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Trustee Hilary Lappin-Scott awarded the WISE Hero Award 2016 for her work in gender equality and STEM

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, senior Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University, and a Trustee for the Daphne Jackson Trust since 2015, was recognised with the WISE Hero Award for her significant impact in encouraging other women in their organisations and wider – in microbial research, open source software and coding for girls.

The WISE Awards is a unique annual event, a special opportunity to recognise inspiring organisations and individuals actively addressing the core concerns of WISE: promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to girls and women.

The judge said: “All the finalists in this category had amazing and diverse stories to tell but the winner, Hilary, was selected for her passion about change on a global level and without boundaries. Busy, visible and creative she brings together science and industry to improve lives.”

Hilary said: “I'm absolutely thrilled!  It's been an incredible 48 hours with the Gender Summit in Brussels and now the award.”

Career history

Hilary graduated from the University of Warwick (BSc and PhD) and then held Post-doctoral Fellowships in the UK and Canada before her appointment as Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Exeter in 1990. She was awarded a Personal Chair in Microbiology in 1999. During her 20 years at the University of Exeter Hilary was Head of Biosciences prior to becoming Dean of the Postgraduate Faculty. Hilary was also the co-author of ‘Talented Women for a Successful Wales’, a report for the Chief Scientific Officer of the Welsh Government, published earlier this year.

Hilary is currently the Lead for Equality and Diversity for Swansea University, including on Athena SWAN and supporting the career development of women in STEM subjects. She has also helped form similar programmes in other UK universities to publicise and celebrate the contribution of women in science. She has played significant leadership and governance roles at three universities and for three scientific learned societies, and has held the Presidency of both the Society for General Microbiology and the International Society for Microbial Ecology.