Sheffield Engineer shortlisted for Gay Times Honour

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon from our Department of Mechanical Engineering has been shortlisted in the inaugural Gay Times Honours for The Barbara Burford Award.

The awards are a brand new initiative to honour those who have had a tremendous impact on what it means for LGBT+ people to live openly and freely in modern Britain.

The Barbara Burford Honour recognises notable LGBT+ people to thank them for remarkable advances in Science, Technology and Engineering.

Professor Rodriguez-Falcon is a passionate supporter of raising the profile of LGBT+ people in the engineering and education sector and has been featured in the Guardian for her blogs on this subject.

“I am extremely honoured to be shortlisted for this prestigious award for my work in helping remove the stigma of being LGBT+ and an engineer.

“I believe that in order to make our society more inclusive, we all have the responsibility to be open, sincere and honest. Of course, answering what often are very personal questions is scary, for sure, however, the only way to achieve normalisation is when we all stop seeing 'difference' as something we have to hide or be ashamed of."

Barbara Burford, after whom this award is named, was born in Jamaica and moved to London at the age of seven. After studying medicine, she championed equality through initiatives with the NHS and was central to several breakthroughs in heart and lung transplant surgery for infants and children.

Barbara was active in feminist politics and was the Director of Equality & Diversity at the Department of Health from 1999 onwards. Her poems, short stories and plays are now a staple for studying in schools across the country.

2017 sees the LGBT+ community in the UK celebrate 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales.

The final award winners will be announced at an event on Saturday 18th November.