Keele Professor awarded Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship

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Posted on 08 September 2017

Professor Alicia El Haj FREng, FRSB has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, in a stellar list that includes some of the world’s leading innovators and business people.

Professor El Haj is the Regenerative Medicine theme lead in Keele’s Research Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine (ISTM), and as a founding Director of the Research Institute she pioneered Keele’s MSc course in Biomedical engineering and the MSc course in Cell and Tissue engineering.

As a leading figure in Regenerative Medicine, Professor El Haj has been involved in bringing together interdisciplinary groups within biomedicine, physical sciences and engineering. Her work focuses on engineering solutions for controlling stem cell behaviour and new orthopaedic repair strategies using novel enabling technology approaches.

Speaking about being awarded a prestigious Fellowship, Professor El Haj said:

“It’s a great honour to be elected as a Fellow - particularly being recognised by my peers. At Keele, multidisciplinary research is something that we do particularly well, and I think that this appointment is really in recognition of that multidisciplinary approach: even though we don’t have a huge engineering faculty here, we can still have our work recognised in that domain.”

Fifty of the UK’s top engineers have been formally admitted to the Academy this week, in addition to two new International Fellows and one Honorary Fellow, who will add their expertise to the Fellowship of 1,500 world-leading engineers from both industry and academia.

Professor El Haj added:

“One of the key things about the Royal Academy of Engineering is that it plays a key role in building policy for engineering as a whole discipline, and it has a big role in enterprise and entrepreneurial activities, so I look forward to being able to see some of that in action.”

The Royal Academy of Engineering has this week called for a culture change to improve inclusion for all engineers. With women making up just 5.2% of professional registered engineers in the UK in 2016, increasing the number of female engineers is something that Professor El Haj is keen to do:

“One of the things that makes being made a Fellow particularly exciting for me is that creating more female role models in engineering is really important, and this is a way of doing that; demonstrating that you can reach the high levels of engineering as a woman, and also be recognised for that.”