Leicester academic cited among 'Britain's most influential people'

Posted by ap507 at Jan 27, 2016 10:59 AM |
Debrett’s 500 celebrates the achievements of Professor Helen Atkinson CBE

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 27 January 2016

A Professor from the University of Leicester, and Head of Engineering, has been cited among the Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain.

Professor Helen Atkinson CBE is cited in the 2016 Debrett’s 500 list here: http://www.debretts.com/people-influence/debretts-500-2016

She joins individuals from a broad breadth of disciplines including Advertising, Art, Broadcasting, Business & Industry, Engineering and Technology, Finance, Law, Science and Medicine and more including Adele and Roy Hodgson, the England Football Team Manager.

Debrett’s states: “For almost 250 years, Debrett’s has been recognising people of influence and achievement in British society through its publications The Peerage and People of Today. As an extension to this heritage, the Debrett's 500 was launched in 2014 and is published annually exclusively in association with The Sunday Times. Recognising those who inspire, influence and instigate change beyond expectation, it is a truly inspiring group of people.”

Professor Atkinson said: “I am hugely honoured to have been named in the Engineering and Technology part of this list. The work the Debrett’s Foundation is doing on encouraging young people from less advantaged backgrounds to ‘aim high’ is impressive. I am proud to be involved in engineering education both through my role as Head of Department at Leicester, through chairing the Education and Skills Committee at the Royal Academy of Engineering and through the Engineering Professors’ Council. An important part of my role is to be a strong advocate for engineering education at national level.”

Professor Helen Atkinson FREng was made CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for services to Engineering and Education. She is Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester and was previously a Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is currently a trustee of the Academy and chairs the Committee on Education and Skills. She was elected the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council in its fifty year history, the body which represents engineering in higher education throughout the UK.

Professor Atkinson has a first class degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Cambridge (Girton College), a PhD from Imperial College and an honorary doctorate from the University of Liège in Belgium. She is a Visiting Professor at Arts et Métier ParisTech (one of the French Grands Écoles universities) and at two premier Chinese metallurgical institutes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – the highest honour for an engineer in the UK; when she was elected in 2007 she was one of 29 women Fellows alongside 1400 men. Professor Atkinson is also a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. The Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester is one of the largest at the University with about 700 students studying mechanical, aerospace, electrical and electronic, communications and software engineering.

Professor Atkinson has served on the body governing the British Transport Police, the Lord Chancellor’s Committee on Appointment of Magistrates in Rotherham and as a public service appointee on a major Government safety committee.


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