Women of Outstanding Achievement come to Aston

24 July 2007 – for immediate release

A photographic exhibition dedicated to women of achievement in science, engineering and technology (SET) is on show at Aston University this week.

It was put together by the UKRC (UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology).

Annette Williams, director of the UKRC, described the thinking behind the exhibition. ‘If you look at the portraits that adorn the walls of our great institutions and public buildings it soon becomes apparent how few women are featured,’ she said. ‘That is what is so exciting about this exhibition. We want to create a legacy for the future: a collection of photographic portraits that will celebrate women in SET.’

Each year six women are chosen to appear in the exhibition after being nominated by their peers. They are photographed and the six large portraits are added to the UKRC Women of Outstanding Achievement (WOA) Photographic Exhibition.

The names of this year’s women were announced by Malcolm Wicks, then Minister for Science and Innovation, who ‘launched’ the exhibition of this year’s portraits at the Science Museum on International Women’s Day in March.

Professor Julia King, Aston University’s Vice-Chancellor, was nominated this year and her portrait is on show in the exhibition. She was nominated by Peter Saraga and Professor Dorothy Griffiths of Imperial College, London.

The pictures in the exhibition were taken by renowned photographer Robert Taylor, whose work is included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Robert has also been working with the University to shoot a series of 48 black and white pictures of staff and students for the ‘Aston People Project’. The idea behind this was to capture the spirit of the staff and students who work at the University. Members of staff were invited to nominate colleagues to appear in the exhibition, which includes photographs of people ranging from cleaners to professors.

The Aston People Project will be formally launched at the University on Friday 27 July at 12.15pm.


For further press information please contact Sally Hoban on 0121 204 4552.

Notes to editors:

1.Established in 2004 to support the Government's ten-year strategy for Science and Innovation, the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) works to improve the participation and position of women in SET across industry, academia and public services in the UK. Funded by the DTI, it provides advice and consultancy on gender equality to employers in industry and academia, professional institutes, education and Research Councils. The UKRC also helps women entering into and progressing within SET careers, through advice and support at all career stages, training, mentoring and networking opportunities. Part of the UKRC’s remit is to also commission, undertake and fund research that looks at the role and participation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET)

2. The 2007 WOAs are:

Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor, Aston University (Category: Breaking through the glass ceiling into leadership)

Dr Sima Adhya, Technical Product Manager, Qinetiq, Farnborough (Category: The communication of SET)

Professor Frances Ashcroft, Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford University (Category: Scientific Discovery/SET Innovation)

Dr Averil MacDonald, Lecturer in Physics, Physics Department, University of Reading; Science Communicator and Educational Consultant (Category: The communication of SET)

Professor Carol Robinson, Royal Society Research Professor, Department of Chemistry University of Cambridge (Category: Scientific Discovery/SET Innovation)

Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, Chair in Pharmaceutical Nanoscience, London School of Pharmacy, University of London (Category: Breaking through the glass ceiling into leadership).

3. For further information about Robert Taylor please visit http://www.taylor-photo.co.uk/

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