Water Woman Award winners inspire female researchers

Water@Leeds launched the Water Woman Award in partnership with Athena Swan teams at the University. Researchers among environment, engineering and physical sciences were announced as winners.

Recognising the achievements of women in science and inspiring female researchers is the aim of the Water Woman Award (WWA). This award shines a light on their efforts in an academic world in which the hurdles are still greater for females. It is based on two equally weighted criteria: the nature of the achievement plus its potential for empowering and inspiring other women into following their example.

The winners were rewarded for their contributions to fulfilling Water@Leeds objectives, such securing competitive research funds, producing world-class research, or achieving significant societal impact.

This year’s winners – WWA for research excellence

The Water Woman Award for Research Excellence (split-award) was awarded to Professor Lorna Dougan, Professor of Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy in recognition of a career of excellent achievements and commitment to support the next generations.

Dr Tracy Aze, who is an Associate Professor in Marine Micropalaeontology, School of Earth and Environment, was also rewarded for her excellent research achievements and the inspiring power of her personal pathway.

WWA for research funding

The Water Woman Award for Research Excellence (split-award) was received by Dr Cathryn Birch, Associate Professor in Meteorology and Climate, School of Earth and Environment, for her superb funding achievements that expose the value of collaborative research.

It was also received by Professor Pippa Chapman, Chair in Biogeochemistry, School of Geography, as a result of her career of funding success full of inspiring lessons for others.

WWA for research support

Dr Pazit Ziv, Doctoral Research Training Centre Manager, Water@Leeds recieved the Water Woman Award for Research Support In recognition of the value provided to others.

Dr Paola Sakai, UKRI Research and Innovation Fellow, School of Earth and Environment, and Dr Salma Al Arefi, The Institute of Communication and Power Networks, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering received special commendations for their inspiration to others.

WWA for societal impact

Professor Anna Mdee, Professor in the Politics of Global Development, School of Politics and International Studies was rewarded for her true and transferable impact.

Inspiring nominees

Panel member Dr Clare Woulds said: “Reading all the applications and nominations was an inspiring and humbling experience.

“I would also like to celebrate the fact that these women have put themselves forward, and hope that this is something we can help colleagues to do on a regular basis.”

An awards ceremony will be held later in the year, for which all winners and applicants will be invited to co-design an inspirational programme.

I would... like to celebrate the fact that these women have put themselves forward, and hope that this is something we can help colleagues to do on a regular basis.

Clare Woulds, University of Leeds

Panel Chair, Professor Julia Martin-Ortega, said: “Conceiving and making the Water Woman Awards happen is one of the things I am most proud of in my role as Associate Director of water@leeds.

“I believe there is an immense power in these women and I know their stories will resonate with many others. I want to thank all my fellow female colleagues for what they do every day and that makes them amazing Water Women.”

Further information

The Water Woman Award is open to any colleagues at Leeds identifying as women and contributing to Water@Leeds missions.

Learn more about female staff members who are involved in the Athena Swan Charter scheme.

Main image credit: Pixabay.