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Queen Mary Professor honoured at awards

One of Queen Mary’s distinguished professors has been recognised as a woman of outstanding achievement by the UK’s leading organisation for the advancement of women in science and engineering.

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Professor Ursula Martin
Professor Ursula Martin

Professor Ursula Martin of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London, was the runner-up in the Lifetime Achievement Award at the UKRC’s Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards last week.

Professor Martin said it was “an honour” to be runner-up to Dame Athene Donald of the University of Cambridge.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises women who have significantly achieved in science and have inspired future generations of women to pursue science careers. I am delighted that my contribution has been recognised in this way,” she said.

Professor Martin works at the interface of mathematics and computer science, applying abstract mathematical concepts to understand practical problems in software design.  She was appointed Professor in the University of London at the age of 36, the UK’s first female professor of computer science, and in 1992, she moved to the University of St Andrews to become their first female Professor, in any faculty, since the foundation of the University in 1413. From 2005-2009 she was Vice-Principal for Science and Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London, where she now leads ImpactQM, a major knowledge transfer initiative. Her numerous national and international roles include membership of the UK’s Defence Scientific Advisory Council, and driving forward national initiatives for women in computing through the British Computer Society.

Professor Jeremy Kilburn, Vice Principal for Science and Engineering at Queen Mary congratulated Professor Martin on her runner-up award.

He said: “Ursula has made an outstanding contribution to Queen Mary and to science and engineering generally. I would like to congratulate her on behalf of all of us at Queen Mary on this acknowledgement of her success.”

The Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards, now in their sixth year, was held at the Royal Academy of Engineering. It recognises the diverse contributions of women as leaders, innovators and role models.

The panel of judges included Lord Willis of Knaresborough, Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors and Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, Chair of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at the University of London.

Lord Willis, Chair of the Judging Panel, was delighted to be able to celebrate female excellence in SET. He said: “The range and quality of nominations this year was exceptional, demonstrating the breadth of women’s contribution and impact across all areas of science, engineering and technology. I congratulate the exemplars chosen as winners in each category, along with the impressive women within the shortlist and the entire field of nominees.

Annette Williams, Director of the UKRC said: “The UKRC set up the awards in 2006 to celebrate women’s achievements and create high impact images of women. The growing collection of powerful portraits now being housed in our major institutions, play an important role in increasing the visibility of inspirational female role models in SET.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Academia and Research) sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council

Winner: Professor Eileen Ingham, University of Leeds

Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Business and Industry) sponsored by Amey

Winner: Cary Marsh BEng (Hons), CEO and Founder of Mydeo

Inspiration and Leadership (Academia and Research) sponsored by the University of Northampton

Winner: Professor Dame Ann Dowling, University of Cambridge

Inspiration and Leadership (Business and Industry) sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Winner: Dervilla Mitchell, Director at Arup

Communicating SET to Society sponsored by Synergy Vision

Winner: Kate Bellingham, National STEM Careers Coordinator

Tomorrow’s Leader, sponsored by Intel

Winner: Eur Ing Dr Phebe Mann, University of East London

Lifetime Achievement sponsored by the Institute of Physics

Winner: Professor Dame Athene Donald, University of Cambridge

For media information, contact:

Rupert Marquand
Media Relations Manager
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