Mandy told graduates: “The availability of technology is changing all our lives, in fact, every aspect - the way we communicate, shop, bank, monitor our health and homes, play games to conduct business online.
“So how do you build a career in a world that is constantly changing?” She said don’t wait for the big break or trample on others: “It’s really about the decisions you make every day, the decision to be a bit better in yourself, to be excellent and to always provide extra value.
“One of the key ways you can do this is to have an interesting and relevant point of view on topic and this is one of the most important skills a degree gives you and it is something you should not be giving up.”
Mandy was introduced by Professor Andrew Lloyd, Dean of the College Life, Health & Physical Sciences, said: “Few individuals have contributed as significantly to software innovation at the forefront of this digital revolution as Many Chessell.”
Mandy, sponsored by IBM, gained a Masters in software engineering at the University of Brighton in 1997: “Mandy believes the course provided her with the foundation for her future career at IBM, through opening doors to opportunities to work on new and more challenging projects, building on her new skills and expertise.”
Mandy is a named inventor on over 50 worldwide patents and has been published widely. Professor Lloyd said: “Amongst her most distinguished achievements is being the first woman to be awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering for the invention and engineering of reusable software component architects.”
He said: “Mandy is an outstanding role model for women in technology having won the 2004 British Computer Society nomination for the Women’s Engineering Society Karen Burt award, the 2006 Best Woman in Technology corporate sector award at the Blackberry Women in Technology awards, the 2006 Female Innovator and Inventors Network Capability award for her work developing innovative people and the 2012 Everywoman in Technology Innovator of the Year award.
“The University of Brighton is committed to socially-purposeful education of our students as future global citizens. We encourage their development as reflective researchers who can analyse and critique information from a wide variety of sources to allow them to adapt in innovative and creative ways to new challenges and opportunities.
“We are also strongly committed to equality and diversity including inspiring and supporting more women to study courses and pursue careers in science, engineering and technology.
“In awarding the honorary degree the university is, therefore, not only acknowledging an outstanding contribution that Mandy has made to software innovation but reaffirming our own institutional commitments to the development of our students as socially-purposeful innovators for global benefit and supporting the development of more female technologists.”