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Professor Dame Ann Dowling

Professor Dame Ann Dowling - Independent non-executive director

Independent non-executive director


Appointed 3 February 2012


Board and committee activities:

Member of the safety and sustainability committee


Outside interests:

Deputy vice-chancellor and emeritus professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cambridge
Non-executive director of Smiths Group plc








Professor Dame Ann Dowling is a deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge where she was appointed a professor of mechanical engineering in the department of engineering in 1993. She was also head of the department of engineering at the university from 2009 to 2014. Her research is in fluid mechanics, acoustics and combustion, and she has held visiting posts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Dame Ann also chairs BP's technical advisory council.
Dame Ann is a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the French Academy of Sciences. She has honorary degrees from 20 universities, including the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Dame Ann was a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) from 2016 to 2018, served as President of the Royal Academy of Engineering from 2014 to 2019 and was an advisor at Rolls-Royce until 2015. Having previously been awarded an CBE for services to Mechanical Engineering in 2002, she was promoted to a DBE for services to Science in 2007 and was appointed to the Order of Merit in December 2015.


Relevant skills and experience

Dame Ann is an internationally respected leader in engineering research and the practical application of new technology in industry. Her contribution, research and academic leadership in these fields are admired internationally. Her academic background provides balance to the board and brings a different perspective to the safety, environment and security assurance committee, particularly as developments in technology accelerate. Her work in this area is supplemented by her chairing the company’s technology advisory council.