Lowri ferch Owein Talar

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Lowri fe.Owein's coat of arms
Yr Athro Bonesig Lowri ferch Owein Talar (born 24 July 1963, commonly known as Bonesig (Dame) Lowri ferch Owein) is a Tircambran research engineer and campaigner, currently serving as a Pro-Vice-Rector of Porthbrenin University. As well as serving on advisory bodies for the governments of Tircambry and Rhysiog, she has been active in campaigns to encourage women to become engineers and to provide access to higher education to people from poorer countries and backgrounds. In the latter capacity, she is a member of the board of Academic Support International.

Early years and academic career

Lowri fe.Owein was born in the town of Abercenlig, and was the third child of Owein ap Cadwyn Lowri and Eres fe.Calder Garan. Her mother was a medical doctor and her father was an engineer. It was her father's work which inspired Lowri choice of career, despite attempts from her teachers to discourage her on the grounds that Engineering was a male profession. Lowri, with her father's support, succeeded in winning a place to study the subject at Caerarthen New University. She graduated with First Class honours and went on to do postgraduate studies at the Coleg Caradog in the University of Lan Dwyrain.

Lowri obtained her doctorate from Lan Dwyrain in 1988 and worked for a short time for an engineering company in Caerarthen, before returning to academia to pursue research at Porthbrenin University. She rose through the academic hierarchy, becoming a full professor in 1997 and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering in 2005 - Tircambry's first female head of an Engineering school. She gave the post up in 2009 in order to devote more time to her campaigning activities, but since 2013 she has been a part-time Pro-Vice-Rector of the university.

Campaigning

Dr fe.Owein was one of the founding members of the Engineering for Women (Peirianneg i Ferched) movement in 1996, which set out to encourage girls to study the subject and to reduce obstacles to their success. She developed a talent for campaigning and expanded her activities to promote access to higher education for under-privileged people, firstly in Tircambry but then from across the World. This led her to join Academic Support International and in 2008 she opened an ASI office in Porthbrenin. She went on to become a member of the ASI board.

Honours

In 2015 Lowri was made a Dame Commander of the Order of Excellence (Bonesig Cadlywydd y Drefn Rhagoriaeth).