'Disruptive STEMinist' recognised for services to microbiology - News & Features

11 January 2018
'Disruptive STEMinist' recognised for services to microbiology

In the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, Hilary Lappin-Scott, Professor of Microbiology, Swansea University was appointed an OBE for services to microbiology and the advancement of women in science and engineering.

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott 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. Hilary was awarded a Personal Chair in Microbiology in 1999.

Her research group works on unravelling the complexities within microbial biofilm communities and has resulted in the publication of over 200 scientific papers in Microbial Ecology and the successful training of 50 PhD students to completion, many of whom have senior academic or senior posts in multi-national businesses.

During her 20 years at the University of Exeter Professor Lappin-Scott was Head of Biosciences prior to becoming Dean of the Postgraduate Faculty and her duties included improving all aspects of the postgraduate student experience across all three campuses and establishing a prominent research environment within the newly formed Peninsula Medical School.

Hilary is the Vice President of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies, steering the development of the discipline on a global scale. She plays numerous leadership (UK wide and international) roles within STEM, shaping the future direction of research, supporting the international networking of scientists and the exchange of scientific ideas for the benefit of the global scientific community. At Swansea University Hilary leads, directs and supports the progress of STEM through her current role as Senior-Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Prof Lappin-Scott devised the 'Utilising All Our Talent' initiative at Swansea University, which established a senior group of female staff, facilitating both networking and support. For International Women’s Day 2015 she created the 'Inspiring Women' campaign, whereby women from all areas and careers stages are showcased and celebrated, with STEM women well represented throughout and devised the Mary Williams Award which recognises staff who supports others to achieve their full potential. Hilary co-authored the Welsh Government paper ‘Talented Women for a Successful Wales’and delivered a TEDXTalk, which discussed the barriers girls face and challenges they need to overcome when entering the STEM arena.

Follow Hilary's work at her blog Distruptive STEMinist