THE Director of Wrexham Glyndwr University’s OpTIC Technology Centre has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Caroline Gray is Professor of Enterprise and Engagement at the university and the lead for the Photonics Expertise project at OpTIC in St Asaph. 

She receives an OBE for her contribution to the Optics industry and businesses in Wales.

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The recognition for Caroline has been made all the more special, coinciding with the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

She said: "I was absolutely dumbfounded when I found out. About five weeks ago I received the letter notifying me.

"My husband and I had just been away for a few days, and when we returned it was amongst the post. My son passed it to me and just said ‘this one looks important’.

“It’s an absolute honour and it is totally humbling, that someone would like to see me recognised in this way as I feel I am just doing what I’m employed to do.”

A graduate in physics, Caroline, has worked within the optical industry for more than 35 years.

Her specialism is optical component fabrication and optical testing with specific expertise in single point diamond machining and CNC controlled optical processing/polishing of complex freeform surfaces.

She is currently the Site Director of Glyndwr University’s OpTIC Technology Centre and is Project Director of the £7.2m Centre for Photonics Expertise Program (CPE).

Outside of work, Caroline owns and runs a fitness studio where she is a registered Personal Trainer, and enjoys teaching fitness and Pilates classes.

Denbighshire Free Press:

PIC: Caroline Gray receiving one of her rowing medals.

Caroline is also an accomplished indoor rower, holding three European and one world championship medals in her age group category as well as achieving five world records in group distance rowing.

She said: “I started rowing to train for triathlons in the winter but really enjoyed the challenge of it. I’m a numbers person and there is a lot of data involved with challenging yourself on the rower and the stats behind that.

“I started competing in the Welsh Championships in about 2016, did well and just before the first lockdown went to the European Championships in Prague where I gained a gold medal in all three race distances in the team event, in my age category, which was a very exciting day.”