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Water Woman Award winners announced

Water Woman

Launched by water@leeds, in partnership with Athena Swan teams at the University, the awards aim to recognise the achievements of women in science and their power to inspire others.

By rewarding achievements by women whose work contributes to the scientific objectives of water@leeds in securing competitive research funds, producing world-class research or achieving significant societal impact, the Water Woman Award shines a light on their efforts in an academic world in which the hurdles are still greater for females.

The award 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.

It is open to any colleagues at Leeds identifying as women and contributing to water@leeds missions.

Nominations were received across all categories, and the Water Woman Award Panel has been overwhelmed by the inspiring power of all applications.

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.”

This year’s winners are:

Water Woman Award for Research Excellence (split award)

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, Associate Professor in Marine Micropalaeontology, School of Earth and Environment – In recognition of excellent research achievements and the inspiring power of her personal pathway.

Water Woman Award for Research Funding (split award)

Dr Cathryn Birch, Associate Professor in Meteorology and Climate, School of Earth and Environment – In recognition of superb funding achievements that expose the value of collaborative research.

Professor Pippa Chapman, Chair in Biogeochemistry, School of Geography – In recognition of a career of funding success full of inspiring lessons for others.

Water Woman Award for Societal Impact

Professor Anna Mdee, Professor in the Politics of Global Development, School of Politics and International Studies – In recognition of true and transferable impact.

Water Woman Award for Research Support

Dr Pazit Ziv, Doctoral Research and Training Centre Manager water@leeds; EuroFLOW ITN research coordinator; Research Impact Manager, School of Geography.  In recognition of her role in supporting and managing research projects.

Special Commendations (for their stories, which serve to inspire and empower many others)

Dr Paola Sakai, UKRI Research and Innovation Fellow, School of Earth and Environment.

Dr Salma Al Arefi, The Institute of Communication and Power Networks, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

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.

water@leeds would like to thank all applicants and all those involved in making the awards possible, particularly Ann Marie Boyle and the rest of the water@leeds office, as well as all of those that have helped communicate about the scheme.

Panel members were:

  • Professor Julia Martin-Ortega (Associate Director, water@leeds, Panel Chair)
  • Dr Clare Woulds (Athena SWAN team leader for the Faculty of Environment)
  • Dr Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez (water@leeds coordinator)
  • Dr Fiona Gill (Women@Leeds Network)
  • Dr Kate Pangbourne (Athena SWAN assessment team); and
  • Professor Vania Dimitrova (external panel member).