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Leading female Engineer and Michelin Star Chef honoured by Queen’s University Belfast

British Engineer Dame Judith Hackitt and award-winning chef, Clare Smyth will today (Friday 28 June) be awarded honorary degrees by Queen’s University Belfast.

Dame Judith, who is the current Chair of manufacturing trade body Make UK, will receive a Doctor of Science (DSc Eng) for Distinction in Engineering.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

After a period at Exxon Chemicals, she joined the Chemical Industries Association, later becoming Director General. She worked at the European Chemical Industries Council and was Chair of the Health and Safety Commission. She was a Senior Non-Executive Director and trustee of the Energy Saving Trust, and a trustee of the City & Guilds Group.

In 2006, she received a CBE for services to Health and Safety, and in 2016 a DBE for services to Engineering and Health and Safety.

Dame Judith said: “It is a great honour to receive this award from Queen’s University.  I hope that my achievements help to give tomorrow’s engineers the opportunity to reflect on how they can make a difference and make the world a better place.”

Antrim-born Michelin star chef, Clare Smyth, will receive a Doctor of the University (DUni) for Services to the hospitality industry. Clare is the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK.  Her debut restaurant, Core, opened in 2017 in the Notting Hill area of London and has received numerous awards including two stars as a new entry in the 2019 Michelin Guide.  Clare also received the World’s Best Female Chef Award by the World’s Best 50 Restaurants. In 2013, she received an MBE for services to the Hospitality Industry.

Clare Smyth said: “It is an honour to be recognised for service to the hospitality industry as I have worked very hard throughout my career to elevate my craft, to inspire and support the next generation, to shine the spotlight on British gastronomy and continue to push the boundaries which help our industry evolve.”

Dame Judith Hackitt and Clare Smyth are among fifteen individuals to receive honorary degrees this summer at Queen’s University Belfast. Other individuals awarded included internationally renowned researchers as well as leaders in business and commerce.

Queen's awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.