Aston University welcomes new Vice-Chancellor

7 December 2006 – for immediate release

Aston University is pleased to welcome Professor Julia King CBE, FREng, as its new Vice-Chancellor in succession to Professor Michael Wright FREng. Professor King took office on December 1st 2006.

She was educated at New Hall, Cambridge, where she gained a first class BA Honours Degree in Natural Sciences (Metallurgy) in 1975, followed by a PhD (in the field of fatigue and fracture) in 1979. She then held academic posts at Nottingham and Cambridge universities, before moving to Rolls-Royce plc in 1994, to take up the post of Head of Materials in the Rolls-Royce Aerospace Group.

She was Director of Advanced Engineering, Rolls-Royce Industrial Power Group from 1997 - 1998, Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Fan Systems from 1998 - 2000, and then Director of Engineering and Technology – Marine from 2000 - 2002. She moved from Rolls-Royce in 2002 to become Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics.

Before coming to Aston Professor King was Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London.

She became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1997 and was awarded the CBE in 1999 for ‘Services to Materials Engineering’. She has published more then 160 papers on fatigue and fracture in structural materials, materials issues in aero engines, and advances in marine propulsion technology.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor King said: ‘Aston University is right at the heart of Birmingham, the UK’s vibrant and rapidly regenerating second city. The innovative research we undertake here translates into real, practical applications in industry.

‘But it’s not just our research that contributes to economic growth. The quality of our teaching leads to highly employable graduates and the University consistently has one of the highest graduate recruitment rates in the UK.

‘Aston University plays an important role in ensuring that able people from the widest range of backgrounds can access and benefit from higher education. We interact in many positive ways with our local community in and around Birmingham and the West Midlands – from our outreach activities with undergraduates mentoring children in local schools to the launch of the new ‘INDEX’ ‘research voucher’ scheme with Advantage West Midlands and the Research Councils to encourage SMEs to get technical support from their local universities.

‘Aston is a successful university with enormous potential, and I am looking forward immensely to working with all its staff and students to take it through the next phase of its development.’


For further press information please contact Sally Hoban on 0121 204 4552.

Notes to editors:

Photograph of Professor Julia King attached, please credit Tony Flanagan on publication.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research