Plymouth academics WISE up for awards

Two Plymouth University academics have been nominated for national awards in recognition of their efforts to inspire women and girls to pursue study and careers in the sciences.

The annual Women in to Science and Engineering (WISE) Awards celebrate female talent in science, technology and engineering – from classroom to boardroom.

The awards shortlist for 2014 includes Plymouth University Professor of Ocean Engineering Deborah Greaves, who is in the running for the WISE Research Award, while Dr Ismini Vasileiou, Lecturer in Information Systems has been nominated in the WISE Advisor Award category.

The WISE Research Award is presented in recognition of groundbreaking scientific research by a female-led team which has advanced knowledge and will make a difference to people's lives.

Professor Greaves is one of the country’s leading marine renewable energy experts, Director of the COAST Lab at Plymouth University and a Board Member of PRIMaRE (Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy).

She also recently led the €2million SOWFIA programme, on streamlining of impact assessment for offshore wave farms, as well as projects involving wave energy devices and extreme wave loading. Professor Greaves said:

“Through my work, I have been able to lead a number of groundbreaking research projects that have influenced national and international thinking about renewable energy. They have also raised the profile of Plymouth University locally and globally. I believe being shortlisted for this award can help enable women and girls to see science and engineering as careers they can succeed in, and I am only too happy if I have in some way acted as a role model.”

Professor of Ocean Engineering Deborah Greaves said:

I believe being shortlisted for this award can help enable women and girls to see science and engineering as careers they can succeed in, and I am only too happy if I have in some way acted as a role model

Learn more about Professor Deborah Greaves

The WISE Advisor award recognises a careers advisor, teacher, lecturer or mentor who has increased the number of girls and women who pursue further study and/or find work in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or related sectors and supports them to achieve their potential.

Dr Vasileiou was nominated in recognition of the inspirational support she has provided to female IT students and the proactive work she has conducted to positively influence student attitudes over equality in the IT industry.

Also shortlisted for a WISE Award in 2012, she said:

Being shortlisted for this award is evidence that women can succeed in what to many may seem a male-dominated environment. As a single mum of two boys, these awards give me courage to carry on with the work of telling all women it is feasible to balance family and career commitments. It is also a great opportunity to look at what is being done in the South West and beyond for women in STEM in trying to set up a supportive network for mentoring and helping women in the field.”

Dr Ismini Vasileiou, Lecturer in Information Systems, said:

As a single mum of two boys, these awards give me courage to carry on with the work of telling all women it is feasible to balance family and career commitments.

Learn more about Dr Ismini Vasileiou

The 28 names on the shortlist were selected from a record number of nominations and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday 13 November, with the awards being presented by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, patron of the WISE campaign.

Trudy Norris-Grey, Chair of the WISE Campaign, said:

“It is a privilege to celebrate the achievements of all the heroes on this list, and all these individuals represent inspirational role models for those who follow in their footsteps. I am delighted that the shortlist also recognises the vital contribution made by employers and other organisations to supporting women in STEM careers.”