Women of Achievement 2021

Four women from across the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences were this week recognised in the University’s Women of Achievement Awards.

The annual awards recognise the significant contribution and impact that women – both staff and students - have made across the University and beyond and acknowledge women who share a common commitment to excellence and who have performed outstandingly in their fields.

As part of the University’s commitment to further promote gender equality, the Women of Achievement awards are intended to support career development of talented women in all areas across the organisation. 

This year 28 women were recognised in a special online ceremony, including three academics and one PhD researcher from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences; Dr Claire Savy from the School of Computing, Dr Gehan Selim from the School of Civil Engineering, Professor Helen Gleeson from the School of Physics and Astronomy and Stella Foster a PhD student in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “It is incredibly important that we remain committed to promoting a community of compassion and respect, where all of us can succeed. We need to work together to ensure that our University values and encourages equality and recognises and embraces the importance of diversity and inclusion.

“The past 12 months have been extremely challenging in many aspects, but as this year’s ceremony highlighted, we have a strong, dependable and committed team of individuals who strive to make their students’ and colleagues’ experiences better. 

“I look forward to celebrating more achievements and contributions in the year to come, and wish to extend a personal thanks to each of the celebrants for their dedication and hard work.”

Dr Claire Savy, School of Computing

Claire is the Centre Manager of Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics at Leeds and has played a substantial role in developing the international reputation of the institute. Her leadership, organisation and commitment has established the Institute as a beacon of research excellence.

“I am really honoured to have been nominated, and awarded one of the Women of Achievement Awards this year. The past year has been a challenge for everyone, and I hope that these awards provide all the other winners with the positive boost it has given me. I am lucky to work with a fantastic team, and look forward to continuing to grow the CDT and Institute, and to keep championing the amazing research being conducted in Fluid Dynamics at Leeds” she said.

Dr Gehan Selim, School of Civil Engineering

Dr Gehan Selim, who was recognised for her work leading the ‘Living Museum’ project looking at safeguarding a UNESCO world heritage site and increasing its community social and economic prospects, said: ‘I am proud and honoured to receive this award to celebrate extraordinary women and their remarkable contributions to academic life at the University of Leeds and beyond. This award provides a platform to be seen by others and gives us confidence, recognition, and encouragement to continue our achievements’.

Professor Helen Gleeson, School of Physics and Astronomy

Helen is a leading research scientist in the field of Soft Matter Physics with an outstanding record in addressing gender equality, diversity and inclusion. In 2009 she was awarded an OBE for Services to Science and was named as the Times Higher Education Supervisor of the Year in 2018.

She said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be elected as a ‘Woman of Achievement’ by the University. Leeds does an amazing job of recognising and supporting women and it's a privilege to join some remarkable colleagues on the list.”

Further information

Recognising excellence: Our Women of Achievement 2021