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The University of Southampton

Dame Wendy Hall appointed Regius Professor in Computer Science

Published: 22 February 2017
Dame Wendy Hall
Dame Wendy Hall has been appointed a Regius Professor for her work in Computer Science

The University of Southampton is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Dame Wendy Hall to the prestigious Chair of Regius Professor in Computer Science.

The prestigious Regius Professorship was awarded to the University in 2013 by HM The Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee – the first and only Regius Professorship in Computer Science to be granted. A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege and reflects the exceptionally high-quality of teaching and research at the University.

Dame Wendy is known internationally as a leading light in the development of Web Science and recognised the world over for her pioneering role as one of the first computer scientists to embark on serious research into multi- and hyper-media technologies before the existence of the World Wide Web.

Contribution to computer technology

A Professor of Computer Science within Electronics & Computer Science at the University of Southampton, Dame Wendy was a founding director of the Web Science Research Initiative - now the Web Science Trust - with web pioneer Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, an Honorary Professor at Southampton. Originally formed to foster research collaboration between Southampton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Trust is aimed at promoting the academic discipline of Web Science globally. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton and is currently the Executive Director of the Institute.

“I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Professor Dame Wendy Hall to the prestigious Chair of Regius Professor in Computer Science following an international external search,” said Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi, Dean of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Southampton. “It is fitting recognition of Dame Wendy’s world-leading contribution to Computer Science and to the scientific community more widely as well as her leadership at the forefront of Web Science.

“It is important now and for the future to have a Regius Professor who is respected as an academic pioneer, with the influence and experience to drive the debate around Higher Education and science,” Professor Al-Hashimi continued. “Dame Wendy meets this profile exactly and we offer our congratulations to her on receipt of this exceptional honour.”

Dame Wendy said: “I am pleased to accept this prestigious honour from the University and from Her Majesty The Queen. The Regius Professorship signifies an important honour for the University and the discipline of Computer Science at Southampton. It also represents years of hard work by a world-leading team of people which I’m proud to continue to lead. I believe it’s a critical time in our history to contribute to our increased understanding of the power of the World Wide Web and the physical and social impact it makes on our daily lives.”

Recognition for long-standing career

During a distinguished career, Dame Wendy has served as President of the British Computer Society, Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance, member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, and was the first person outside of North America to become President of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and. A Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Distinguished Fellow of the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT) she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2009.

Earlier this year, Dame Wendy headlined once again as a member of the prestigious 2017 Debrett’s 500 of the most influential and inspiring people living and working in Britain today.

A Mathematics graduate of the University of Southampton in 1974, Dame Wendy achieved her PhD in Pure Mathematics from Southampton in 1977 and was later appointed a Professor of Computer Science at the University in 1994.

Over many decades, Computer Science at the University of Southampton has grown in scale and global eminence, attracting students and researchers from around the world, providing academic leadership and continuing to define and develop new leading-edge technologies and approaches.

Southampton’s world-leading achievements in Computer Science include the development of pioneering hypermedia systems in the late 1980s, laying the foundations of agent-based computing and intelligent systems since the late 1990s and developing the discipline of Web Science since 2004.

Dame Wendy succeeds Professor Nick Jennings in holding the Regius Professorship in Computer Science at the University of Southampton. Professor Jennings is now Vice-Provost (Research) at Imperial College and remains a Visiting Professor at Southampton.

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