I was delighted to receive two honorary doctorates this month. Both very different occasions and both very special to me.
The first was from the University of Hull, where I was given an Honorary Doctorate in Science. The venue was the impressive City Hall where my father graduated in History as a mature student 30 years ago. This time he came to my graduation ceremony along with my brother, both of whom still live in Yorkshire. In fact, my Dad still lives in the house I grew up in.
But the other special part was meeting Calie Pistorious, the Vice Chancellor – a fellow engineer. At the celebratory dinner, we talked about everything from Athena SWAN certification to engagement with local industry, from the impact of Siemens involvement in the region to my Masters dissertation on datacoms on the home ringmain.
Receiving an honorary doctorate is, of course, a personal honour, but I also see it as confirmation of support for the various causes close to my heart – in particular promoting opportunities from studying science and engineering, encouraging more women to consider STEM careers, and demonstrating the value and joy in lifelong learning. It also sparks a relationship between the university and the recipient. And already, I can tell this is going to become a longstanding and mutually beneficial one.