Professor Dame Helen Atkinson, who joined our the ERA Foundation board last year, has been awarded this years prestigious President’s Medal in recognition of her contribution to the Royal Academy of Engineering, and her focus on engineering education and careers outreach.
Dame Helen has been a role model and advocate for women in STEM as well as overseeing the Royal Academy of Engineerings This is Engineering campaign. This is Engineering is a digital and social media campaign run designed to inspire more young people from all backgrounds to become engineers. Since the campaign began in 2018 the campaign films have been viewed over 57 million times by a gender balanced audience, and increased consideration of engineering among teenagers by up to 85%.
She was the first woman President of the UK Engineering Professors’ Council, has been listed as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology, as one of the “Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering” and as a Women into Science and Engineering campaign Ambassador.
She was made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to engineering and education.
Royal Academy of Engineering President Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE says: “Alongside her career as an internationally renowned researcher in materials engineering, Dame Helen Atkinson has also made highly significant personal contributions to academic leadership and engineering education, outreach and diversity and inclusion. Her input has been critical to the success of the pioneering This is Engineering campaign, resulting in measurable improvements in young people’s willingness to consider engineering careers, especially among under-represented groups including women and ethnic minorities. She is an inspirational engineer and leader.”
Dame Helen says: “It is an absolute honour to receive the 2022 President’s Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering. Engineering is so important to our lives every day – it is crucial to our economy and our quality of life, and there is such a huge variety of specialisms that make it exceptionally interesting. That’s why I am so passionate about engineering; it really is something that changes the world for the better.”
Dame Helen was awarded the President’s Medal by Professor Sir Jim McDonald at this years Academy Awards Dinner in London on Tuesday 12 July.