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Eleanor Glanville Institute Celebrating women in science

Women have made significant contributions to the building blocks of modern scientific theory. Optima were delighted to help recognise this in an exhibit for the Eleanor Glanville Institute in celebration of Ada Lovelace Day.


The Eleanor Glanville Institute (EGI) leads the University of Lincoln’s strategic ambitions for equality, diversity and inclusion.

One of the areas EGI aims to stimulate greater diversity is in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). Each October EGI and the university celebrates Ada Lovelace Day which recognises the achievements of women in STEM and this year they commissioned Optima to create an exhibit recognising the achievements of women in science.

We designed this to quite literally take the form of flexible building blocks to occupy a public foyer in the University’s Alfred Tennyson building.


  • Brand
  • Exhibition


  • Education

The vibrant building blocks have a monolithic presence and each side tells the story of a different woman in science – from Lady Eleanor Glanville, the first lady of natural history, NASA mathematicians and scientists Dorothy Vaughan and Katherine Johnson to present day space scientist and TV presenter, Dr Maggie Ebunoluwa Aderin-Pocock.

Eleanor Glanville Institute exhbition blocks
Eleanor Glanville Institute exhbition blocks

A series of geometric patterns were created to provide eye-catching graphics when viewed from a distance from the atrium’s first floor balcony and stairs. The graphics represent the diverse backgrounds of the women featured and add additional vibrancy and texture – the abstract waves and shapes inspired by scientific and mathematical symbols. The front sides of each block feature the story of different women of science. The colourful background textures are built from scientific and mathematical equations. An impactful image of each woman is featured on each side. The images were created using a colourful contrasting gradient map which helps give the images a more graphic feel to fit with the overall scheme. It was also useful in adapting low resolution imagery of some of these historical figures.

Eleanor Glanville Institute exhbition blocks