CBE awarded to St Andrews first female professor

Professor Ursula Martin
Professor Ursula Martin

Professor Ursula Martin, the first female professor appointed at St Andrews University, has received a CBE for ‘services to computer


She received the award at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace earlier this month.

Professor Martin has maintained a home in St Andrews since working as professor of computer science at the university for 10 years from 1992.

Her professorial appointment at St Andrews meant she was the first female professor at the university since its foundation in 1411.

Currently working for Queen Mary University of London where, until recently, she was on the senior management team, Professor Martin is currently working on research in partnership with Edinburgh University.

She told the Citizen this week that she had very much enjoyed her trip to Buckingham Palace.

“It was just a special day,” she said.

“They really go out their way to make people feel relaxed about it.

“I turned up with my guests and they explained how it would all work. It’s special day for everyone involved - there was around 100 people who had achieved all sorts of amazing things.

“I think my award is for a mixture of things but, of course, I don’t know who put me forward for it.

“I got the letter out the blue but I think it is mainly for my research work and the senior management role I had and also for championing women in science.”

Despite having left St Andrews University 10 years ago, Professor Martin looks back on her time working there with great affection.

She added: “It was a tremendous time to be in St Andrews among a wonderful academic community.

“It is a small town, so you get to talk and interact with people in all sorts of different ways.

“In London everything is so much bigger, and it’s very different.

‘‘You can get more done in a smaller place like St Andrews.”