The Norwegian academic who has won this year’s Onassis Prize for shipping hopes the award will inspire a new generation of talented women.

Professor Siri Pettersen Strandenes of the Norwegian School of Economics was honoured by a panel of academics for her substantial body of work, which includes research into maritime freight rates and the impact of environmental regulations on shipping.

“It is a great honour to accept this year’s Onassis Prize in Shipping,” she said.

“Throughout my career, I have been committed to positively impacting the world through my work in the field of shipping, and I hope I can inspire the next generation of smart, talented young women to strive for excellence in their respective fields.”

Women account for only about 2% of seafarers and 20% of the workforce in maritime authorities of International Maritime Organization member states, secretary general Kitack Lim said last year.

Strandenes was one of three winners named on Wednesday for work that helps to combat some of society’s most pressing problems.

Professor Darrell Duffie, of Stanford University, was given the finance award, while Professor Marc Melitz, of Harvard University, was honoured for his work on international trade.

The prizes are jointly awarded every three years by the Onassis Foundation, London’s Bayes Business School and its Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade & Finance. The prizes were the first since 2018 owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards were established in 1978 based on a request in the will of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and include a $200,000 grant for the winners.

“These prizes are a celebration of the visionaries who continue to shape and transform our world for the better through their hard work and pursuit of excellence,” said Dr Anthony Papadimitriou, president of the Onassis Foundation and chair of the judging panel.

“Now, more so than ever, it’s essential we focus on the importance of education and academia in order to combat the world’s most acute challenges.”

The prizes will be awarded on 7 November in London.