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Wendy Hall

Speaker Photograph of Wendy Hall

Professor Wendy Hall is Head of School at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science. She is the founding Head of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia (IAM) research group and has published over 350 academic papers. Now established as one of the leading research groups in computer science, the 80-strong IAM team has made huge advances in intelligent information systems.

Wendy's personal research achievements range from the pre-Web Microcosm hypertext system, to the development of a range of prototype applications for intelligent searching of global information systems, and the development of the Semantic Web. Wendy is currently working with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, and others at Southampton and MIT, to create a new Research Foundation in the emerging field of Web Science.

Wendy set up her own award-winning company exploiting the Microcosm technology. Now called Active Navigation Ltd, it focuses on Web-based link services. She is currently involved in two new start-up companies and serves as a non-executive director on a number of other companies.

In 1994 she became Southampton's first female Professor of Engineering. She is now Head of the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science, one of the world's leading centres for research, teaching, enterprise and innovation in electronics, electrical engineering and computer science, comprising over 1200 students, and around 350 staff.

In 2003 Wendy was appointed President of the British Computer Society (BCS), the UK's leading IT body. She is only the second woman to hold the post in the institution's 50-year history. She seized the opportunity to champion the role of women in technology and to help bridge the gender gap: an IT award for the company or organisation doing the most to support women was established, a Women's Forum to investigate and make recommendations addressing the shortage of women in IT was set up, and a series of high profile women were invited to share her platform.

Wendy Hall is one of the few females to hold a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and in 2005 became the first woman to be elected Senior Vice President. She is committed to encouraging more women to join the discipline and believes greater female input into design and technology will benefit society by creating products of optimal use to both sexes.

Wendy's CBE, awarded in 2000, is one of many awards recognising her contribution to SET. She holds a clutch of honorary degrees and fellowships and serves on many public bodies. In 2004 the USA's IEEE named her one of the world's top 40 'technology masterminds'. This year Fawcett, the campaign for equality between women and men, named her as an Inspiring Woman for 2005.

She is a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, is the only UK member of the Council of the Association of Computing Machinery in the US and is one of only two UK members of the new Scientific Council of the European Research Council, which will shape Europe's research strategy.

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