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Women changing the face of edtech

Leading Bath chemical engineer, Prof Semali Perera, named as finalist for national tech award

Posted by Hannah Vickers | January 27, 2017 | Higher education

Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University, Semali Perera, has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards, which recognise women changing the face of technology in the UK.

The 2017 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards celebrate the contributions of women across technology - often in male-dominated fields - and their role in inspiring and supporting the next generation.

Professor Perera has been named as one of three finalists in the Academic category, which is awarded to a woman in academia who has made an outstanding contribution to technology and science and whose work has made or has the potential to make a significant long-term impact in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

A Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IChemE, Professor Perera’s research specialises in developing novel sustained drug delivery methods for cancer sufferers.

Semali’s 23-year career has not been short of accolades, including the Mary Tasker Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Teaching (2002) and the prestigious Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation (2007). In addition, her work on pollution control technology led to the formation of a University of Bath spin-out company nano-porous solutions ltd which was acquired in 2013 by IMI plc, a FTSE-100 listed company. 

She is a leading advocate for the University’s Women in Engineering initiative, which provides information and highlights opportunities for aspiring female engineers, as well as the annual National Women in Engineering Day (NWED).

Commenting on being named as a finalist, Semali said: “I am absolutely delighted to be a finalist in the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards. This is a wonderful way of recognising and promoting women in technology.

“I love research and inventions, and to be able to share my knowledge with young people is a real privilege. If I had a message to young people it would be: ‘Find your passion, and that will take you a long way’.”

Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor Tim Mays added: “Professor Perera inspires all members of the Department of Chemical Engineering and beyond with her drive, focus and compassion. The wonderful news of her selection as a finalist for this important award recognises Semali’s continued success as a University researcher and teacher.”

Semali hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow colleague Professor Carole Mundell, Head of Astrophysics, who won the overall Woman of the Year award at last year’s FDM everywoman in Technology Awards.

The 2017 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards ceremony and dinner will take place on 9 February at the London Hilton on Park Lane preceded by the everywoman Technology Forum - the largest UK forum for men and women in technology, a day of inspiration, learning and development, bringing together over 600 women who are aspiring to advance their careers or become future leaders.

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