Honours also awarded to ten other Fellows for services to engineering and related disciplines

Professor Dame Ann Dowling DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has been admitted to the Order of Merit in The Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours list. Dame Ann joins just 23 other members of the prestigious order, presented as a personal gift of the sovereign.

President of the Academy since 2014, Dame Ann is Professor of Mechanical of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where she served as Head of the Department of Engineering from 2009-14 and is currently a Deputy Vice-Chancellor. As a world authority on combustion and acoustics, she is admitted to the Order of Merit for her exceptional service in advancing the field of mechanical engineering, with almost 40 years of research on aeronautics and energy, most recently in developing low noise aircraft.

Outside of her own world-leading research, Dame Ann has an influential leadership role across the engineering and academic sectors. She serves as the first female President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Engineering and the French Academy of Sciences. She also sits as a non-executive member of the board of Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is a non-executive director of BP.

In 2015, Dame Ann published The Dowling Review of Business-University Research Collaborations, which 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 reap the full potential of the excellent research being done in UK universities. Dame Ann also chaired the widely respected 2004 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.

The Order of Merit recognises exceptional service towards the advancement of the arts, learning, literature and science, and is limited to just 24 living recipients. Dame Ann joins another Academy Fellow, the engineer Sir James Dyson CBE FREng FRS, in being admitted to the order on 31 December 2015. The third new member, surgeon The Lord Darzi of Denham PC KBE HonFREng FRS FMedSci, is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling DBE FREng FRS said: “I was surprised, delighted and very, very honoured to be appointed to the Order of Merit.”

“I am also particularly pleased to see that both of the other new appointments to the Order of Merit are Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, demonstrating what an important role engineering plays in society today. I congratulate them and the other engineers recognised on the New Year’s Honours list, including seven further Fellows of Academy.”

Eight more Academy Fellows were recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for services to engineering, science, industry and defence. These include Professor Nicholas Jennings FREng, Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security who has been appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath for services to computer science and national security science, and Judith Hackitt CBE FREng, Chair of the Health and Safety Executive who is made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to engineering and health and safety.

The full list of Fellows recognised in the New Year’s Honours list is as follows:

Order of Merit

  • Rt Hon Professor Lord Ara Darzi of Denham PC KBE HonFREng FRS FMedSci, Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery, Imperial College London. For services to medicine.

  • Professor Dame Ann Dowling DBE FREng FRS, President, Royal Academy of Engineering. For services to engineering.

  • Sir James Dyson CBE FREng FRS, founder and industrial designer, Dyson. For services to industrial design.

Order of the Bath

Companion of the Order of the Bath

  • Professor Nicholas Jennings FREng, Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security and Regius Professor, University of Southampton. For services to computer science and national security science.

Order of the British Empire

Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • Judith Hackitt CBE FREng, Chair, Health and Safety Executive. For services to engineering and health and safety.

​Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • Air Marshal Sir Simon Bollom CB FREngChief Engineer, Royal Air Force. 

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

  • John Baxter FREng FRSE, formerly Group Head of Engineering, BP. For services to engineering, education, and the energy sector.

  • Professor David Lane FREng FRSE, Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering, Heriot Watt University and Founding Director, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. For services to engineering.

Officers of the Order of the British Empire

  • Professor Elizabeth Tanner FREng FRSE, Professor of Biomedical Materials, University of Glasgow. For services to biomedical engineering.

  • Dr Alan Turnbull FREng FRS, Senior Fellow, Electrochemistry and Corrosion, National Physical Laboratory. For services to science and industry.

Member of the Order of the British Empire

  • Professor Roger Kemp FREng, Professorial Fellow, Engineering Department, University of Lancaster. For services to engineering.

Notes for editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering

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Aaron Boardley