Public Release: 

Bath astrophysicist named Woman of the Year

University of Bath

Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath, Professor Carole Mundell, has been named Woman of the Year in the UK's biggest programme championing women in technology, the 2016 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards.

Supported by techUK and the world's leading technology businesses the annual FDM everywoman in Technology Awards event shines the spotlight on accomplished role models who are achieving success in their field while simultaneously inspiring others to pursue a career in the technology industry.

Announced at a prestigious awards ceremony in London last night (Tuesday 23 February), Professor Mundell was selected from a field of hundreds of applicants, chosen by a panel of senior technology leaders against criteria including career achievement, future potential and their commitment to supporting others in the industry.

Whilst her scientific achievements impressed the judges, they were inspired by how she applied her knowledge to develop a novel leading-edge technology, thinking outside of the box and finding innovative solutions on a shoe string budget.

They also praised her passion and dedication to breaking down the barriers between young women and STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), using her position as a successful, internationally recognised female professor to promote the exciting world of science and technology.

Winning prestigious fellowships and working in the UK and USA, Professor Mundell has spent the past decade building an international team exploiting innovative technology to catch the fast-fading light from Gamma Ray Bursts - the Universe's most powerful explosions.

These bursts represent the birth cries of black holes formed in the explosive death throes of massive stars. Using telescopes around the world and in space, Professor Mundell and her collaborators analyse the light from gamma ray bursts, which gives them information about the physical process that produced it.

She commented: "This award means a lot to me personally, but it also means a lot to women in science.

"I think this award is important recognition of women's leadership in technology and I will use it to inspire, encourage and support girls and women to fulfil their potential in science, technology and engineering.

"I'd like to thank my collaborators around the world, with whom it's been a joy to work and who believed we could do the impossible. I'm one of those people, if you tell me something's impossible, it makes me want to do it more and more."

Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University said: "I'd like to congratulate Carole on this prestigious and well-deserved award, which recognises her innovation and leadership in the field. Her energy and commitment are a real inspiration to others."

91 per cent of physics research from the University of Bath was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent by the in the recent independently-assessed Research Excellence Framework 2014.


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