Judith HeyerEmeritus Fellow
Professor Dame Julia HigginsHonorary Fellow
Dame Julia Stretton Higgins, DBE, FRS, FREng is Professor of Polymer Science in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology at Imperial College London.
Higgins was the former chair (1998–2003) of the Athena Project, which aims for the advancement of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) in Higher Education. She is now the Patron of the Athena Swan Awards Scheme. Between 2003 and 2007, she was chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Higgins was president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers 2002–3, and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 2003–4. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1995 and was its Foreign Secretary 2001–6. She was Chair of the Royal Society’s State of the Nation Report Steering Group. Most recently she chaired Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME). (2008-2012) She currently Chairs the Royal Society project (funded by BIS) on increasing diversity in the scientific workforce
She is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the City and Guilds of London Institute, of which she is also Vice-President. She is also an honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Somerville College, Oxford. She was awarded a CBE in 1996 before being named a dame in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.She holds honorary degrees from a number of UK Universities ans also from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Her scientific work has concentrated on the investigation of polymers with neutron scattering. She co-authored a monograph on that field (Higgins & Benoit 1997). In 1999, she was elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States. She was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2001. She is a Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur
Professor Carole HillenbrandHonorary Fellow
Carole Hillenbrand was educated at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh. She was appointed Professor of Islamic History in 2000 and served as Head of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, from 1997-2002 and from 2006-2008.
She has been Professor Emerita of Islamic History at Edinburgh since 2008. She was awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education in 2009. She was Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA in 1994 and 2005, at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands in 2002, and Visiting Professor at the University of St Louis, USA, 2011 and 2013.
In 2005 she was awarded the King Faisal Prize for Islamic Studies, 2005 (the first non-Muslim to be awarded this prize). In 2015, she was given the British Society for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Award for Services to Middle Eastern Studies. In 2016 she was awarded the British Academy/ Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding.
She has been Islamic Advisory Editor at Edinburgh University Press since 1983 and Editor of the series entitled “Studies in Persian and Turkish History”, published by Routledge since 1999.
Her research interests include the Crusades, the Seljuqs of Iran and Turkey, and medieval Muslim political thought, especially the work of al-Ghazali.
Professor Judith Howard CBE FRSHonorary Fellow
Judith Howard is a practically minded structural chemist who characterises compounds using pioneering techniques. Judith has built instruments that allow scientists to apply techniques to experimentally prove theories and advance the field of X-ray crystallography.
X-ray crystallography analyses the three-dimensional atomic structure of molecules by firing X-rays at them and examining the diffraction pattern that results. Judith developed low temperature and neutron diffraction methods to more precisely determine electron density, chemical bonding and magnetic properties in molecules.
Prolific in her contributions to science, with over 1,500 publications to her name, Judith actively participates in committees and conferences worldwide. She was the first woman to head a five-star chemistry department (at the University of Durham), and was the President of the British Crystallographic Association. Judith was made a CBE in 1996 and won the Royal Society of Chemistry Structural Chemistry Award in 1999.
Baroness Margaret JayHonorary Fellow
Margaret Ann Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington PC, is a Labour party peer and former Leader of the House of Lords.
Margaret’s father was former Labour Prime Minister, James Callaghan, and she was educated at Blackheath High School and Somerville College, Oxford.
Between 1965 and 1977 she held production posts within the BBC working on current affairs and further education television programmes. She then became a journalist on the BBC’s prestigious Panarama programme, and Thames Television’s This Week. She went on to present the BBC2 series Social History of Medicine, as well as being a contributor to Newsnight, Any Questions, Question Time and other current affairs programmes. She has a strong interest in health issues, notably as a campaigner on HIV and Aids. She was a founder director of the National Aids Trust in 1987. She is also a patron of Help the Aged.
She was appointed a life peer in 1992 with the title of Baroness Jay of Paddington, of Paddington in the City of Westminster, and acted as an opposition Whip in the House of Lords. In association with the shop workers’ union, she led opposition to the liberalisation of Sunday trading hours.
After her party’s election victory in 1997, she became Health Spokesman and Minister for Women in the House of Lords. From 1998 she was Leader of the House of Lords, playing a pivotal role in the major reform that led to the removal of most of its hereditary members. She retired from active politics in 2001.
Among numerous non-executive roles that she has taken on since retiring from politics, she was a non-executive director of BT Group. She is currently co-chair of the cross-party Iraq Commission (along with Tom King and Paddy Ashdown) which was established by the Foreign Policy Centre think-tank and Channel 4.
Professor Dame Carole JordanEmeritus Fellow
Carole Jordan’s career has centred on the use of x-ray and UV spectra as plasma diagnostics.
She was a pioneer of the calculations required to determine the relative number densities of elements in different stages of ionization. As her career progressed she became heavily involved with observations of stellar spectra, especially ones obtained from space platforms such as the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) and the Hubble Space Telescope.
Throughout her career she worked on the interpretation of solar spectra. In both solar and stellar areas, she was the first to identify the atomic or molecular origins of many emission lines, including molecular fluorescence in cool giants that has revealed the inhomogeneous structure of their chromospheres.
Later, she transferred her solar techniques to the analysis of the spectra of cool stars.
The broadening of emission lines in both dwarf and giant stars exceeds that expected from the local kinetic temperature. In dwarf stars she has interpreted this broadening as being associated with the passage of magnetohydrodynamic waves through the outer atmosphere, which go on to heat the corona. Such waves can originate from magnetic field motions, or through magnetic reconnection, at low levels of the outer atmosphere.
