Former Professor at University of Leeds who cut short her career due to terminal illness given prestigious award

A former Professor at the University of Leeds who cut short her career due to terminal illness has been given a prestigious award.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 30th August 2021, 4:45 pm

The Royal Society - the UK’s leading scientific academy - has awarded its prestigious Clifford Patterson Medal and Lecture to Professor Anne Neville, who until last year worked in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds.

Professor Anne Neville led a number of research projects at the University - including work on improving artificial knees and hips through a better understanding of how corrosion and wear interact.

Lifetimes of total joint replacements have been lengthened through proper engineering of the interacting interfaces, where metals come into contact, through work by the team.

Professor Anne Neville

The medal is in recognition of outstanding research in the field of engineering.

She is a world expert in corrosion and tribology – the science of the way the surfaces of components change when they interact.

The award from the Royal Society is in memory of Clifford Patterson FRS, who founded the research laboratories at the General Electric Company in 1919.

The award, which is given every two years, comes with a £2,000 prize.

Professor Neville said: “The award is a real honour and personally I am thrilled.

“My work will hopefully continue through the Institute of Functional Surfaces in Leeds which I founded and directed since 2007.

"The money will go to St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds - they have been very supportive to my family in the recent, very difficult times.”

The award to Professor Neville is one of a several announced today by the Royal Society.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “Through its medals and awards the Royal Society recognises those researchers and science communicators who have played a critical part in expanding our understanding of the world around us.”

“From advancing vaccine development to catching the first glimpses of distant pulsars, these discoveries shape our societies, answer fundamental questions and open new avenues for exploration.”

Professor Neville was awarded an OBE in the 2017. Among many academic honours, she was the first woman to be awarded the Royal Society Leverhulme Medal and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers James Clayton Award in 2016 for her work on tribology and corrosion.