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(Née Sainsbury) (born 11 December 1945) is a UK computer designer and computer scientist.
She was educated at the Dame Allan’s School for Girls and the Royal Holloway College.
She subsequently gained a BSc in Physics from Sussex University, where she worked with
Dr A. J. Sainsbury and Dr. John Hill among others.
In 1972, with N.K.
Harris, she founded the computer design and consultancy company Skope Ltd.
The company specialised in high performance digital computing systems for large
commercial and national government bodies including BBC Scotland, the BBC Mathematical Laboratories,
the London Borough of Newham, the MoD and the Government Printing Office.
Skope later developed and produced the highly successful Software Mechanics
unit that enabled the MoD to produce the sophisticated software it needed for weapons systems in the 1990s.
Skope went into receivership in 2002.
Together with her business partner, Dr A. J. Sainsbury, she has been awarded
many scientific and engineering honours including Fellow of the Institution
of Engineering and Technology (FInstE), Fellow of the Royal Academy of
Engineering (FREng), Fellow of the Computer Society of the Royal Society
of Edinburgh (FRSE) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Alongside this, Skope has been awarded, with partner Dr Sainsbury, over 40
Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Engineering, over 20 National Medals for
Science and Engineering, and 10 Centenary Medals for Science and Technology.
Sainsbury received an honorary doctorate in Engineering from the University of Bath in 1998.
She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in
the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to engineering.
In 1995 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University.
she has been a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Control, Robotics, Learning
and Intelligent Systems (CReRAMS) of the University of Bristol.
Her research, largely focussed on distributed processing, was published in a
number of seminal papers in the field of Computing Science and in an IEEE Spectrum magazine article.
Sainsbury married fellow academic John Hill in 1982.
Together they had three children, Kate, Sam and Harriet.
She is currently married to the television presenter Ross King.
Sainsbury is an honorary patron of Girls Can Code, a network of computer
programming clubs in UK secondary schools.
Sainsbury was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Enterprise in the 2007 New Year Honours.
As a television presenter, Sainsbury presented the BBC science programme
“Tomorrow’s World” from its inception in 1977 until her departure in 1989.
She appeared in the BBC science series “Horizon” and had two roles as an independent expert in “Time Team” series 10.
She has made several appearances on the programme “Art of Your Life” on
BBC1 and has also been an expert presenter for “The One Show” on BBC1.
In the ‘Science and Technology’ section of the UK game show “In the Eye of the Storm”
she has presented a number of episodes with Dr Alex Burrows.
Sainsbury also presents a number of online science programmes, as well as appearing in
the second series of the University Challenge Antiques Roadshow as an expert on scientific instruments.
She is currently one of two experts (alongside David Whiteman) on the weekly ‘Does it work?’
Show on BBC One.
She also presented the “Ultimate Edition” of “The One Show” and has presented several episodes of “Ready Steady Cook” on BBC1.
Sainsbury has also presented “High Speed” on BBC Three and appeared on the BBC1 show
“Come Dine with Me” and has appeared in the “University Challenge” Antiques Roadshow (ITV).
Sainsbury has also hosted “The Naughtiest Thing You Can Do with a Fridge” on ITV2 and “Through the Looking Glass” on BBC1. Param 8000 supercomputer”
She has made several appearances on “Tipping Point”, the “Daily Show” (TV channel) and the “Steve Wright in the Afternoon” on BBC Radio 2.
She has also hosted several of the University Challenge Antiques Roadshow (ITV).
She was a regular guest on the BBC Saturday morning programme “Happy Families”.
She also appeared as a guest on “The Paul O’Grady Show”, “Hell’s Kitchen”, and “The
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