The University of Southampton

Southampton Entrepreneur in Residence honoured for outstanding contribution to engineering and technology

Published: 21 October 2020
Virginia Hodge is a Resident Mentor for the University of Southampton’s Future Worlds startup accelerator

Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence Virginia Hodge has been awarded one of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) highest honours as part of the organisation’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The Institute’s former Vice-President is one of 16 world-leading engineers and technologists to be recognised for their outstanding contributions with Honorary Fellowships.

Virginia is embedded in Electronics and Computer Science teaching and research activities at the University of Southampton, where she serves as a Resident Mentor at the on-campus Future Worlds startup accelerator. She is one of two Royal Society Entrepreneurs in Residence to join the University this year.

"I am delighted and honoured to be recognised by the IET with the award of Honorary Fellowship, especially in its 150th anniversary year," Virginia says. "It was totally unexpected and to be considered to be an equal, in the eyes of the IET, as, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Dame Ann Dowling, Dame Judith Hackitt as well as other stalwarts of the Volunteering Community, is an incredible recognition.

"I started volunteering for the IET in 1987 when I joined the Solent Young Professionals and have held numerous positions since, including Vice-President on the Board of Trustees. I'm passionate about encouraging more young women into the engineering profession, something I have championed throughout my time volunteering and I hope this accolade helps to demonstrate to the next generation that engineering is for everyone."

The new Honorary Fellowships were officially given during Professor Danielle George's inaugural President's Address '150 years of difference makers', which took place online on 8 October.

Now serving as a Company Director and Trustee of Foothold, the IET Benevolent Fund, Virginia brings a wealth of experience in the aviation and defence industries, with particular expertise in software and systems, to her mentoring at Southampton.

Ben Clark, Future Worlds Director, says: "Virginia is a great role model for many; her dedication to our startup community and passion for mentoring the next generation of engineers and founders is immensely valuable. I am so pleased to see Virginia become an Honorary Fellow of the IET, I know I speak for all of us at Future Worlds when I say this recognition is very well-deserved."

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