Athena SWAN at the University of Huddersfield

The University of Huddersfield was notified of achieving Bronze Athena SWAN status on 1st October 2015Athena Swan Bronze Logo

The University’s Athena SWAN Programme currently consists of two central areas

Implementation of the Bronze Action Plan

The action plan contained within our Bronze Award submission outlines how we are addressing the identified barriers to mainstreaming the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter.

PDF Icon Athena Swan Bronze Award UoH Submission
PDF Icon University of Huddersfield Athena SWAN Action Plan


The University Athena SWAN Panel coordinates and monitors the implementation of the action plan in line with agreed milestones.

The Athena SWAN Panel (Self- Assessment Group)

The Athena SWAN Panel began its self-assessment actvities in 2012, culminating in the application for an Institutional Bronze Award in April 2015. The Panel provides leadership and support to the University’s work programme around Athena SWAN.



Professor Jane Owen-Lynch
Chair of Athena SWAN Assessment Panel

Professor Jane Owen-Lynch is Dean Dean of the School of Applied Sciences and current Chair of the Athena SWAN Assessment Panel 

Tracy Turner


Dr Tracy Turner
Deputy Director of Research and Enterprise

Tracy was the Chair of Athena SWAN Assessment Panel from 2014 -2015. She joined the University in November 2013. Before that she had a long career at the Research Councils’ Daresbury Laboratory, near Warrington in Cheshire. Tracy graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSc Hons in Physics in 1982, followed by a PhD in photoelectron spectroscopy in 1986.

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Portrait of Professor Andrew Ball

Professor Andrew Ball
Pro-Vice Chancellor - Research and Enterprise

Graduating from the University of Leeds in 1987, Professor Andrew Ball attained a first class honours B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering. His degree had been sponsored by BICC. Professor Ball, then went on to work for Ruston Gas Turbines, later with the Ministry of Defence, and then gained a sponsorship from WM Engineering and the Royal Navy, enabling him to join the Total Technology Scheme at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1991 with a PhD in Machinery Condition Monitoring. Andrew has to date graduated more than 30 research degrees, in the fields of Mechanical, Electrical and Diagnostic Engineering. He has acted as external examiner at over 15 institutions and has held honorary positions at 3 overseas universities. He is also a Registered Expert Witness in 3 countries. 

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Gemma Sweeney


Dr Gemma Sweeney
School of Applied Sciences

Dr Gemma Sweeney is a Daphne Jackson Fellow, working with Professor Mike Page in the School of Applied Sciences. Following her graduation (PhD) from the University of Bristol in 1995, she began her career as an Industrial chemist, working mainly in the Pharmaceutical Industry with companies such as AstraZeneca. When her first child was born in 2003 she decided to take a career break to stay at home with her son, and had two more children and a prolonged career break of 10 years. Returning to a career in science after such a long break was not something which initially seemed possible, but thanks to the Daphne Jackson Trust, and generous funding from the EPSRC and the University of Huddersfield, that became possible. Dr Sweeney joined the University in July 2013 on a two year part time contract.

Portrait of Professor A Lee

Angela Lee
School of Art Design and Architecture 

Professor Angela Lee joined Huddersfield in September 2014 as Director of Research and Graduate Studies in the School of Art, Design and Architecture, presiding over the management of postgraduate education and research across its three departments: Art & Communications, Fashion & Textiles, and Architecture & 3D Design.

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John Allport


Professor John Allport
School of Computing and Engineering

John Allport gained a BEng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham in 1985 as a Student Apprentice with the National Coal Board. He later worked in open cast mining in Australia before taking a role designing and installing centrifugal separation systems for the chemical and oil industries.

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Portrait of Dr Karen Ousey


Dr Karen Ousey

Karen is a Reader in Advancing Clinical Practice within the Division of Podiatry and Clinical Sciences. Karen moved to the University of Huddersfield in 2005. Her clinical background is in orthopaedics and tissue viability, she has worked in NHS hospitals in the North West of England and London. She became a lecturer/practitioner in 1997 with the University of Salford prior to undertaking a full time lecturing role there in 2000.

