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Governing Body Fellow

Agnieszka (Aga) is the Maxwell Centre Director of Partnership Development. She is a knowledge broker who facilitates forging new links and collaborations, often interdisciplinary, between Cambridge academics as well as with external partners. Furthermore, Aga is interested in broader context of academic research – innovation and technology transfer, evidence-based policy, sustainability, public outreach and impact.

For that reason, she particularly enjoys her role at the Maxwell Centre – the centrepiece for industrial engagement with the physical scientists and engineers on the West Cambridge Science and Technology Campus, which opened in 2016. Two-way flow of ideas and researchers adds value when ‘blue-skies’ activities meet research objectives relevant to economic opportunities for industry and society at large. Maxwell Centre’s strategic focus areas are currently Zero Carbon and Science-Technology-Medicine interface. As such Aga works with the Cambridge Zero initiative as the Industrial Strategy Lead, and is one of the co-founders of the “Connect: Health Tech” University Enterprise Zone and the associated online community platform.

As such, Maxwell Centre’s remit for academia-industry engagement makes it very relevant to the Bridge initiative at Hughes Hall. Maxwell Centre also runs the Impulse for tech innovators programme providing mentorship and practitioner-led training for aspiring entrepreneurs in the science and technology arena.

Within Hughes, Aga is actively involved college live and loves developing new initiatives – starting with the Photo Society in 2010, through more recent contributions towards setting up the Bridge, and the monthly West Cambridge lunch meet-ups before the pandemic hit. She enjoys singing and other forms of music making (mostly playing cello, guitar and arranging), and very much recommends the choir evenings at Hughes Hall, as well as our broad programme of concerts. Recognising that we have many keen and talented musicians at Hughes, Aga developed and runs the informal Music Café evenings in Michaelmas and Easter terms, where Hughesians perform and enjoy a wide range of musical offerings in the candle-lit Pavilion – a treat not to me missed!

Agnieszka completed her undergraduate studies in Physics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, and Umeå University in Sweden, and holds MSc degrees from both. She holds a PhD in Experimental Physics from Umeå University (Studies of Carbon Nanomaterials Based on Fullerenes and Carbon Nanotubes), followed by a postdoc position in Synthesis, Characterisation and Quantum Control of Carbon Nanomaterials at QIP IRC, Department of Materials, University of Oxford. During her stay in Oxford she was appointed a Research Fellow of Wolfson College and a Lecturer in Physics at St. Catherine’s College. Agnieszka moved to Cambridge in 2009 to take up a Teaching Fellowship at the new Nano Doctoral Training Centre, became a member of Nanophotonics research group at Cavendish Laboratory, and joined Hughes Hall soon afterwards. She coordinated the NanoForum Strategic Research Network for five years since its launch in 2011. Subsequent to taking up the post as Physics Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (2013-18) she became a Cambridge Enterprise Champion, and a member of several networks including among other the Centre for Science and Policy, and the Cambridge Network.

Aga enjoys starting up new initiatives, bringing people together to tackle interdisciplinary challenges, and inventing new ways of bringing about positive change. She considers Cambridge as an ideal place for innovating, adapting and re-developing ourselves as well as the world around us.