press release
Published: 07 December 2023

‘Purple plaque’ honours Surrey online safety entrepreneur

The University of Surrey celebrated the remarkable achievements of alumna Dr Anna Vartapetiance by unveiling a prestigious 'purple plaque.'

One attendee was so impressed that they pledged to invest in Anna's business.

Dr Anna Vartapetiance, founder of online safety technology firm Securium, gained her PhD in Surrey’s Centre for Cyber Security.

In 2022, Anna was awarded Innovate UK’s “Women in Innovation Award.” This recognises female leaders who are developing commercially successful solutions to societal, environmental, and economic challenges. Anna's was one of just a handful to be awarded so far.

Innovate UK hopes the purple plaques will inspire more girls to get into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and follow in the award winners’ footprints.

To commemorate Anna’s time at the University, the Purple Plaque is displayed in the Alan Turing Building in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

After the unveiling, Anna gave an inspiring talk. She discussed the challenges of coming to the academic world as a woman with dyslexia, and stressed the importance of diversity in tech.

Guildford firm Securium, based at the Surrey Research Park, uses technology to keep businesses and vulnerable people safe online.

Tools developed by Securium use artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance online safety, tackling online grooming and preventing the spread of harmful materials.

As the event drew to a close, Anna implored colleagues and investors to champion technology that protects the vulnerable - prioritising lives over profit.

At that point, a member of the audience offered to invest in Securium - a welcome surprise to end a marvellous celebration.

Come to Surrey and study our MSc in Cyber Security.

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