Mar 06 2018
Earlier this month, over 500 students and colleagues got involved in helping to decide who our new science building would be named after.  Four inspirational individuals Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosalind Franklin, Kathleen Lonsdale and Beatrice Shilling were all in the running, with each suggested by students and colleagues during an initial consultation in November 2017. Thank you for all of your nominations last year; it was great to see so many suggestions, and the reasons for them too.

The Students’ Union Vice President of Welfare & Diversity, Willow Wong, and I announced last Friday, 2 March, live on social media that the building will be named in honour of Beatrice Shilling, a British aeronautical engineer and motor racer. You can read more about the announcement on the intranet.
The Beatrice Shilling Building, known as the Shilling Building, will be a high-quality, technology-led space available for all students and colleagues, as well as home to our new Department of Electronic Engineering. Beatrice was a pioneer as an engineer in the early half of the 20th century when female engineers were extremely rare; her engineering prowess had a direct impact on the outcome of the Battle of Britain for her retro-modification to the Merlin engine.
This is an ideal time to announce the name of our new science building; it’s British Science Week and on Thursday 8 March, it will be International Women’s day.  On International Women’s day, the Careers & Employability Service will run the Spring Careers Fair which will focus on employers who promote diversity and equality.
As part of British Science Week, we’ll hold our Science Festival on Saturday 10 March, here on campus. The free festival has a packed programme, including Royal Institute lectures, a miniature steam railway and an indoor planetarium.  It will be a great day out for anyone with a passion for science.
Professor Paul Layzell