Code-lover Dr Sue Black OBE proposed to in best possible way

By Kitty Knowles 2 March 2016
Dr Sue Black OBE. Pic: YouTube/ITU INTERVIEWS

Tireless campaigner Sue Black, who played a huge role in saving WWII codebreaking site Bletchley Park, has received the most appropriate wedding proposal.

In case you missed it, this week computer scientist Sue Black received what is probably the geekiest – and most appropriate wedding proposal.

A few months ago, Black received a New Years honour for her efforts to save Bletchley Park (the central site of the Government Code and Cypher School which regularly penetrated secret communications during World War II).

The dilapidated huts where Alan Turing and thousands of others worked to break German codes now stand refurbished and an on-site museum has attracted nearly 300,000 visitors in 2015. Black has even written a book documenting the campaign called Saving Bletchley Park (published on Unbound).

Leading the way for women who code

Receiving an OBE for her service to Bletchley Park was apparently Black’s “proudest achievement”, but she also inspires new generations of young women into tech.

Last year, for example, Black appeared on hit BBC series Girls Can Code alongside founder Alex Depledge, 3D printing pioneer Roberta Lucca, mindfulness guru Kate Unsworth, and influential investor Eileen Burbidge.

Is it any wonder then, that the academic (who also teaches at UCL) was this week proposed to in code?

Black shared the news that her fiancé Paul had sent her an encrypted proposal on Monday over Twitter.

This simply read:


However, once this is run through a decryption machine it clearly translates as: “Will you marry me.”

If only there were more opportunities to use the hashtag #enigmaweddingproposal.

We’d like to send our congratulations to Black about her happy announcement.

We’re proud to have included her on our list of women continuing Ada Lovelace’s legacy. Now find out who else is leading the way.

Read more: 10 incredible women continuing Ada Lovelace’s legacy

Read more: Are women really better coders? Does it matter? What’s the real problem?

Read more: Black women take centre-stage to champion diversity in tech