London: An Indian-origin structural engineer, who designed London’s tallest building – The Shard– has been awarded an honorary degree by Northumbria University in England.
Roma Agrawal, 39, was conferred the degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of her career as a leading female structural engineer, as well as for her work in striving to promote engineering, scientific and technical careers to young people and under-represented groups.
“It’s a real honor and joy to receive this award from Northumbria University, a place that I hold close to my heart,” Agrawal said after receiving the award.
Agrawal’s first job after graduating from university was to design and build the distinctive footbridge that crosses Newcastle Central Motorway. “I often refer to the footbridge, which was my first ever engineering project, as my baby, so it means a lot to me to come back here and receive this generous recognition,” the award-winning engineer, author, and broadcaster, said.
The bridge was installed in 2007, linking Northumbria University’s east and west city campuses and providing a safe pedestrian and cycle route into the center of Newcastle.
However, she is best known for her work with The Shard — London’s landmark 95-storey high skyscraper which is the tallest building in Western Europe.
Apart from delivering hundreds of talks in schools, universities, and organizations, Agrawal also hosts her own podcast and has published books for adults and children telling fascinating stories of how some of the world’s most famous buildings were built.
She was awarded the MBE in 2018 for services to engineering. Also, she is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Agrawal received her honorary degree during the university’s winter graduation ceremonies, which were held on Northumbria’s Newcastle City Campus.
Honorary degrees are awarded each year to inspiring people who merit special recognition for their achievements, their links to the University, and for inspirational qualities.