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James Yu awarded MBE in 2020 New Year's Honours


We are thrilled to share that our very own Professor James Yu has been awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year's Honours List for his services to the electricity industry and innovation.

The New Year's Honours List recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom, and continues to demonstrate the breadth of service given by people of all backgrounds across the country. The awards are handed out twice a year, and an MBE – or Member of the Order of the British Empire - is the third highest ranking order awarded to those who continually make a positive impact in their line of work.

James' role here at SP Energy Networks 

Heading up our Future Networks team, James plays a huge part in driving our delivery of innovative solutions that make sure our network is resilient, able to contribute government net zero targets and represents great value for our customers. During his tenure, the team have secured over £100 million of dedicated innovation funding – allowing us to develop innovative solutions as diverse as enabling electrical vehicles to quickly restarting the network in the event of a disaster, cementing our reputation as the most dynamic network operator in Great Britain.

With over 20 years' in the UK electricity supply industry underpinned by academic and investigative study, James is well-versed in providing a balance between the academic drive for transformational technologies and the commercial nous that ensures our innovation projects are both ambitious and practicable. This sort of focus allows us to keep our customers at the heart of what we do - making sure our network strength and resilience continues to power their homes and businesses, and that we deliver the changes needed now to prepare for the network of the future. 

As a member of a British minority, James has also leveraged his position within the organisation to lead on the formation of VIBE - Scottish Power’s diversity group. He is committed to raising the visibility of ethnic minorities within the workforce and in the wider engineering community to ensure all voices are heard equally and all contributions are valued fairly. 

Our CEO Frank Mitchell said: "Since joining us back in 2013, James has driven a continual focus and commitment to innovation. We are extremely proud of all that he has achieved in our business and beyond, and I’m personally delighted to see his efforts recognised in what is a very well-deserved award."

Commitment beyond the workplace

James' commitment to the industry extends beyond his role in our business. His passion for higher education has seen him mentor international students, lecture at several prestigious academic institutions and also be named Visiting Professor of Integrated Networks at The Royal Academy of Engineering. As a regular member, he represents the UK’s expertise in power electronics at CIGRE (a global community committed to the collaborative development of power systems expertise) where he chairs the medium voltage DC working group. 

James also acts as an advisor to the Welsh Government on their 'Smart Living' initiative, and as a STEM ambassador he has travelled the world supporting the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He personally shares their mission to inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, and to enable the development of technology innovation to meet the needs of society. 

We couldn't be more proud - congratulations James! 


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