Dame Wendy Hall

Dame Wendy Hall

Dame Wendy Hall is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by the University of Sussex in recognition of her contributions to computing and information technology (Friday 12 July, afternoon ceremony,)

Dame Wendy is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science from 2002 to 2007.

One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at the forefront of such research ever since. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web – a set of standards that promote common data formats – and the emerging research discipline of web science. She has published over 400 papers and is frequently invited to speak at high-profile conferences and events.

Dame Wendy became the University of Southampton’s first female Professor in Engineering upon her appointment in 1994. With Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt she co-founded the Web Science Research Initiative in 2006 and she is currently a Director of the Web Science Trust, which has a global mission to support the development of research and education in web science and inform opinion in the field.

She is particularly prominent as a strong and vocal advocate for women’s opportunities in science, engineering and technology, and for the need to ensure that women are not excluded from careers in science and engineering. In her research and public life, she has sought to ensure that women, as well as men, benefit from technological advancement and employment opportunities within
a technical field.

Her research interests now include the development of web technologies (particularly the Semantic Web), hypermedia systems and link services, advanced knowledge technologies, digital libraries, decentralised information systems, and human computer interaction.

In addition to playing a prominent role in the development of her discipline, she also helps shape science and engineering policy and education as a member of both the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology and the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Robotics and Smart Devices.

She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 New Year’s Honours list and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June of the same year.

From 2008 to 2010 she was President of the Association for Computing Machinery; the first person from outside North America to hold this position. Other significant posts she has held include Senior Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, founding member of the European Research Council, member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), President of the British Computer Society and EPSRC Senior Research Fellow. From 2010 until 2012 she was Chair of the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies Advisory Group. In 2012 Computer Weekly named Wendy the second most influential woman in British IT, and she was appointed to the UK Government’s Board of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 1 July 2013