Top international recognition for University of Leicester engineer

Posted by vm64 at Feb 24, 2011 10:38 AM |
Professor Helen Atkinson receives honorary degree for outstanding contribution

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 24 February 2011

Images of the honorary degree ceremony available from

Professor Helen Atkinson from the University of Leicester has received yet another top recognition in her outstanding international career as a metallurgist and materials engineer.

Head of the Mechanics of Materials Group and Professor of Engineering at the University of Leicester, Professor Atkinson was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Liège in Belgium. 

Her research is focussed on how to form semi-solid metals, which has a widespread use in industry for making mobile phone cases, laptop cases and parts for cars, and helps to save energy and costs.

She has already reached the top in the UK by receiving the highest honour an engineer can get, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and being named as one of the UK’s outstanding women by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. 

Whilst the existing awards demonstrate her excellent national reputation, the honorary degree strengthens her position as the crème de la créme internationally.

On receiving the award, she commented: 

“I feel very honoured to be associated with this prestigious University in Belgium. I have been fortunate to work with excellent teams throughout my career. Metallurgy is a wonderful subject; metals are critical to our everyday lives so anything we can do to improve understanding is important.”

Head of the Department, Professor John Fothergill added:

“I was very pleased to see that Helen Atkinson received this Honorary Doctorate.  She is internationally renowned as an engineer in the area of metallurgy and her vision and energy means she is a great inspiration to engineers across the UK.”

Professor Atkinson joined the University in 2002 bringing her expertise and excellence to the globally acclaimed Department of Engineering. Currently Professor Atkinson heads the Mechanics of Materials Group, a group of about 30 researchers and academics, , is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoMMM), a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer.

Below: Professor Helen Atkinson at her honorary degree ceremony

Professor Atkinson's honorary degree ceremony

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Professor Helen Atkinson at or tel: 0116 223 1019  

Violetta Mertins

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