Mar 02 2018

Earlier today, Professor Paul Layzell, Principal and Willow Wong, Students’ Union VP of Welfare & Diversity, announced that our new science building will be named in honour of Beatrice Shilling, a British aeronautical engineer and motor racer.  

The Beatrice Shilling Building – known as the Shilling Building – will be a high-quality, technology-led space available for all students and staff, as well as home to our new Department of Electronic Engineering. We want a name that reflects Royal Holloway’s ambition and our students; a name that is both inspired by our principles and looks ahead to our future.

“I am proud to put Beatrice’s name to our new science building, she was a pioneer as an engineer in the early half of the 20th century when female engineers were extremely rare and her engineering prowess had a direct impact on the outcome of the Battle of Britain for her retro-modification to the Merlin engine,” said Professor Paul Layzell.

David Howard, Head of Department of Electronic Engineering said, “We hope to attract a greater than UK average proportion of women students into engineering and Beatrice’s achievements, for redefining engineering as well as for racing motorbikes, will not only help to inspire more women into engineering but also help encourage everyone to create new and better ways of thinking. She also has a connection with the local area. In the 1930's, she raced motorbikes and was awarded the Gold Star for lapping the Brooklands circuit in Weybridge at over 100 miles an hour.”

Willow Wong, the Students’ Union Vice-President Welfare & Diversity, shared her support for the naming, “It’s great that we are naming this building after Beatrice Shilling. She embodies a principle that our founders also stood for - equality. Their egalitarian spirit lives on in our community today where we believe in supporting every individual to ensure that they can succeed regardless of their gender or background.”