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Ewha Confers Honorary Doctoral Degree on Solvay CEO, Ilham Kadri

  • 작성처
  • Date2022.06.21
  • 5965

Ewha Confers Honorary Doctoral Degree on Solvay CEO, Ilham Kadri


Ewha Womans University conferred an honorary doctoral degree in women’s studies on Dr. Ilham Kadri, CEO of global chemicals company Solvay, at the Lee Sam-bong Hall of the ECC building on June 20 (Mon.) at 10:00 a.m. 


Explaining the reason for the honorary doctoral degree, President Eun Mee Kim remarked, “We are hereby recognizing Dr. Ilham Kadri’s lifelong dedication to the empowerment and growth of women in the field of science as well as in business management as the CEO of one of the world’s top chemicals companies.”

Born in Morocco in 1969, Dr. Ilham Kadri studied chemical engineering at L'École des Hauts Polymères de Strasbourg in France and received a doctorate in macromolecular physical chemistry at Louis Pasteur University in France. She is the first female CEO at Solvay, a world-leading chemicals company based in Belgium with a history of around 160 years.
The conferment ceremony was attended by more than 200 people, including President Eun Mee Kim, former president Kim Sun-Uk, other key faculty members and staff, and members of Solvay and the Belgian government, as well as recipients of the Solvay Scholarship. The ceremony was held in the order of a prayer, a recommendation speech, the conferment of the honorary doctorate degree, a celebratory performance, and the honorary degree acceptance speech.


Professor Han You-kyung, Dean of the Ewha Graduate School, remarked in her recommendation speech, “Dr. Ilham Kadri has actively advocated for the values of inclusion and diversity in various fields and dedicated herself to mentoring and teaching young women, with a special focus on the improvement of women’s education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),” and explained the significance of the award by saying, “Dr. Ilham Kadri’s efforts are in line with the vision of Ewha, which was established 136 years ago based on the spirit of Christianity to build a better world for all.”

In the acceptance speech, Dr. Ilham Kadri responded to the recommendation speech by remarking, “I feel very honored and humbled today to be awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Ewha Womans University. I would be the happiest woman in the world to know that there is even one little girl out there who is inspired by the career choices that I’ve made,” and further emphasized, “I am deeply grateful to receive this recognition from a university that contributes so heavily to the education of women leaders in STEM fields, and I am convinced that a partnership with Ewha will be the key to building a more diverse talent pipeline.” 


Through the conferment of an honorary doctoral degree on Dr. Ilham Kadri, Ewha and Solvay are expected to further strengthen their partnership. Ewha is the first and only university in Korea to have formed a university-industry partnership with Solvay, having established the partnership in 2011. In order to train promising women scientists, Solvay has been offering the Solvay Scholarship to outstanding graduate science and engineering students at Ewha since 2012. To date, 47 students have been provided with scholarships worth around KRW 2 billion in total. Ewha also established the Ewha-Solvay Research & Innovation Center in 2014 as part of the joint research infrastructure and has been strengthening academic ties with Solvay through a mutually-beneficial research partnership.