National engineering honor for eminent Queen's professor

August 17, 2011

One of Queen's University's most eminent female professors has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Eileen Harkin-Jones is one of only nine women recently elected to the Academy, which honours the UK's most distinguished engineers.

As holder of the Boxmore Chair in Polymer Engineering in the University's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, she is an international leader in polymer engineering and free surface plastic moulding processes, and the winner of several major research grants.

She has also played a leading role in promoting women in science, engineering and technology, serving as Chair of Women in Science and Engineering in Northern Ireland, and as a member of the Queen's team who won first prize in the national Athena awards in 2003.

Among the first to congratulate Professor Harkin-Jones on her election was Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson, himself a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

He said: "Professor Harkin-Jones has successfully combined an exceptional career in ground-breaking polymer research with an outstanding contribution to the advancement of women in science and engineering, and this honour is extremely well-deserved."

Professor Harkin-Jones's accolade was also welcomed by Director of the University's Gender Initiative, Professor Yvonne Galligan, who said: "Eileen's election as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering is a tribute to her eminence as an engineer. In this male-dominated profession, she has been recognised by her peers as a leader in the field.

"Eileen has long been a role model for women in Queen's. She has combined an active academic career with motherhood and family life. Her story is that of many women working in industry and academia today, and her achievement is celebrated by us all."
For media inquiries please contact Claire O'Callaghan on 00 44 (0) 2890975391 / 07814422572 or

Notes for Editors

The Royal Academy of Engineering

Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. As a national academy, it provides independent and impartial advice to Government; works to secure the next generation of engineers; and provides a voice for Britain's engineering community.

Queen's University Belfast

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