Professor Dame Athene Donald receives Lifetime Achievement Award

6 May 2011

For her pioneering research in soft matter and biological physics and outstanding efforts to deal with issues around career progression for women in science, Professor Dame Athene Donald from the University of Cambridge has been presented the UKRC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

As part of the UKRC’s Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards, which recognise the diverse contributions of women as leaders, innovators and role models in science, engineering and technology, the achievements of seven outstanding women were celebrated.

Athene’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which follows a long list of honours, including the 2009 L’Oreal/UNESCO Laureate for Europe and the 2010 Faraday Medal from the Institute of Physics, was awarded last night, Thursday 5 May, at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, which was sponsored by the Institute of Physics this year, was accompanied by awards for excellence in entrepreneurship, communication, leadership, and a new award for Tomorrow’s Leaders.

Sir Peter Knight, incoming President of the Institute of Physics, said, “For a number of years, the Institute of Physics has pioneered a range of programmes to attract more women in to science, especially physics.  But despite our best efforts, and those of other organisations, women are still seriously under-represented in the physical sciences and engineering.  This means that many women may be missing out on opportunities for an exciting and fulfilling career.  Equally, it means that science and engineering are missing out on a rich pool of potential talent.

“The Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards represent a valuable initiative to tackle this issue, by promoting outstanding role models for women in science, and demonstrating just how valuable a contribution they have made.  IOP is delighted to support this year’s event, through our sponsorship of the 2011 award for Lifetime Achievement.”

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

Lord Willis, Chair of the Judging Panel, 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.”

The full list of winners can be found on the UKRC’s website.

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