Edinburgh Napier University awards honorary degrees to Engineer, Dr Carol Marsh OBE and Professor of Nursing Policy, Dame Anne Marie Rafferty

Date posted

11 July 2023


In recognition of her years of professional achievement and her extensive work supporting diversity and inclusion in electronic engineering, Carol Marsh has been awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor by Edinburgh Napier University.

Carol’s passion for engineering was born after she encountered her first computer during her final year at school.Dr Carol Marsh OBE

After school she went on to complete an HND in electrical and electronic engineering from Napier Technical College before launching into a distinguished multi-decade career in industry and academia, including roles as the Deputy Head of Electronics Engineering at Leonardo and her current role as Head of Digital Systems at Celestia-UK.

Passionate, driven and intellectually curious, Carol has taken a lead in encouraging women and girls to pursue engineering careers, and she was awarded an OBE in 2020 for services to diversity and inclusion in electronic engineering.

In addition to her impressive professional resume, Carol has dedicated herself to countless voluntary roles, including those with the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Women’s Engineering Society, where she was instrumental in developing successful initiatives to encourage primary-age girls into STEM and connect female engineering students with professional mentors.

Carol said: “It is a real privilege to become an Honorary Doctor of the University and I am delighted as well as honoured with the award from Edinburgh Napier University.

"I first qualified in my chosen field of study here, which makes returning to be conferred the honour even more special. 

“I have been fortunate to enjoy a rewarding career in electronics and had the opportunity to become involved with many diverse and challenging projects  over the years in an industry I love.

"I am pleased I can continue to be an ambassador for engineering, STEM and women engineers, and have my contribution recognised in this way.”

This summer’s gradation ceremonies also saw Dame Anne Marie Rafferty receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Nursing in recognition of her major contribution to nursing and healthcare.

A professor of nursing and healthcare policy, a health workforce and policy researcher and a historian, Anne Marie has had a varied career, but always considers herself a nurse first and foremost. She is committed to charting a new course for nursing and her energy and determination serves as a formidable force to drive change and attain high quality nursing care for patients and families worldwide.

Her early life and education took place in Kirkcaldy, and inspired by her mother’s stories of nursing she began her own career as a nurse.Professor Dame Anne Marie Rafferty

This was followed by employment within the NHS as a staff nurse & deputy charge nurse in vascular surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Anne Marie went on to complete a MPhil in Surgery. She then became the first nurse to gain a doctorate from Oxford University (Modern History).

As a researcher, Anne Marie has made a notable contribution to nursing and to healthcare policy and was at the forefront of protecting and preserving nursing as an all-graduate profession. Her world-renowned research concerning staffing and associated patient outcomes continues to inform national and international healthcare dialogue and staffing legislation.

Anne Marie is committed to education and lifelong learning opportunities for nurses. She served as Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care at King’s College London and co-led a Student Commission on the Future of the NHS supported by NHS England in 2018.

The value placed on Anne Marie’s contribution to healthcare policy was evident in the award of a CBE for services to healthcare in 2008 and a Damehood in 2020 for services to nursing.

In 2008 she was invited to contribute to Next Stage Review of the NHS and to serve on the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in Gordon Brown’s administration in 2010-11. She went on to contribute as a member of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales which reported in 2018 and the major recommendations of which are being implemented.

Furthermore, she is the recipient of several awards including the Nursing Times Leadership Award in 2014 and Health Services Journal Top 100 Clinical Leaders Award in 2015. Anne Marie holds fellowships from the Royal College of Nursing, The Queens Nursing Institute and King’s College London, and the American Academy of Nursing. She is one of a handful of nurses to be admitted to the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK and first European nurse to be inducted into the National Academy of Science & Medicine in the US.

An important early step in Anne Marie’s research journey was winning the prestigious Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her international recognition continues as visiting professor at The Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, WHO Collaborating Centre Technical University of Berlin and European Observatory for Health Systems in Brussels.

During a graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, both Carol and Anne Marie were presented with an Honorary Degree of Doctor by Edinburgh Napier University’s Chancellor, Will Whitehorn.