RVC lecturer Sarah Baillie has been named as one of the UKRC’s Woman of Outstanding Achievement 2010 for her inspirational work in discovery and innovation within science, engineering and technology.
RVC lecturer Sarah Baillie has been named as one of the UKRC’s Woman of Outstanding Achievement 2010, for her inspirational work in discovery and innovation within Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).
As the inventor of the Haptic Cow – a device that is said to be one of the most significant devices in veterinary education in the last 50 years – Dr Baillie, senior lecturer in veterinary education at the Royal Veterinary College, was announced as one of six women recognised this year and was described as “forward-thinking, innovative and a true inspiration to colleagues, peers and students alike”.
Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, the Women of Outstanding Achievement (WoOA) exhibition, led by the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET, showcases some of the UK’s most inspiring women currently working across the SET sectors. The focus is on women who achieve outstanding results within their chosen fields, and the exhibition acts as a showcase to inspire other women to progress a career within science, engineering and technology.
It was while studying that Dr Baillie developed the idea of the Haptic Cow to help overcome the challenge of teaching students how to carry out internal examinations on cows and ensure that they do it correctly. The device allows students to feel virtual models of the cow’s reproductive tract, while the properties of the virtual objects can be adjusted to produce difference effects. Teachers are able to follow the internal examination on a computer monitor and the simulator “moos” if students apply excessive force.
Speaking of receiving the honour, Dr Baillie said: “It’s a great honour to be named as a Women of Outstanding Achievement and schemes such as this that recognise the achievements of women are a great thing. I’ve found that a passion for your chosen subject area is a great help and motivator. And, of course, it also comes down to hard work and striving to do your best. Whatever you end up doing, working with a good team and being effective within that team is both personally and professionally rewarding.”
In honour of her achievements, Dr Baillie’s portrait was unveiled as part of an exclusive exhibition, launched at the Royal Academy of Engineering yesterday (March 18).
UKRC director Annette Williams said: “The continued encouragement of women to return to, or establish a new career in SET is vital to ensure that the UK carries on producing world class scientists, mathematicians and engineers. All six of this year’s Women of Outstanding Achievement are fantastic role models for women working across all sectors of SET and demonstrate that it is possible to have a high achieving career balanced with a fulfilling personal life.
“We are constantly looking to promote women working in SET, to ensure that their voices are heard and that they are given equal opportunities throughout their careers. The exhibition forms part of a legacy that will inspire, engage and encourage women of all ages to consider a career in SET as well as recognising the outstanding role models currently working in these fields.”