Achievements of leading UCL academics recognised at Provost’s Annual reception
12 November 2020
Academics from across UCL whose work has gained major recognition externally have been celebrated at the Provost’s Annual Learned Societies and Major Prizes reception.
The event, which took place online, highlighted the work of more than 40 leading academics from across all 11 of UCL’s faculties. In a year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of awards and appointments were made to those working in the medical field, with nine appointments to the Academy of Medical Sciences, to which UCL’s Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Dame Anne Johnson, has been appointed President.
Other achievements in the last year have included fellowships awarded by the Academy of Social Sciences, the British Academy, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Higher Education Academy, the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council and Science and Technology Facilities Council.
UCL academics have also won a number of prestigious prizes, including the Royal Academy of Engineers’ President’s Special Awards for Pandemic Service to Professors Rebecca Shipley and Tim Baker for their work on UCL Ventura, a breathing aid to help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care.
As the last reception of its kind to be held by the current President & Provost, UCL Vice-Provost (Research) Professor David Price reflected with the audience on the many achievements secured under Professor Michael Arthur’s leadership, including establishing UCL as a global top 10 university, climbing an average of eight places in university world rankings to 6th place over the past seven years.
Under Professor Arthur, UCL has been able to secure record breaking levels of research funding - with the most funding awarded from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) of any university for the second year in a row - totalling over £520m. Furthermore, a number of major research initiatives and departments have been established since taking on the role as UCL’s tenth Provost & President, including the development of UCL East, and the creation of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and the Institute for Global Prosperity, both of which aim to disrupt traditional thinking around growth and ways to tackle global challenges.
Professor Michael Arthur said: “Despite being an extremely challenging year for us all - with the celebration of our brilliant academics occurring at an unusual time, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and with Brexit looming - what is important is that UCL has risen to the challenge. On top of these awards, this year several UCL researchers have also been invited to share their expertise on the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, highlighting just how valued UCL’s research and expertise is to society. Congratulations to all, and I look forward to seeing the university continue to contribute to the creation of a more resilient, more sustainable world in future.”
Professor David Price said: “We are tremendously proud of all of those in our academic and research community who have contributed to UCL’s achievements over this difficult year. These appointments and prizes demonstrate the remarkable resilience of our academics – as well as the sheer breadth of expertise, with successes from across the entire university – and the ability of the UCL community to collaborate across disciplinary and physical boundaries to address the pandemic. Under the leadership of Professor Arthur, UCL has gone from strength to strength. Our success as an institute, particularly in these unprecedented times, truly exemplifies his outstanding leadership, ensuring that UCL can continue to thrive well into the future, despite any new challenges we may encounter.”