Radiography lecturer awarded MBE for services to forensic investigation

Dr Claire Robinson is a key player in development of post-mortem computed tomography, avoiding the need for thousands of autopsies

Published: 19 June 2023 People

Radiography senior lecturer Dr Claire Robinson has been awarded an MBE for services to forensic investigation as part of the King’s Birthday Honours.

Dr Robinson is a Consultant Radiographer in Forensic Imaging at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, researching forensic imaging methods and teaching on the new BSc in Radiography programme which launches in September.

Claire, who has 22 years’ experience in radiography said: “I couldn’t really believe it when I first found out. It was a huge surprise. I’m very grateful to those who nominated me - it’s a huge honour”.


Dr Claire Robinson

The Birthday Honours are awarded as part of the King's Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June and will be officially presented to Claire on a date yet to be confirmed.

She added: “Having been sworn to secrecy about it over the past few weeks, it’s a relief to finally be able to tell everyone the news. I know I’m going to be nervous when I pick up my award – who wouldn’t be – but excited too!”

Claire is one of the key players in the development of post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) scan services in Leicester and the UK, which avoids the need for autopsy for thousands of people each year and has led to speedier and improved forensic investigations.

This system proved invaluable at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic because autopsy had obvious safety concerns. PMCT has now become the primary tool for HM Coroner investigations locally and has been introduced elsewhere thanks to the training she has helped to provide.

Mass fatalities

PMCT has also improved the speed of identification of victims in mass fatalities and is an integral part of the UK’s disaster response planning, which has seen Claire assist with investigations into the Shoreham Air Show crash in 2015, and the Manchester Arena bombing and Grenfell tower fire, both in 2017. She also assisted the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

Other achievements include creating and leading a team of radiographers while also working towards and achieving an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship and PhD. Letters supporting her nomination from colleagues and senior coroners said that she “Always goes the extra mile, voluntarily working at any time of the day or night.”

Associate professor and forensic pathologist at the university, Dr Mike Biggs, said: “We are in the privileged position here in Leicester to be considered genuine pioneers of this revolution, but it has only been possible because of the tireless hard work and dedication that Claire has put in since day one.”

Radiology Professor Bruno Morgan from the university added: “This award is for a very special person, not only for what she has achieved consistently over a long period of time, but also the selfless way she has gone about it - showing exceptional determination and commitment and respect for her colleagues, the deceased and their families.”

Find out more about forensic radiography.