The University of Southampton

University of Southampton Professor Nigel Shadbolt receives Knighthood

Published: 1 November 2013

Professor Nigel Shadbolt, one of the world’s leading experts in Web Science and the pioneering co-founder of the A Open Data Institute (ODI), received his knighthood for services to science and engineering, at his Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace this week (30 October 2013).

Professor Shadbolt, Head of the Web and Internet Science Group at the University of Southampton and ODI Chairman, is one of the co-creators of the interdisciplinary field of Web Science. He is a Director of both the Web Science Trust and of the Web Foundation - both organisations with a common commitment to advance the world’s understanding of the Web and to promote the Web's positive impact on society. Together with fellow Southampton Professor and inventor of the World Wide Web, Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Shadbolt established the ODI in East London’s Tech City last December. The organisation is a catalyst for innovation, focused on unlocking supply and creating demand for open data to generate economic, environmental and social benefits.

This week, the ODI has announced rapid global expansion of its ambitions, with the launch of 13 international centres, known as ‘nodes’, each of which will bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities. The nodes will be based in the US, Canada, France, Dubai, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Argentina, with two extra US nodes Chicago and North Carolina. Three further UK nodes are to open in Manchester, Leeds and Brighton.

In a career spanning some 30 years, Professor Shadbolt has over 400 publications to his credit in topics ranging from cognitive psychology to computational neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence to the Semantic Web. In 2009 the Prime Minister appointed Professors Shadbolt and Berners-Lee as Information Advisors to transform access to Public Sector Information. This work led to the highly acclaimed site that now provides a portal to thousands of datasets.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Southampton added: “This honour is richly deserved and I know that all of his colleagues at the University of Southampton will celebrate his success. Nigel is at the forefront of some of the most important and historic developments of the way in which we use and interact with the web and a true world leader in the field of open data and its benefits to society.”

Nigel Shadbolt and award

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