Hot on the heels of receiving an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, Energy UK’s Barbara Vest has now been awarded an honorary doctorate by Durham University.
In today’s ceremony at Durham Cathedral, Barbara was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her long and successful career in the power industry and her commitment to supporting young people looking to join the sector.
Barbara joined the Association of Electricity Producers (AEP) in 2008, after working for Northern Electric, Yorkshire Electricity, RWE and Gaz de France ESS, and was appointed Director of Generation at Energy UK in 2012. She has been a Special Advisor since 2018.
Barbara also served as a member of the UK Government’s Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage Cost Challenge Task Force, chairs the National Grid Joint European Stakeholder Group and is a member of the Executive Council of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies.
An active member of the Durham Energy Institute Advisory Board, she has also provided support to students and early career researchers. At Energy UK, she was instrumental in setting up the Young Energy Professionals Forum in 2013, a network to promote the next generation of energy industry professionals, providing opportunities to collaborate, develop and recognise successes – which now has over 2000 individual members and representation spanning over 340 different companies
On receiving the award, Barbara Vest said:
“As a County Durham resident this is extra special. My daughters are extremely proud of me and that makes me so happy. They tell me I’m their role model for showing them that as a full-time working Mam you can make a difference through hard work and determination.
“I am proud to have been able to ensure that Durham Energy Institute students get to meet and greet members of our Energy UK Young Professionals Forum enabling them to learn more about opportunities within the energy sector whilst growing their own network of contacts.
“I’m also really proud of the fact that I can go into many industry meetings today and see a fair mix of male and female attendees. This definitely was not the case during the 1990’s. There are so many opportunities in the energy sector during our transformation to a low carbon future and there has never been a more exciting time to work within it.”