Leeds professor shortlisted for prestigious award

One of the University's leading academics has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2018.

Professor Helen Gleeson, who has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards 2018

Helen Gleeson September 2018

Professor Helen Gleeson, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, has been shortlisted for Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year in the THE Awards 2018

Helen is an experimental physicist, working in the area of soft matter – primarily liquid crystals (the materials in flat panel displays). Her research has involved fundamental studies of the structures and properties of these materials, often pioneering new experimental methods to understand them fully. 

Many of her PhD projects have been supported by the industry, especially Merck, which awarded the University a £1 million research contract – with Helen as principal investigator – a year ago.

Helen has combined fundamental research with applications, with the most recent example being her co-invention of contact lenses with switchable focus, which has led to the spin-out company Dynamic Vision Systems Ltd.

Since 1990, Helen has supervised 31 PhD students, who have gone on to become successful academics that now lead their own research groups, working in University research management and support services, as well as in world-leading technology companies.

As the current Head of School, she has also improved the support provided to students coming from a diverse range of backgrounds, including the creation of Internationals’ and Womens’ Postgraduate Tutors.

This year, four of her current PhD students were driven by their recent experiences and developments to nominate her for the award.

She said: “I am speechless that my students nominated me for this award. I feel the most lasting legacy of academics is what they pass to the next generation of researchers, and I’m incredibly proud and touched my students feel I’ve done a good job doing this.”

THE winners will be announced on Thursday 29 November during an awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Visit the THE Awards 2018 website for further information and to book tickets for the event.

Posted in: