International STEM award for Strathclyde Maths Professor

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

A Mathematics Professor at the University of Strathclyde has received an international award for her achievements and her work in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for the next generation.

Professor Apala Majumdar is one of 11 maths and computing recipients of the Suffrage Science Awards, presented every two years to women in STEM subjects.

The recipients, along with 11 others in life sciences and science communication, are chosen by previous award holders for their scientific achievements and their ability to inspire others to enter scientific fields and reach leadership roles.

The Suffrage Science Awards are hand-crafted items of jewellery created by art students from Central Saint Martins-UAL, who worked with scientists to design pieces inspired by research and by the Suffragette movement, from which the award scheme takes its name.

Professor Majumdar primarily specialises in the mathematics and modelling of liquid crystals and partially ordered materials, including their applications in industry. She was nominated for her award by previous winner Dr Nina Snaith, a mathematician at the University of Bristol.

Dr Snaith said: “Apala does outstanding research in liquid crystals and partially ordered materials. She stands out because of the vast array of collaborations she maintains, from pure mathematicians to projects with industry. Her absolute dedication to mathematics has led to a brilliant and prolific output of interdisciplinary work.”

Professor Apala Majumdar

Professor Majumdar said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award. Needless to say, I am incredibly grateful to my collaborators, colleagues, my parents, my mentors for their support and to Nina Snaith for the nomination. Nina is an eminent mathematical physicist and a strong advocate of diversity in mathematics. She has made exemplary contributions to her field and I think she nominated me because of the rich intra-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary scope of my work, along with my unswerving dedication to my research community, the communication of science and training of junior researchers.

“I hope to continue to advance mathematical research in the field of liquid crystals, building national and international multi-faceted networks and training the next generation of outstanding researchers in diverse and inclusive settings, in Strathclyde, the United Kingdom and beyond. “

The Suffrage Science scheme, curated by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, was initiated by the Institute’s Director, Professor Dame Amanda Fisher, in 2011.

Professor Fisher said: “With the awards scheme now in its ninth year, these ‘heirloom’ items of inspiring jewellery have helped to create a self-perpetuating network of talent and contacts to help others to succeed in science and engineering. This year’s awardees join a community of over 130 women scientists. Since 2011, the awards have travelled from the UK, across Europe to the USA, Hong Kong and to Uganda, illustrating the international nature of science and engineering, and the global effort to improve the representation of women in STEM.”