The second edition of the City STEM Alumni Awards takes place in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre with a keynote address delivered by Vice Admiral Duncan Potts.

By Mr John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer), Published

City, University of London’s School of Science and Technology conferred awards on four of its most outstanding alumni on 7th September 2022.

The City STEM Alumni Awards, now in its second year, recognised the achievements of Professor Dame Wendy Hall (MSc Computing, 1986, Honorary Doctorate of Science, 2013) the recipient of the ‘Distinguished STEM Alumni Award’; Jaz Rabadia (BEng Mechanical Engineering, First Class, 2006 and MSc Energy, Environmental Technology and Economics, Distinction, 2009), received ‘Special Recognition’ in the 'Distinguished STEM Alumni Award' category; Dr Fatemeh Najibi (PhD in Computer Science, 2021) received 'Special Recognition' in the 'Excellence in STEM Achievement' category; and Dr Mithileysh Sathiyanarayanan (PhD Computer Science, 2020) received the ‘Excellence in STEM Achievement Award'.

The Distinguished STEM Alumni Award is designated for alumni who have achieved significant success within a respective STEM discipline while the Excellence in STEM Achievement Alumni Award is for alumni who have made significant progress in their careers within ten years of graduating from the School.

Set a high bar

After a tour of the engineering labs and lunch with awardees and City staff, at the Langham Hotel, the award ceremony took place in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre.

Speaking to awardees and those gathered at the ceremony, Executive Dean of the School of Science and Technology, Professor Rajkumar Roy said:

"The City community is proud of the outstanding achievements of our four awardees this year, and the distinctions they have attained in their academic and professional careers. Together with last year's awardees, they have set the bar high for our current undergraduate and postgraduate students. We look forward to more reports of their successes."

Commenting on the attainments of this year’s STEM Alumni Awards, the organisational lead of the Inaugural City STEM Alumni Awards, Dr Peter Popov, said:

“Given the extraordinary calibre of the nominees, the process for the selection of winners in 2023 was even more challenging for our selection panel than it was in 2022. Nominations came from STEM alumni drawn from all over the world including China, India, Canada, UK and Europe. Our selection committee decided in the end to grant two awards in the two categories of Distinguished STEM Alumni Award and Excellence in STEM Achievement Alumni Award, but also to make two ‘Special Recognition’ awards to two extraordinary individuals - Jaz Rabadia and Dr Fatemeh Najibi.”

Dame Wendy, DBE, FRS, FREng is the Regius Professor of Computer Science, Associate Vice President (International Engagement) and Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton.

She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year's Honours list and is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the ACM. Dame Wendy was Co-Chair of the UK government’s AI Review, which was published in October 2017 and a member of the AI Council.


She is currently the Co-Chair of the ACM Publications Board and Editor-in-Chief of Royal Society Open Science. She is also a member of the Digital and Computing Skills Education Taskforce established by the Department of Education in 2023.

In February 8th 2023, Dame Wendy delivered City’s Athena Swan lecture for the School of Science and Technology on the highly informative topic of Data, Geopolitics and the Governance of Cyberspace.

In her remarks after receiving her award, Dame Wendy told the audience stories of being one of only two women who graduated from her City MSc Computing course - which was instrumental to her securing employment as a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

Dr Mithileysh Sathiyanarayanan is the CEO of his parents’ organisation, MIT Square, in Bangalore, India, which he took control of during the COVID-19 pandemic and transformed it from a non-technological to a technological organisation. He introduced disruptive technologies such as IoT, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, AR/VR, and expanded offices in London and USA. The organisation achieved ISO status within a year. Mithileysh has emerged as a visionary scientist-CEO with 100-plus publications, more than 50 patents and 50 awards. He has been featured in several newspapers and magazines and was invited to give a keynote talk in Parliament at Westminster on UK-Global Education and Innovation.


Jaz Rabadia was recently honoured with an MBE and is a Chartered Energy Manager and Fellow of the Energy Institute. With over 15 years of experience in energy and sustainability roles for well known brands such as Sainsbury’s, Starbucks, Debenhams, WeWork and now Just Eat, Jaz has developed a wealth of knowledge covering topics such as energy management, waste reduction, sustainable packaging and social impact. Over the years she has helped these organisations achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions and embed sustainable practices throughout their operations. Alongside her executive responsibilities, Jaz has also been appointed to the board of a FTSE 250 company as a non-executive director. Jaz volunteers much of her time as a STEM Ambassador to help raise the awareness of energy and engineering careers, helping to create a pipeline of future energy professionals.


Dr Fatemeh Najibi is a Senior Energy Consultant at Arup, who applies multidisciplinary knowledge in AI and Power Systems to assist her in her role. Her primary focus has been the net-zero emission power network. Fatemeh’s research on advancing knowledge in the intersection of AI for Power Systems has been widely acknowledged by the research community and her expertise and contributions have been also recognized by TechNation in the UK, where she has received endorsement as an Exceptional Talent.


Vice Admiral Duncan Potts, who was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree by City, University of London,  delivered the keynote address at the STEM Alumni Awards ceremony.


His vast military experience was reflected in his informative, provocative and insightful address, titled, Defence, Leading or Lagging Technological Change – Are we seeing a paradigm shift?

In his keynote, Vice Admiral Potts addressed some of the challenges posed by commercially developed digital technologies to Defence, Security and Resilience, and the fact that governments have been broadly left in the position of “adopters of commercial and technological change rather than leaders of it.”


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