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Portrait of Dr Laura Waters


Dr Laura Waters
School of Applied Sciences

Laura joined the University of Huddersfield in 2003 as a lecturer in pharmaceutical science and is currently a Principal Enterprise Fellow in the School of Applied Sciences. Laura is heavily involved in the RSC, current treasurer of the local section, a Benevolent Volunteer Visitor, a former member of Council and a current member of the JPAG committee. Laura is also part of an APS focus group, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a National Public Engagement Ambassador (NCCPE) and a STEM ambassador. 

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Leigh Flemming


Dr Leigh Fleming
School of Computing and Engineering

Leigh is currently the Subject Area Leader for Mechanical Engineering in the School of Computing and Engineering. After graduating with a BEng(hons) in Engineering Design: Mechanical from the University, she continued her studies completing a PhD in “The Use of 3D Analysis Techniques to Investigate the Wear of Femoral Stems in Total Hip Replacement” before moving into industry, working for Depuy International in their research and test department.

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Portrait of Professor Liz Towns-Andrews



Professor Liz Towns-Andrews
Director of Research and Enterprise

Liz trained as a chemist and graduated with a PhD in X-ray crystallography before joining the Research Council system. Her first position was as a scientist at the UK’s original synchrotron radiation source at Daresbury in Cheshire working closely with UK academics. At that time her research included time resolved diffraction of biomolecular and polymeric systems but also required design and commission of large scale equipment to carry out this work. More recently, Liz has been the Director of Knowledge Exchange for the Science and Technology Facilities Council developing the organization’s strategy for Knowledge Exchange and Economic Impact.

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Portrait of Dr Maria Pala‌‌


Dr Maria Pala 
School of Applied Sciences

During my research career I’ve worked mainly on the analysis of human mitochondrial DNA variability in Western Eurasia with particular focus on the Late Glacial and postglacial repopulation of Europe. This line of research led us to identify the first genetic evidence for an expansion from the hypothetical Italian glacial refugium that had been proposed on archaeological grounds..

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Portrait of Dr Mauro Vallati


Dr Mauro Vallati
School of Computing and Engineering

I received my PhD in March 2012 from the University of Brescia, Italy. My supervisor was Alfonso Gerevini, co-supervisor Alessandro Saetti. I worked at the planning group of the University of Brescia, as a postdoctoral research fellow, till September 2012. In October 2012 I joined the PARK research group at the University of Huddersfield, as a research fellow in areas of automated planning.

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Portrait of Professor Tim Thornton


Professor Tim Thornton
School of Applied Sciences

Tim Thornton studied at New College, Oxford. In 1997 he was awarded the Royal Historical Society's David Berry Prize for his work on the Isle of Man; in 1999 he was proxime accessit for the Society's Alexander Prize for an essay on the palatinate of Durham. He was the first scholar based in a new University to win one of the Society's prizes. He became Dean of the School of Music, Humanities and Media in October 2006. He was appointed Pro Vice-chancellor (Teaching and Learning) in October 2008

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Portrait of Dr Yun Gao


Dr Yun Gao  
School of Art and Design

Dr. Yun Gao is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and joined the University of Huddersfield in 2005. Yun works as an academic and an architect. She received her PhD in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in 1998. Her academic research explores design of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable built environment, traditional and cultural changes reflected in architectural and urban development in developing countries, and cross-cultural architectural design and education. Her book Architecture of Dai Nationality in Yunnan was published by Beijing University Press in 2003.

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The terms of reference of the University Athena SWAN Panel are:

  1. To undertake the Athena SWAN self-assessment process in a rigorous and thorough manner
  2. To review equality related data and to influence and encourage varied methods of collection
  3. To consult with staff both qualitatively and quantitatively
  4. To identify issues in relation to gender equality and develop action plans, and to guide Schools to create their own
  5. To monitor and review progress with action plans ensuring continuous improvement with advancing women’s careers in STEMM and non-STEMM subject areas and equality and diversity within the university as a whole
  6. To meet at least 3 times per year
  7. To provide input to and prepare annual statements of progress to University Senate
  8. To engage in a two way dialogue with URC & UTLC
  9. To engage in a two way dialogue with School Boards
  10. To support the preparation of submissions for Athena SWAN awards and renewals


Useful Links

Evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the Athena SWAN Charter

Women in scientific careers - Science and Technology Committee

What is Unconcious Bias?

American Astronomical Society Committee on the Status of Women (unconscious bias resources)

University of Huddersfield Equal Opportunities Home Page


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