taxiing the teenager around town, quilting, crafting, mending, reading, cooking, painting, eating with gusto, singing in the rain.

My favourite innovation books are “Making Knowledge Visible” by Elizabeth Orna and “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m currently reading “The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups” by Daniel Coyle.

Connect with Kara on LinkedIn.