Pupils, staff and alumnae enjoy hearing from Wycombe Abbey Senior, Professor Dame Sarah Springman DBE

Dame Sarah Springman with Wycombe Abbey Headmistress and Sixth Former

We were thrilled to welcome Professor Dame Sarah Springman as the most recent speaker for the Carrington Award Sixth Form programme. A Wycombe Abbey Senior (C128, Rubens) Sarah went on to study Engineering Sciences at Girton College before reading for an MPhil at St Catharine’s, Cambridge and later a PhD (Magdalene) in Soil Mechanics. She was the first female Research Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge before moving to Zurich to take up the role as the first female Professor of Civil Engineering in Switzerland and the first female Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in western Europe.

At School, Sarah excelled at sport and, whilst pursuing her academic career, she became a champion triathlete representing Britain and Northern Ireland, winning 21 European Union triathlon championship medals and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Sky Sportswoman of the Year. Previously Rector of ETH Zurich, Professor Springman took up role as Principal of St Hilda’s College, Oxford in 2022. We were delighted to feature her as our headline Interview in the 2021 edition of the Seniors Supplement alumnae magazine.

 Read the article in the Seniors’ Supplement

During her talk to the Sixth Form, Sarah covered her journey from Wycombe Abbey to her studies at Cambridge and then to her career in civil engineering consultancy and academia. She also touched upon her involvement in sports politics, lobbying for triathlon and her own deep involvement with the sport, giving some fantastic anecdotes and lessons she has learned along the way. She imparted valuable advice to the pupils about how they might approach the decisions they make in the future – to push boundaries, be positive, learn from failure, and make things happen.

One Lower Sixth pupil said, “It is really inspiring hearing someone who has been to Wycombe speak. I feel quite excited about my next stage now. I found this evening really motivating.”

Thank you to Professor Dame Springman for coming back to School to speak to our pupils and guests with such a motivating and inspiring talk.

Ms Clare Flynn-Scarcelli
Director of Development

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