Dee Mathieson receives Lifetime Achievement Award for supporting radiotherapy

Dee, who studied radiotherapy at Guy's Hospital, has been recognised for her career implementing innovation in the profession

Published: 15 May 2024 People

The managing director for UK-based radiotherapy solution company Elekta has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work supporting the profession.

Dee Mathieson attended the Dynamic Awards, which celebrates the achievements of female business leaders across the South East, at the Grand Hotel in Brighton last month (30 April).

She was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award for her long-running career at Elekta, where she has worked in product management, portfolio management, commercial operations, and product quality as senior vice president, prior to her current role as managing director.

'The pinnacle of everything'

Upon receipt of her award, Ms Mathieson expressed how shocked she was - she had been nominated for two other categories in the awards, rather than Lifetime Achievement.

“To be a finalist in those two categories was special,” she said. “When my name was read out, my face must have been a picture, because I was thinking, ‘this is so much better than I thought I was going to get!’ I’m enormously proud, and so thrilled to go up and receive something like that. It’s sort of the pinnacle of everything.”

Ms Mathieson added she has always tried to drive the product strategy at Elekta, to prove value to healthcare providers, and to push innovation into the clinic.

She explained this involved introducing various types of development that would be taken for granted now: “Using imaging before treatment, during treatment, multileaf collimators, shaping the beam – all that good stuff, which radiographers today would already qualify with. When I was in training, we were using lead bricks and shadow trays. It fills me with horror. We didn’t even have computers for treatment planning, we had crayons and tracing paper.”

A career of innovation

Ms Mathieson went to Sutton High School in her youth before training to become a radiographer at Guy's Hospital in London.

Following her radiotherapy qualification, Ms Mathieson continued on to stay in the department and complete a degree in physics.

After graduation, Ms Mathieson was recruited to Philips (part of which was later acquired by Elekta), where she became involved in innovating on the company’s radiotherapy technology.

She started out doing training service engineers and shared her knowledge about physics and the clinical application of radiotherapy.

On her career trajectory, Ms Mathieson: “With my physics degree, I must have thought about giving up three times a week; it was so hard. I'm so glad I didn't, because whatever you do enables something else. And I think what's nice about radiation therapy or radiography, is it supports a portfolio of opportunity. You can do it, and do really well, and excel and move up the ladder or you can branch out and do other things.”

(Image: Dee Mathieson)