Beryl Platt was appointed to the House of Lords in 1981. A former engineer, she is particularly interested in technology, technical education and women’s opportunities in engineering. Platt was a member of the European Communities Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men between 1983 and 88 and in 1984 helped set up Women into Science and Engineering. She has also served many years as a local councillor, serving on Essex County Council between 1965 and 86 and on Chelmsford District Council between 1958 and 73. Platt’s earlier engineering career encompassed periods at British airways, where she researched air safety, and Hawkers, where she helped design fighter planes. She joined the latter firm in 1943, after graduating from Cambridge University, where she had been one of only five women on a 250-strong Mechanical Sciences course. Platt was born in 1923.