Prof Esteban
L-R: Dr Bob Buchan, Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, Professor Maria J Esteban and Professor Richard A. Williams

An influential mathematician who helped establish one of Scotland’s best-known research centres was today recognised with an Honorary Degree from Heriot-Watt University.

Professor Maria J. Esteban is an expert on nonlinear partial differential equations, the calculus of variations and mathematical physics.

Born in the Basque Country, Professor Esteban has been a frequent visitor to Heriot-Watt over many years. In 1981, she became co-organiser of an instructional course under the auspices of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences. The centre, jointly run by Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh, went on to flourish and is now located in the centre of the city.

In recognition of her significant contributions to applied mathematics and for being a role model to women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the University presented Professor Esteban with an Honorary Degree.

Professor Esteban said: “It’s an honour for me to receive an honorary degree from Heriot-Watt, a university that I am always happy to visit and work in. I appreciate strongly the long-lasting attachment of the Heriot-Watt Department of Mathematics to the applications of Mathematics. Moreover, I always found the atmosphere at the department extremely friendly. It is a privilege to come to Edinburgh and feel at home.”
 
Professor Esteban is the President of the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and President of the Programme Committee for the next European Congress of Mathematics.
 
Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, said: “Professor Esteban has made remarkable contributions to the international mathematics and science community.
 
“She has also made a significant contribution to the mathematical community closer to home and has been at the forefront of, what is now known as, the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences.
 
“Professor Esteban was part of this centre when it was in its infancy and courses, such as the one she organised, set it on the path to becoming the highly regarded research centre that it is today.”