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Aston Vice Chancellor in Debretts/Sunday Times ‘Influential 500’

Julia King

28 January 2014


Professor Dame Julia King has been named as one of the top 500 most influential people in the UK by Debretts in association with The Sunday Times. 

The Influential 500 list defines those who persuade and inspire others in 25 dedicated fields including artists, writers, engineers, politicians, publishers and leading healthcare professionals. 

Dame Julia is noted as one of the UK’s top 20 most Influential Engineers, in particular as an adviser to Government on the development of low carbon technologies and businesses.  She is recognised in illustrious company alongside inventors Sir James Dyson and Trevor Baylis; Ian Callum, design director of Jaguar; Gordon McConnell, A350 chief engineer and head of Airbus Industries;  and structural engineer, Jane Wernick, who designed the London Eye. 

To coincide with the launch of the Influential 500, Debretts/The Sunday Times have set up a charitable foundation to mentor young people from under-privileged backgrounds.   Dame Julia and the other recognised individuals have all been asked to help to develop and inspire people with fewer advantages to scale the heights of the professions, politics, the arts and the establishment.

Dame Julia, who received a DBE for Services to Higher Education and Technology in 2012, is regularly called upon to advise Government on education and technology issues. 

She is a member of the Committee on Climate Change, the UAE-UK Business Council and the Airports Commission, and was appointed by the Prime Minister in November 2010 as the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador. Dame Julia led the King Review for Government to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport. She has also played an active role in encouraging women and young people to go into science and engineering-based careers and led a Royal Academy of Engineering Working Party on ‘Educating Engineers for the 21st Century’. 

Speaking about being named on the Debretts/Sunday Times list, Dame Julia, said; “It is an honour to be recognised by experts and industry leaders. I’m also delighted that, through this recognition, I will have the opportunity to further encourage social mobility in this country through Debretts’ Charitable Trust.” 

It is an honour to be recognised by experts and industry leaders

After sixteen years as an academic researcher and university lecturer at Cambridge and Nottingham universities, Professor Dame Julia King worked in a number of senior roles for Rolls-Royce plc from 1994 to 2002.  In 2002, she 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. Dame Julia has served as a non-executive director of the Department for Business Innovation & Skills; was a member of the independent review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance; 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. She was 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.  

Dame Julia’s academic work includes over 160 papers on fatigue and fracture in structural materials and developments in aerospace and marine propulsion technology.  In 1997 she was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.  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.

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For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk