Semali Perera, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, was recognised with a prestigious Academic award last week for her outstanding contribution to technology and science, at the 2017 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards.

The award also recognised Semali’s significant long-term impact in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) which currently sees her leading a team at the University of Bath to develop an innovative chemotherapy cancer treatment with fewer side effects.

“I hope this accolade will enable me to continue inspiring young people, in particular young women, to study STEM”


Semali says: “I am honoured to have been recognised by the FDM Everywoman of the Year Awards. I hope this accolade will enable me to continue inspiring young people, and in particular young women, to study STEM and engineering subjects in which there remains a gender imbalance.

“I would like to say a particular thank you to Professors Barry Crittenden, Stan Kolaczkowski, Tim Mays and Carole Mundell for their long-standing support and encouragement. Also, a busy career has meant at times my job has taken me away from spending time with my two daughters so I would like to thank them for their patience, love and understanding.”

“Professor Semali Perera is an inspirational academic engineer”


Despite hundreds of nominations and a crowd of over 550 business and technology leaders present at the event, this prestigious ceremony awarded just 12 women who were hand-picked by a panel of some of the UK’s most senior technology leaders for their roles in inspiring and supporting the next generation of tech stars.

This is the second consecutive year a University of Bath member of staff has been recognised at these awards with Head of Physics Professor Carole Mundell named overall winner at last year’s awards.

Inspiring the next generation

Of course, Semali’s 23-year distinguished career has seen her win a number of other awards, including the Mary Tasker Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Teaching in 2003 and the prestigious Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in 2007. In addition, her work on pollution control technology led to the formation of a University of Bath spin-out company Nano-Porous Solutions Ltd which was acquired in 2013 by IMI Plc, a FTSE-100 listed engineering company.

Professor Tim Mays, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath adds: “Professor Semali Perera is an inspirational academic engineer who has a keen eye for the impact of her research in a critical area of modern healthcare. Semali’s achievements well deserve the recognition that this important award represents.

“I would also like to add that she is a wonderful colleague, teacher and friend and we are all delighted at her success.”

You can find out more about Semali’s work on the University of Bath website and more about the awards on the Everywomen website. You can also follow both on Twitter here: @UniofBath and @everywomanuk.