Press release: New Year Honour for Dstl Scientist


War Hero
Dr Cerys Rees, of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), has been made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2018.

Dr Rees receives her OBE in recognition of her success in establishing a world-class facility for the analysis and identification of chemical and biological weapons for the defence and security of the UK. Leading the development and delivery of this unique operational science and technology capability, Dr Rees has ensured accurate evidence has been provided in this area to the highest levels of Government.

Results of Dr Rees’s work have had a significant influence on diplomatic engagement by the UK Government in its negotiations, most recently in Syria.

She said:

I’m thrilled to receive the award and see it very much as recognition not only for me, but for all the work by the Dstl team to combat the use and development of chemical and biological weapons.

It is an honour in every sense and I’m delighted to receive the award. My family often wonder what I do when I’m called away for work, and this is a chance for them to be part of things.

Dr Rees is a Dstl Fellow – a leading technical expert – for Chemical and Biological Analysis and Attribution, with responsibility for the delivery of Dstl’s research and operational capability in this area in support of defence and security stakeholders in the UK.

A Dstl CBR Senior Scientific Advisor (SSA), Dr Rees is trained to provide CB tactical and strategic level advice to UK police and military in support of operations.

Simon Earwicker, Head of the Chemistry, Biology and Radiological Sciences Division at Dstl, said:

Cerys has contributed so much to the international efforts to combat the use of chemical weapons. She’s worked tirelessly behind the scenes to build the expertise and it is because of her commitment and foresight that we can now respond so rapidly. She’s provided strong personal leadership at the heart of our work in this area, and her award is richly deserved.

Prior to taking up her current role in 2014 as a Fellow, and having worked in this area since 2004, Dr Rees worked in a number of roles including research in microbial hazard assessment and the development of novel medical countermeasures (1999-2004). She is a Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and attended Cefn Hengoed School, Swansea, the University of Surrey and the University of Sheffield.

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