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Professor Dame Ann Dowling, Professor of Mechanical of Engineering, is to receive the Royal Medal from the Royal Society.

The Medal is awarded for her leading research on the reduction of combustion emissions, aerodynamic noise and the design of aircraft, and her distinguished services to engineering.

The first female President of the Royal Academy of EngineeringDame Ann OM DBE FREng FRS served as Head of the Department of Engineering from 2009-14 and is currently a Deputy Vice-Chancellor. 

In addition to her world-leading research, Dame Ann has an influential leadership role across the engineering and academic sectors. Elected President of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014, she is also a member of the prestigious Order of Merit, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the French Academy of Sciences. She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, a trustee of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and a non-executive director of BP plc and of the Smiths Group plc.

In 2015, Dame Ann conducted a review for government of business-university research collaborations. The Dowling Review identified the complex mechanisms in place to encourage collaboration between academia and industry in the UK and called for a simplification of these systems in order to realise the full potential of the excellent research being done in UK universities. Dame Ann also chaired the widely respected 2004 Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering report Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, which highlighted the need for responsible regulation and research around the use of materials at an extremely small scale.

Three Royal Medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded annually by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council of the Royal Society. Dame Ann joins other leading Fellows, including World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee OM KBE FREng FRS and geneticist and cell biologist Sir Paul Nurse FRS FMedSci HonFREng HonFBA, who have previously received the award.

Dame Ann said: “I’m surprised, delighted and very honoured to be awarded the Royal Medal and it is humbling to see the previous recipients. I have been lucky to work with some brilliant colleagues and students and this award recognises their achievements as much as it does mine. Engineering has a vital role to play in meeting the many global challenges we face, and has provided me with a most rewarding and fulfilling career.”

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said: “The Royal Society gives an array of medals and awards to scientists who have done exceptional, ground-breaking work. This year, it is again a pleasure to see these awards bestowed on scientists who have made such distinguished and far-reaching contributions in their fields. I congratulate and thank them for their efforts.”

Date awarded

19 July 2019


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Ann Dowling