Maths4DL’s Principal Investigator, Professor Chris Budd OBE has received an Award for Modelling and Data Support (SAMDS) from the British government for his ‘exceptional contribution’ to epidemiological and modelling work during the Covid-19 pandemic. This award recognises the time ‘outside of their usual work activity’ that Professor Budd and other experts have dedicated to supporting the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M-O).
The award has been presented by government chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Sir Chris Whitty on behalf of SPI-M-O and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). SAMDS are being given to people who, like Professor Budd, have often worked long and unsociable hours ‘to ensure the government has access to world-leading scientific evidence’.
At various points in the pandemic, Professor Budd’s models have helped inform government policy on safe ways for people to congregate – for instance, when attending university lectures, travelling by public transport or gathering for large events.
Accepting the award, he said: “It’s an honour to receive this accolade, and an equal honour to have been part of a fantastic team here at Bath doing our part to fight Covid. I’m accepting this award on behalf of my PhD students Tosin Babasola, Tina Zhou and Simone Appella, who worked tirelessly on Covid modelling, as well as working hard on their PhDs.”