The Queen awards prestigious Regius professorship to Surrey

Wednesday 30 January 2013

The UK Government has announced that Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey is among twelve outstanding university departments to have the prestigious title of Regius Professor bestowed upon it by The Queen to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Professor Josef Kittler, Head of Electronic Engineering, comments "Surrey Electronic Engineering Department has been the premier Electronic Engineering Department in the country for more than two decades, both in terms of its outstanding research as well as the quality of graduates it has been producing. The Regius Chair is an internationally recognised hallmark of its achievements, which we are proud to receive and keen to live up to."

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice-Chancellor, said, “The University of Surrey is honoured to receive this award which reflects the world-class reputation of our staff in the Electronic Engineering Department ensuring the University continues to provide high quality teaching and research in this discipline.”

A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege, with only two created in the past century. It is a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of teaching and research at an institution. Each institution will assign the title to an existing Professor at the chosen Department or will appoint a new Professor to take the Chair and hold the title. The announcement of the Regius Chair is likely to be linked to the opening of a new building to house the International 5G Innovation Centre for broadband internet communication, funded by a recently-awarded £35m grant from HEFCE and industry, which is scheduled in 2015.

The Queen will bestow the awards having taken advice from Ministers, who were in turn advised by a panel of eminent academics led by Sir Graeme Davies, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of London.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, comments: "I was incredibly impressed by the quality and range of the applications received and am delighted that twelve new Regius Professorships are to be created. Together, the successful applications demonstrated an exceptionally high level of achievement in both teaching and research.

"It is testament to the quality and strength of our higher education sector that so many universities were considered worthy of such a distinguished honour."

In the past, Regius Professorships were created when a university chair was founded or endowed by a Royal patron. Before today, they were limited to a handful of the ancient universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland, namely Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Trinity College, Dublin.

The title of Regius Professor has notably been held by the late historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and the 18th century poet Thomas Gray, who was Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge.

Media Enquiries

Peter La, Press Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: +44 (0)1483 689191, or Email mediarelations@surrey.ac.uk

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