The University of Southampton

Professor Wendy Hall elected new Senior VP of national Academy

Published: 11 July 2005

Professor Wendy Hall has become the first female Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and plans to work with the Academy to attract more women to the discipline.

According to Professor Hall, Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, who was elected at the AGM of the Academy on Wednesday 6 July, there is a pressing need for more women engineers--not only to achieve a more healthy gender balance in the industry but because society needs their input in design so that products can be used satisfactorily by both sexes.

Professor Hall, who has been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering since 2000, will succeed Sir Duncan Michael and will hold the post for three years. As well as developing her own role as Senior Vice President she will deputise for Academy President Lord Broers when required.

She plans to develop initiatives to influence public perceptions of engineering and to build on the impetus created by Lord Broers' Reith Lectures on The Triumph of Technology to communicate the significance of engineering to wider audiences. She also plans to encourage more interdisciplinary working across engineering and orchestrate campaigns to encourage more women into engineering.

She commented: 'I am very proud to be an engineer and to have been appointed to this post which puts me in an excellent position to improve public perceptions of engineering so that more young men and women are encouraged to join the discipline.

'Women, in particular, need to be represented in every aspect of industry; otherwise products get designed purely from the male perspective. This might not matter so much with the design of a bridge, but take, for example, a car. Volvo recently put an all-female team together to see what difference their perspective made to the design of a car. We need to encourage more engineering companies to encourage the active involvement of women in all aspects of their business.'

For further information contact Joyce Lewis: 023 8059 5453; email

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