Sir Ralf Speth elected Fellow of Royal Society

1 May 2020

Whitley, UK, 1 May 2020 – Prof Sir Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. The honour is in recognition of Sir Ralf’s advocacy for UK research and development and his commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education.

Sir Ralf joins a worldwide cohort of exceptional scientists, who have been selected by the Royal Society for their outstanding contributions to scientific understanding. Their ranks include six Nobel laureates, as well as internationally recognised leaders in industry and science policy. Active since 1660, the Royal Society is a fellowship of many of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

I am honoured to have been elected to the Royal Society for activities that are close to my heart and fundamental to the society.

Mobility will see more change in the next ten years than the last century. Through collaboration and continuous investment in R&D we can lead the transition into connected, seamless integrated private-public mobility systems. We will do this with a clear focus on our Destination Zero mission: zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion. Our ambition is to make societies safer and healthier, and our environment cleaner.

To achieve this, we must inspire a diverse range of talent and nurture the next generation of bright minds, who are the world’s workforce of tomorrow.

Prof Sir Ralf Speth
Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive

Sir Ralf has led the transformation of Jaguar Land Rover from a niche UK manufacturer to a global premium business and respected leader in automotive technologies. Under his stewardship, the company became the first premium automotive manufacturer to design and engineer an all-electric performance SUV, the ground-breaking Jaguar I-PACE.

Over the past ten years, Sir Ralf has been committed to the development of STEM education at all levels.

In February, the company celebrated the official opening of the UK’s National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) by HRH The Prince of Wales. Located at the University of Warwick, this is one of Europe’s largest automotive research and development facilities. It is a great example of how academics and manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover can work together to tackle society’s largest mobility challenges. 

The partners working together in NAIC are engineering the future and helping supply the next generation of engineers, designers and researchers.  

The company operates its own Jaguar Land Rover Academy. Working in partnership with a number of universities, schools, colleges and other education providers, the academy increases student engagement in STEM and promotes career opportunities. Since its launch, Jaguar Land Rover’s schools programme has engaged with over 4.7 million young people globally. 

Through the Jaguar Land Rover Academy, employees are also offered opportunities to develop their existing skills and learn new ones at any stage of their careers. Millions of  hours of training are being delivered every year and a high percentage of employees are working  towards a formal academic or professional qualification.

The company is the largest apprenticeship provider in the UK automotive sector and a leading employer of graduates.

At this time of global crisis, the importance of scientific thinking, and the medicines, technologies and insights it delivers, has never been clearer. Our Fellows and Foreign Members are central to the mission of the Royal Society, to use science for the benefit of humanity.

While election to the Fellowship is a recognition of exceptional individual contributions to the sciences, it is also a network of expertise that can be drawn on to address issues of societal, and global significance. This year’s Fellows and Foreign Members have helped shape the 21st century through their work at the cutting-edge of fields from human genomics, to climate science and machine learning.

It gives me great pleasure to celebrate these achievements, and those yet to come, and welcome them into the ranks of the Royal Society.

Venki Ramakrishnan
President of the Royal Society

Further information

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Notes to Editors

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Its Foreign Members are drawn from the rest of the world. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process based on excellence in science. Each candidate is considered on his or her own merits and can be proposed from any sector of the scientific community. Every effort is made to encourage nominations of women candidates and candidates from the emerging disciplines.

There are approximately 1,700 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 70 Nobel Laureates. Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 800 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship.

Honorary Fellowship is intended for those who have given distinguished service to the cause of science, or who have brought great benefits to science, but who do not have the scientific achievements of the kind required of those who could be elected as Fellows or Foreign Members. Honorary Fellows include Bill Bryson and Melvyn Bragg.

Link to Royal Society press announcement


About Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports saloon and sports car marques.

At Jaguar Land Rover, we are driven by a desire to deliver class-leading vehicles, which will provide experiences our customers will love, for life. Our products are in demand around the globe. In 2019 Jaguar Land Rover sold 557,706 vehicles in 127 countries.

We support around 260,000 people through our retailer network, suppliers and local businesses. At heart we are a British company, with two major design and engineering sites, three vehicle manufacturing facilities, an Engine Manufacturing Centre and soon to be opened Battery Assembly Centre. We also have vehicle plants in China, Brazil, India, Austria and Slovakia. We have seven technology hubs. In the UK these are based in Manchester, Warwick (NAIC) and London. Globally these are located in Shannon, Ireland, Portland, USA, Budapest, Hungary and Changshu, China.

We have a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles as well as continuing to offer the latest diesel and petrol engines. From 2020 all new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle models offer the option of electrification, giving our customers even more choice.