Helen was made CBE in the New Year’s Honours2014 for services to Engineering and Education. She is Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester and has just been elected for a second term as a trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She chairs the Standing Committee on Education and Training for the Academy and previously served as a Vice President. In 2011, she was elected the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council in its fifty year history, the body which represents engineering in higher education throughout the UK.
Professor Atkinson has a first class degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Cambridge, a PhD from Imperial and an honorary doctorate from the University of Liège in Belgium. She is a Visiting Professor at Arts et Métier ParisTech (one of the French GrandsÉcoles universities), at the General Research Institute for Non-Ferrous Metals in Beijing and at the North Western Polytechnical University in Xi’an. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – the highest honour for an engineer in the UK. Professor Atkinson is also a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. She has served on the body governing the British Transport Police and the Lord Chancellor’s Committee on Appointment of Magistrates.