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Celebrating Prof Judy Raper

As she moves into retirement, returning home to Australia to spend more time with her grandchildren, Professor Judy Raper – our current Dean & CEO – can leave TEDI-London full of pride and happy memories.

Establishing an institution

TEDI-London was launched in March 2020 by three global founders – Arizona State University, King’s College London, and UNSW Sydney – with a mission to transform engineering education; paving the way for future engineers to make their mark within the industry and tackle the biggest global challenges.

With no curriculum, campus, staff, or students, there was a huge amount of work to be done before TEDI-London could even come close to delivering on its founders’ vision.

Judy was there from the start. Leaving her life in Australia behind, she moved to London in 2019, determined to make TEDI-London a reality.

This was not without its obstacles; with the onset of COVID-19 at the start of 2020, campus completion and student enrolment was delayed by a year. Despite everything, Judy’s resolve remained absolute, and TEDI-London saw steady progress as we prepared for our first student cohort to join us in September 2021.

A vision brought to life

After the opening of our bespoke campus and welcoming our inaugural student cohort, the vision of what our founders were trying to achieve became a reality. Not only did the cohort bring together students with varied backgrounds and perspectives, but we received positive feedback on our project-based teaching approach almost immediately – with many students noting that applying theory to real-world projects helped them embed their knowledge more quickly.

Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength in their engineering understanding, practical application, and key workplace skills like teamworking, communication, project management, and commercial awareness. Having now moved into their third year, we’re incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved throughout their time with us so far.

In the two years since campus opened, Judy has been an inspiration to our students – as well as numerous international alumni of our summer and winter residentials -, supported our steadily growing team of staff, and overseen significant milestones. This has included developing our Global Design Engineering curriculum, receiving Office for Students registration, the opening of our campus, earning our ‘institute’ status, and receiving new degree awarding powers, to name but a few.

Reflecting on her time, Judy says: “My role at TEDI-London has been the most challenging and rewarding of my career. It has been a joy to see TEDI-London transform from an idea into a vibrant, thriving reality and I look forward to watching it go through it’s next stage of growth from afar. It has been so exciting to see the students develop over the last three years – they truly are inspiring.”

End of an era

We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had Judy’s support over the last few years – who earned a host of achievements before becoming the Dean & CEO of TEDI-London. Judy herself was the first Australian woman to graduate from UNSW with a degree in Chemical Engineering and is now regarded as a world expert in fine particle technology. In her career since, she has been named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), one of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers, and one of Australia’s 10 Leading female Engineers in 2019. She also has an award for Leadership in Engineering named in her honour by UNSW and, most recently, received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wollongong for her commitment to diversity in engineering.

At TEDI-London, she’ll be greatly missed by students and staff alike. But – as Judy herself says – she’ll always be part of the TEDI-London family! To recognise her incredible leadership and inspiring career, TEDI-London has been named in her honour thanks to the generous support of British Land. The newly named ‘Judy Raper Building’ was unveiled during her retirement celebration to the cheers of staff, students, and friends.

Judy will be succeeded by Professor Lisa Brodie, who’ll be joining us in January 2024 as Executive Dean. We’re excited to continue going from strength to strength under her leadership.

To Judy, we thank you for your vision and dedication throughout our journey so far and wish you all the best in your next adventure.

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