Dame Stephanie Shirley & Ray Ozzie

Dame Stephanie Shirley & Ray Ozzie receive distinguished fellowship from Chartered Institute for IT

Dame Stephanie Shirley & Ray Ozzie

Global IT entrepreneur and workplace revolutionary turned ardent philanthropist, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, and software industry pioneer Ray Ozzie have been awarded Distinguished Fellowships from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

The awards are given to individuals whose contribution to computing is seen in terms of major importance to the overall development of computing, with substantial personal recognition through peer review over a substantial and sustained career.

Dame Stephanie arrived in Britain as an unaccompanied child refugee in 1939. In 1962, she founded an all-woman software company that pioneered remote working, upending the expectations of the time. It was ultimately valued at almost $3 billion and made 70 of her staff millionaires. Since ‘retiring’, her focus has been on philanthropy, and she has given away almost £70m to fund strategic projects in autism and IT. She joined the BCS as a student member on its foundation in 1957 and was its first woman President in 1989-90.

Ray Ozzie was formerly best known for his role in creating Lotus Notes. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1979 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on the PLATO system. He began his career at Data General Corporation where he worked for Jonathan Sachs. Ozzie then worked at Software Arts and was later recruited by Sachs and Mitch Kapor to work for Lotus Development to develop what became Lotus Symphony.

After leaving Lotus Development in 1984 he founded Iris Associates to create the product later sold by Lotus as Lotus Notes. Iris Associates was acquired by Lotus in 1994, while Lotus itself was acquired by IBM in 1995. Ozzie continued working there for several years before leaving to form Groove Networks which was acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Ozzie became one of three Chief Technical Officers and in 2006, he took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates. More recently, in founding Blues Wireless, he has been focusing on creating the infrastructure for digital transformation – connecting billions of commercial products to the cloud.”

Speaking about the award, Dame Stephanie said, “The human aspects of technology are a lifelong passion of mine and it’s a real honour to be awarded a distinguished fellowship by BCS for my contribution.”

Ozzie added, “It is a great honour to receive this award.”

“I have been very fortunate to have worked with and learned from many talented entrepreneurs and leaders over the years.”

“The computing and communications sectors remain ripe for innovation, and I hope that my work might also inspire others.”

They both join the BCS Roll of Distinguished Fellows alongside innovators such as Sophie Wilson, who received the award in recognition of her pioneering work – helping to design the BBC Micro and ARM architecture. Other distinguished fellows include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Wendy Hall, Vint Cerf and Martha Lane-Fox.


Dame Wendy Hall and Baroness Martha Lane-Fox made Distinguished Fellows by BCS

Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho have been made Distinguished Fellows by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Both were presented with their awards by HRH, The Duke of Kent, BCS Patron at the Institute’s annual dinner recently.

The announcement means Dame Wendy Hall and Baroness Lane-Fox join the likes of Bill Gates, Sir Tim Berners Lee and Vint Cerf in the distinction.

Dame-Wendy-Hall-thumbDame Wendy Hall is a Professor of Computer Science and Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton.  She was Dean of the Faculty of Physical Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2014.

She was one of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, with her current research including applications of the Semantic Web and exploring the interface between the life sciences and the physical sciences. She is Managing Director of the Web Science Trust.

Paul Fletcher, BCS Group CEO, said: “This honour is not only to recognise Professor Dame Wendy Hall as one of the most influential people in IT, both in the UK and world-wide, but also for her tireless work in championing women in technology for more than thirty years. The influence of Wendy’s work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science.”

Professor Dame Wendy Hall said: “I am delighted and deeply honoured to receive this award.  When I joined the BCS many years ago as a junior lecturer at the University of Southampton, I never imagined I would ever join the ranks of such a distinguished group.  There is no doubt that being a member of BCS played a significant part in the development of my career, and I am very privileged to be able to accept this award.”

Baroness Martha Lane FoxBaroness Martha Lane-Fox is renowned for co-founding website lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman in 1998. She was also the UK Digital Champion, appointed by the government, from June 2010 until November 2013.

Last year she founded doteveryone.org.uk a national organisation, committed to making the UK brilliant in the network age. She was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in 2013 and in 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University. In addition she is chair of the digital skills charity Go ON UK.

In 2015 Martha joined the board of the Creative Industries Federation, the Scale up institute and the Open Data Institute. Martha has also founded her own charitable foundation Antigone.org.uk and serves as a Patron of AbilityNet, Reprieve, Camfed and Just for Kids Law.

Fetcher said: “Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho has inspired many people through her extensive work. This honour recognises her distinguished career in IT as a business woman. Our purpose at BCS is making IT good for society and we believe that Martha is an embodiment of this philosophy with her work in successfully developing new technology services, her commitment to digital inclusion and championing new approaches to public policy to ensure that no one gets left behind in this digital age.”

Martha Lane Fox said: “I am delighted to be honoured by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. We are moving very fast from an industrial age to a network age that presents great opportunities but also new challenges and ethical choices. The UK’s future economic prosperity and social well-being are critically dependent upon our being a world leader in the new network age. I passionately believe that promoting and protecting the original promises of the internet - openness, transparency, freedom and universality – are essential if we are to harness the full potential of the internet and that we must ensure everyone in the UK has the digital skills needed to benefit from the network age.”

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