Extreme E appoints Cambridge academic as Head of Scientific Committee

26 Mar 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

Extreme E has appointed a leading Cambridge academic as the Head of its Scientific Committee.

Professor Peter Wadhams of The University of Cambridge will serve as head of the committee, which will be tasked with driving the series’ climate research and education programme.

Wadhams, is part of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), and a former Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute. Over the course of a 50-year career in the field, he has become a world-leading authority on sea ice change, and has himself overseen 55 Arctic expeditions.

“Extreme E is a highly ambitious and exciting project which will use sport, specifically electric racing, to increase attention to remote environments on the front-line of the climate emergency and the challenges facing our planet which we simply cannot ignore,” Professor Wadhams said.

“The climate issues Extreme E plans to highlight are all linked to the central issue of global warming and the rapid increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which have reached record, devastating rates, especially over the past decade.”

“With more than 30 percent of the planet’s emissions coming from transportation, this sector is a huge contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. It’s a fact that more people watch sport than watch scientific documentaries, so I fully support Extreme E’s platform of using motorsport to showcase electric vehicles and promote their adoption as an impactful solution for our planet’s future health.”

Extreme E says Professor Wadhams is the first of five scientists to be appointed and who will specialise in a specific race region as well as its unique climate issues. Each will advise Extreme E organisers on a range of subjects in each location, including education and research, and will overlook the race’s logistics and impact, including the recommendation of positive legacy programmes which support local needs.

Wadhams will be Extreme E’s Arctic Scientist and will link the series’ science and education efforts, overseeing the research set to take place in the RMS St. Helena’s on-board oceanographic laboratory - a former Royal Mail cargo-passenger vessel acquired specially for the series which will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to each race location – minimising the series’ footprint.

Extreme E Founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag, said: “I am very pleased to officially welcome Professor Wadhams on board as our Arctic Scientist and Head of the Extreme E Scientific Committee. We are truly honoured to have such a respected and knowledgeable mind advising our series.  

“The Extreme E Scientific Committee is the vital bedrock of our series as it supports the very reason we designed this championship, to build climate awareness and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy vehicles in the fight to help lower the planet’s CO2 levels.”

“Professor Wadhams has been a staunch advocate in the work we are doing here, from the moment he was chosen to advise on our Greenland location selection process. From there, he has continued to guide our scientific direction and I feel very confident he will lead our Scientific Committee with great success.”

The remaining four members of the Extreme E Scientific Committee will be revealed in the coming weeks.