Queen’s University has become the first academic institution in Northern Ireland to be awarded a Royally sealed professorship.
The rare Regius Professorship is bestowed to recognise exceptional research work.
The Queen has awarded the title to the electronics and computer engineering department, which has undertaken pioneering work in the field of cybersecurity.
The university can assign the title to an existing professor or appoint a new professor to hold the title.
The Queen has awarded 12 Regius Professorships to mark her 90th birthday.
Before now, only 14 have been granted since the reign of Queen Victoria, including 12 in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Last month the Prince of Wales officially opened the Queen’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).
Professor Patrick Johnston, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, welcomed the announcement.
“Queen’s is enormously honoured to be the recipient of Northern Ireland’s first Regius Professorship,” he said.
“As a very rare privilege and significant accolade, which celebrates the highest and most outstanding levels of research, this is a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of research, innovation and research translation at ECIT.
“Queen’s ambition to be a world-class university, which is making a game-changing contribution to current and emerging global challenges, is reflected in this esteemed award.”
The 12 professorships were selected by open competition, judged by an independent expert panel of business and academic experts.
Professor John McCanny, director of ECIT at Queen’s, collected the award on behalf of the university.
“As one of Queen’s Global Research Institutes, ECIT brings together a critical mass of excellent researchers from a wide range of disciplines, in world-class facilities, to tackle some of the greatest global issues of our age,” he said.
“The remarkable recognition provided by the awarding of this esteemed and exceptional Regius Professorship, underlines not only the international excellence of our staff and PhD students, but also the importance of their work in protecting global society.
“The Regius Professorship will play a key role in the future leadership of ECIT and will contribute strongly to enhancing its already very successful achievements in research translation, working with industry, and economic impact.”