The winner of the 2011 AILU Award, established in 1997, to 'honour an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industrial use of lasers in the UK' has been awarded to Janet Stoyel for her contribution to the application of lasers to the discipline of Textiles, Art, Media and Design (AMD). In particular, Janet has pioneered the use of CW CO2 lasers to create environmentally responsible, ecologically viable methods of design and manufacture. Her techniques involve no dyes, chemicals, wet processes or stitch.
She has created the world-renowned Laserlace collections of textiles and fashion accessories and was completely ahead of her time in this aspect of environmentally friendly creation.
In what was a male dominated arena Janet has had to fight against a prevailing negative view of laser modified textiles to establish a professional reputation in her use of lasers. Laser technology now flourishes in the world of textiles, especially in the area of Technical Textiles; and in recognition of her pioneering use of lasers in these areas and for the encouragement she has given to the integration of lasers into AMD departments in UK educational establishments, she is affectionately known as the 'Laser Queen' in many UK textile and AMD educational establishments.
Recently, during a 6 year period, Janet enjoyed a part-time Senior Research Fellowship at the University of West of England. During this time she established a laser department on the Bower Ashton Campus that now performs as a spin out facility, servicing students, staff, local business, visiting artists and creating workshops and training sessions – a true model of excellence.
Janet was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2010 Honours List as a leading light for the advancement of women in textiles, photonics, and AMD.