UCL Engineering


UCL Engineering staff in the King's Birthday Honours list

28 June 2024

Congratulations to our UCL Engineering staff who have been recognised in The King’s Birthday Honours for their outstanding contributions to critical infrastructure and public service.

Side by side headshots of Professor Shane John and Professor Liz Varga.

In recognition of their contributions to engineering and academia, two staff members from University College London's Faculty of Engineering have been honoured in the recent King's Birthday Honours list. This prestigious acknowledgment celebrates the exceptional achievements and services provided by these individuals to the field of engineering and beyond. Among the recipients from UCL, our Engineering staff are Professor Liz Varga and Professor Shane Johnson, whose tireless dedication and innovative work have earned them these honours.

Professor Liz Varga (Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering), Professor of Complex Systems, has been awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to critical infrastructure. Professor Varga is director of UCL's Infrastructure Systems Institute, focused on research on uninterrupted and effective critical services from linear infrastructures, such as transport, energy, water, waste, and telecommunications. She has also led the coordination node of UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities and is a co-investigator for the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure. Reflecting on the honour, Professor Varga stated, "Essential services provided by critical infrastructure have never been more important to drive inclusion and well-being globally. Yet decision-makers at all scales face increasing challenges from climate change, aging infrastructure, and man-made hazards whilst they transition critical infrastructure toward sustainable and viable solutions. I hope that the CBE honour will allow me an even greater voice to have impact so that both current and future generations can secure much-needed essential services".

Professor Shane Johnson (Department of Security and Crime Science), Professor of Future Crimes, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for public service. Professor Johnson is the Director of the Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL and co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cybersecurity. Shane is particularly interested in how technological change informs new opportunities for offending or approaches to crime. His research on future crime, secure by design, what works to reduce crime and crime patterns has been funded by a variety of sponsors including the AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, Home Office, UK police forces, the Department for the Environment & Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Education & Skills (DfES), British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust. Reflecting on the recognition, Professor Johnson said, "It was a real surprise to get the letter! I have the pleasure of working with some really fantastic people and I’m delighted and honoured to be recognized for the work we do to help to reduce both traditional crime and that which may be facilitated by emerging and future technologies."

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of UCL Engineering, praised both honourees, stating, "Liz has been instrumental in the success of UKCRIC and it’s wonderful to see this national contribution recognized. Shane is a shining example of our very best academic leaders in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. His contributions are many, and the impact really significant. I have enjoyed the privilege of working with him through the Dawes Centre and to appreciate his knowledge and skills in bringing in new collaborations and opportunities."

A Legacy of Excellence

UCL Engineering has a long history of excellence in research and education, consistently ranked among the top engineering faculties globally. The recognition of our staff in the King's Birthday Honours list further solidifies UCL's position as a dominant figure in engineering innovation and underscores its commitment to fostering an environment where groundbreaking research and teaching can thrive. As the recipients celebrate their well-deserved honours, they continue to inspire future generations of engineers. Their achievements exemplify the spirit of innovation and dedication that defines UCL Engineering.