To test proposed theories she has developed techniques to determine from spectra the temperature of the plasma as a function of height and has applied these to the Sun and many cool stars. She has an international reputation as an authority on the coronae of the Sun and cool stars.
Throughout her career Carole has been active in the research community. She has been an editor of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Solar Physics, and The Observatory.
She was a member of the Councils of both SERC and PPARC, and under SERC, Chair of the Solar System Committee. She has served twice on the Council of the IOP and was its first Vice-President, Science. She was a Secretary and then the first female President of the Royal Astronomical Society.
She is valued for her hard work and forthright, no-nonsense approach to people and problems, her honesty, and her total commitment to science.
Dame Mary KeeganHonorary Fellow
Dame Mary Keegan was born in 1953 and educated at Brentwood County High School and Somerville College, Oxford.
She was with Price Waterhouse (later PwC) from 1977 until 2001, occupying a number of senior roles during that time. She was a founder member of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Interpretations Committee and of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group Board.
In 1997 she was appointed the UK member of both the council and the executive of FEE (Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens) and she was also a founding member of the International Forum on Accountancy Development. She was also a member of the UK’s Urgent Issues Task Force.
She chaired the UK’s Accounting Standards Board from 2001 until her move to Whitehall in 2004.
In 2007 she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her hugely significant and lasting contribution to both HM Treasury itself and to the wider government agenda in financial management, government accounting and public spending. In 2014, she was given the accountancy profession’s most prestigious award – the ‘Award for Outstanding Achievement’ from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
She has been a keen rower, sailor, gardener and musician, and has since 2008 been involved in a non-executive capacity in the National Audit Office, the Royal Horticultural Society, Falmouth University and the Business School at Exeter University.
Mrs Margaret KenyonHonorary Fellow
Margaret read modern languages at Somerville College, Oxford, then took up a teaching post at Cheadle Hulme School. After nine years at CHS, Margaret moved to Withington Girls’ School, where she became Headmistress in 1986.
Margaret was appointed North West Chairman of the Girls’ Schools Association for three years, and National President in 1994, when the annual conference was for the first time, at her insistence, held in Manchester.
Margaret was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 1998. Her other local appointments have included membership of the Granada Foundation since 1986, the Court of the University of Manchester from 1991 to 2004, and Trusteeship of the Museum of Science and Industry from 1998 to 2004.
In retirement, she has been a governor of Bolton School and Cheadle Hulme School since 2001, and Chair of the Manchester University Press Board since 2000.
Dame Emma KirkbyHonorary Fellow
Dame Carolyn Emma Kirkby, DBE, is an English soprano and one of the world’s most renowned early music specialists.
She has sung on over 100 recordings. Kirkby was a founding member of the Taverner Choir, and in 1973 began her long association with the Consort of Musicke. She took part in the early Decca Florilegium recordings with both the Consort of Musicke and the Academy of Ancient Music, at a time when most college-trained sopranos were not developing a vocal sound appropriate for early music.
She taught for many years at Dartington International Summer School, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, as well as the Bel Canto Summer School. In 2010 she became President of Dartington Community Choir. In 1994, she was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Music) from the University of Bath. On 21 January 2011 it was announced that Kirkby had been awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music, an award funded by the Privy Purse and given to an individual who has had a major influence on the musical life of the nation.
Sir Geoffrey LeighFoundation Fellow
Professor Anna Laura LepschyHonorary Fellow
Anna Laura Lepschy is Emeritus Professor in Italian at University College London.
After studying at Somerville, she began a career in academia. In 1977 she co-published The Italian Language Today with her husband Giulio Lepschy, a reference book of the structure and grammar of contemporary Italian. She later co-edited a collection of essays titled Book Production and Letters in the Western European Renaissance: Essays in Honour of Conor Fahy.
In 1984, Lepschy was appointed a Head of the Italian Department at the University College London and founded the Centre for Italian Studies. While teaching, Lepschy co-edited a book with Verina R. Jones titled With a Pen in Her Hand: Women and Writing in Italy in the Nineteenth Century and beyond. The book was a collection of essays delivered at the Conference on Women and Writing in Nineteenth-Century Italy in February 1997. In 2002, Lepschy co-edited another book titled Multilingualism in Italy, Past and Present with Arturo Tosi.
Lepshy was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the Order of the Star of the Italian Solidarity and, in 2011, the British Academy’s Serena Medal for in recognition of her work.
Vicky MaltbyFoundation Fellow
Vicky was born in London to Hungarian-born parents. She was educated at South Hampstead High School, one of the Girls’ Day School Trust group of schools. She read History at Somerville, matriculating in 1974.
At Somerville she was active in the JCR, serving as Treasurer. Both the GDST and Somerville celebrated their centenaries shortly after she completed her time with them, reminding her of the importance of the campaign for equal access to education.
She subsequently qualified as a solicitor and practised first commercial and consumer law, and subsequently charity, trust and probate law.
Vicky’s passion is for education at all levels, both for what it can contribute to society and civic life, and for its enrichment of each individual life.
As part of that commitment, she served from 1995 to 2007 on the Council of the Girls’ Day School Trust, which is the largest group of independent schools in the UK, comprising 25 schools educating nearly 20,000 students aged 4 to 18 throughout England and Wales. Vicky also trained and worked as an adult literacy teacher in West London.
From 1985 to 1988 Vicky lived in Geneva, where she represented an NGO at the UN and its member organisations.
Vicky and her husband Colin returned permanently to Geneva in 2008. From 2008 to 2014 she was on the Board of the International School of Geneva. She has a daughter and a Somervillian son. She is happy to have shared with all her family her love of literature and the dramatic arts.