Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive - Julia King, The Baroness Brown of Cambridge

Julia King
Julia King, The Baroness Brown of Cambridge

After sixteen years as an academic researcher and university lecturer at Cambridge and Nottingham universities, Julia King joined Rolls-Royce plc in 1994.  At Rolls-Royce she held a number of senior executive appointments, including Director of Advanced Engineering for the Industrial Power Group, Managing Director of the Fan Systems Business, and Engineering Director for the Marine Business.   In 2002 Julia became Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics, and in 2004 she returned to academia as Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College, London.  In December 2006 she became Vice-Chancellor of Aston University.

Julia is a member of the Board of UniversitiesUK and Chair of its Innovation & Growth Policy Network, a Council member of the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, and a member of the Board of the Directors of the National Centre for Universities and Business.

Julia is regularly called upon to advise Government on education and technology issues. She is a member of the Committee on Climate Change, the Airports Commission, the Science & Technology Honours Committee, and was appointed by the Prime Minister in November 2010 as the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador.  She served as a non-executive director of the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (and its predecessor DIUS) for six years, was a member of the independent review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, led by Lord Browne, which reported in October 2010, has advised the Ministry of Defence as Chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council and the Cabinet Office as a member of the National Security Forum, and was a non-executive member of the Technology Strategy Board for five years. Julia served a four-year term as an inaugural member on the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and is a former member of the World Economic Forum Automotive Council.  She led a Royal Academy of Engineering Working Party on ‘Educating Engineers for the 21st Century’ which published its final report in June 2007, and plays an active role in encouraging women and young people to go into science and engineering-based careers.

Julia was appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 2007 to lead the ‘King Review’ to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport.  The interim analytical report was published in October 2007, and the final recommendations in March 2008.

Julia is a non-executive Director of Angel Trains and the Green Investment Bank, and a member of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

Julia’s academic work includes over 160 papers on fatigue and fracture in structural materials and developments in aerospace and marine propulsion technology.  Her work has been recognised through the award of the Grunfeld, Bengough, Kelvin, John Collier, Lunar Society and Constance Tipper medals, the Erna Hamburger Prize, and the 2012 President’s Prize of the Engineering Professors’ Council.  In 1997 she was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering; she was made a CBE for ‘Services to Materials Engineering’ in 1999 and a DBE for ‘Services to Higher Education and Technology’ in 2012.  She is a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company, an Honorary Graduate of Queen Mary, University of London, an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, Cardiff University, the Society for the Environment, the British Science Association and the Polymer Processing Academy India, and a visiting Professor of the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Julia can be contacted through:

Clare Noakes - Executive Assistant 
+ 44 (0) 121 204 4884

Martin Johnson - Personal Assistant 
+ 44 (0) 121 204 4642