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Wendy Sadler becomes first woman in Wales to be chosen for award

11 March 2008

Embargoed until 8pm Tuesday 11 March 2008

Cardiff University scientist Wendy Sadler has been named a Woman of Outstanding Achievement by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC).

A liaison officer with the School of Physics and Astronomy and founder of the innovative science communication company ‘science made simple’, Wendy was unveiled as one of the winners at the UKRC’s annual ceremony on 11 March 2008.

Wendy is the first woman in Wales to be named as a winner and was one of six women selected from 125 nominations by a judging panel. She was chosen for her contribution to society through the communication of science, engineering and technology. Her company, ‘science made simple’ uses a range of innovative methods to convey the message that science is something everyone can enjoy.

Wendy said: "I'm really thrilled to be the first person in Wales to receive this award and to be seen as an inspiration to others. The 'science made simple' mission is all about inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers and this award helps raise the profile of the contribution women can make in addressing this important issue."

Wendy will now get her portrait included in the Women of Outstanding Achievement in science, engineering and technology (SET) Photographic Exhibition designed to profile pioneering women in these areas. The aim is to create a growing collection of portraits that will act as inspirational images to encourage other women to take part and progress in a career within SET.

Annette Williams, Director of the UKRC said: "There is a distinct lack of female role models in SET and this may discourage women from entering into and progressing in the sector. That’s why we’re so keen to profile outstanding women scientists and engineers like Wendy - to demonstrate that it is possible to succeed in what has traditionally considered to be a male discipline."

In 2007 Wendy won the European Descartes Prize for Innovation and Science Communication which was previously awarded to Bill Bryson and David Attenborough. Wendy is also former Welsh Woman of the Year (science and technology), and is chair of WISE in Wales (Women Into Science, Engineering and Construction).


Notes to Editors:

1. Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy
Cardiff has a large and successful School of Physics and Astronomy, attracting some 300 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Physics research is focused in two areas: condensed matter physics and optoelectronics. Researchers are using theoretical and practical techniques to answer fundamental questions about the electrical, magnetic and optical properties of new semiconducting materials and investigating the design and fabrication of new optoelectronic devices. The School has extensive facilities for building and investigating devices made from these new materials. The most spectacular results come from ultra-thin sandwich structures. The novel properties of these devices are being exploited in the design of lasers and detectors.
For researchers and students of astronomy, the School offers modern astronomical laboratories with optical, radio and solar telescopes. The University’s Astrophysics Research Group and the Astronomy Instrumentation Research Group are two of the most vigorous in the UK. Members of the groups regularly use the three main British observatories in Hawaii, the Canary Islands and Australia, and they also use the Hubble Space Telescope and other space observatories. There is also an active theory group that uses computers to investigate the physics of stars and galaxies, and a group developing techniques for detecting gravitational waves, a prediction of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.

2. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES).
2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.
Visit the University website at:

Further Information:

Victoria Dando
Public Relations Office
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 879074