artist illustration of new halls of resident

Pioneering female engineer honoured through hall name

A new hall of residence on the Loughborough University campus is set to be named after Claudia Parsons, one of the UK’s first women engineers.

photo of Claudia Parsons

Claudia Parsons

Claudia attended Loughborough between 1919 and 1922. She graduated with a degree in Automotive Engineering and was one of just three women on a course of over 300 men.

Following her degree, Claudia became a highly respected member of the Women’s Engineering Society.

Claudia’s passion for engineering and motors never ceased and she became chauffeur companion and the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by car. She was also an author, writing about her experiences in two books.

In recognition of her work in women’s engineering, the University hosts an annual lecture in her name, which aims to raise the profile of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Just over 600 new en-suite student bedrooms are currently under construction on the Loughborough site. The rooms are being built due to ongoing demand from new and returning students for accommodation on campus.

Located alongside the University’s new Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel, the new accommodation will be configured in 10 blocks. It will include cycle storage and a common room. In line with other residences on campus, there will also be a full warden team based on site to provide pastoral support to students.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison comments: “The name of Claudia Parsons is an important one in Loughborough’s history. She challenged the conventions of her time and there can be no doubt that she blazed a trail for women working in engineering today.

“We are delighted to honour her life and career by naming a new hall of residence after her.”

President of Loughborough Students’ Union, George Etherington said: “It’s fantastic that a new Loughborough hall of residence is being named after such an inspirational woman. Claudia Parsons achieved so much in her lifetime, and we’re delighted to honour her achievements through the new hall.”

On hearing about the new name, Claudia’s cousin Emma Parsons said: “‘Claudia would have been delighted by this, though surprised, for although she was a force, she was also modest and self-deprecating.

“She was an inspiration to me and the other women in our family. As her sister Betty once said, Claudia broke ‘the ice of convention that held women down to certain jobs but denied them others.’ It’s wonderful to know that her name at Loughborough lives on.”

To coincide with the announcement of the new name the University has joined forces with Loughborough Students’ Union to launch a competition for students to create a logo for the new hall. The winning design will be confirmed later in the year.

Halls of residence are an integral part of Loughborough’s award winning student experience. The new Claudia Parson’s Hall will welcome its first full cohort of students in September 2019. It will bring the number of halls on campus to 17. 

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/88

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.