Professor Karen M Holford FREng, CEng, FIMechE, FLSW, FWES

Professor Karen M Holford

FREng, CEng, FIMechE, FLSW, FWES

Professor

School of Engineering

Email:
holford@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 20 874607
Location:
VCO, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Media commentator

My engineering career spans industry and academia and is characterised by individual engineering excellence and leadership involving responsibility for people, finance and technical decisions.

My primary role is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff Univesity.  From 2012 -2017 I was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Physical Sciences and Engineering and prior to this I  was Head of the School of Engineering.

My career began at Rolls Royce where, as an undergraduate apprentice engineer I contributed to a range of technical projects including work on the Adour and Pegasus engines in collaboration with engineers from Europe and the United States as well as development work in advanced engineering. At AB Electronic Products I senior engineer and responsible for project management of a variety of technical projects including the design and development of a significant new product (a thin film pressure sensor for BMW ABS systems) as well as developing automotive electronic products for Jaguar Rover.

I have now worked in academia for over 27 years. The now substantial reputation of the AE group in Cardiff has grown through provision of research funds from EPSRC, TSB, EU and industrial sponsors. The strategy has been to achieve long-term quality by well-designed research and transfer of technology to field applications; recognition of this is exemplified by the high level of industrial support, the licence agreement with Physical Acoustics, an impact case study for REF 2014 and the Highways Agency advice note for the use on the technique in the field. Our approach has been to demonstrate the true potential of the method by exploitation of advances across many fields. Through this work, Cardiff University has gained an international reputation for research in AE and has the best equipped experimental AE facility in Europe. The group is making a major contribution to the knowledge of the technique of Acoustic Emission in particular the application of the technique to the location of faults in real engineering structures. The current work is not only addressing parts of the technique which were previously ignored, such as the relationship between the physical parameters and the detected signal, but also the use of computational techniques in order to exploit these features for classification purposes and to increase location accuracy. I have published 160+ research works including 80+ papers in peer-reviewed journals. My primary research theme is damage assessment using acoustic emission applied across a range of industrial applications including bridges (commercialised under licence agreement with Physical Acoustics Ltd and included in a Highways Agency Advice note) and aerospace landing gear (with EPSRC and Messier-Dowty) and across a range of materials including composites (with Airbus and Boeing), concrete and metals.

Honours and awards

  • 2002 Royal Academy prize: “Engineering Excellence” in TCS work
  • 2006 Welsh Woman of the Year in Science and Technology “in recognition of notable achievements in her field”
  • 2007 WISE Excellence Award for “personal contribution to engineering and a long term commitment to supporting girls and young women in science and engineering”
  • 2015 elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • 2016 named in the top 50 most influential women engineers
  • IMechE, Charles Sharpe Beecher prize 2009 Aerospace Division BEST PAPER
  • 1993 - 1997 Esso/Royal Academy Engineering Teaching Fellow; One of 6 awards out of 76 applicants
Patents and Licences
  • 2005 Licence agreement awarded with Physical Acoustics Ltd for Monitoring of Bridges using Acoustic Emission

Professional memberships

FRAEng

CEng

FIMechE

FLSW

FWES

Academic positions

External Examiner Motorsport MSc Cranfield 2005 - 2009.

Research degree External Examiner at Sheffield, Southampton, Heriot-Watt, Cranfield, Robert Gordon, Loughborough, Derby, Queens University Belfast, University of Iceland and Queensland University of Technology.

Speaking engagements

  • Invited Keynote Speaker, World Conference on Acoustic Emission, Beijing, 2011.
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, DAMAS 2009, Beijing, China.
  • Invited Seminars; UNSW Australia and Hong Kong Polytechnic (2007)
  • Chair of 27th European Conference on Acoustic Emission testing (Sept 2006)
  • Chair of 4th International Conference on Damage Assessment 2001 in Cardiff (sponsored by IMechE, IOP, EPSRC)
  • International Advisory Board; 19th International Acoustic Emission Symposium, Kyoto, Japan, 2008

Committees and reviewing

External Commitees

  • Council Member STFC 2017 - 
  • Royal Academy og Engineering Research Committee 2016 - 
  • Royal Academy of Engineering Membership Commitee Panel 5
  • Chair, EPSRC Engineering Strategic Advisory Team 2012 - 2016
  • Member EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network 2012 - present
  • Elected Member of EPSRC College of Peer Review since 2003

Research theme: Mechanics, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing

Contracts

TitlePeopleSponsorValueDuration
Management of bridges with sub-standard shear studs- AE testingDr AW Davies, Dr KM HolfordTransport Research Laboratory 610201/07/2001 - 01/02/2002
Investigating a probable fatigue cracking at a welded joint on the Aston ExpresswayDr AW Davies, Dr KM HolfordBirmingham City Council 553927/05/2001 - 27/07/2001
Acoustic emission technology platformDr AW Davies, Dr KM Holford, Dr RJ LarkEducation and Learning Wales 14788401/12/2001 - 01/08/2002
Design, manufacture and impact testing of advanced composite materials CARHAY2011Evans S, Featherston CA, Holford KM, Pullin REuropean Commission (FP7)3242401/01/2012 - 30/09/2013
Ser Cymru Research Chair in Advanced Engineering and Materials - HuffakerHuffaker D, Holford KHEFCW45000001/04/2016 - 31/03/2020
Ser Cymru Chair in Advanced Engineering and Materials (Diane Huffaker)Huffaker D, Holford KMSer Cymru205000001/04/2016 - 31/03/2021
SENsors to Inform and Enable wireless NeTworksFeatherston C, Pullin R, Lees J, Holford KTSB via HW Communications14396301/01/2014 - 31/12/2016
MontaguFeatherston C, Pullin R, Lees J, Holford KTSB - Innovate UK11437801/05/2015 - 31/10/2017
Self-powered autonomous device for wireless structural health monitoring (SANDWICH)Featherston C, Pullin R, Lees J, Holford, KTSB3981601/05/2013 - 31/10/2016
Measurement of displacement of composite panels due to lighteningFeatherston CA, Evans SL, Pullin R, Holford KMEADS UK LTD1420001/10/2009 - 25/12/2009
ARROW - Aerospace Research Organisation WalesFeatherston CA, Holford KMNational Assembly for Wales (HEFCW)1866201/06/2009 - 28/02/2010
Power harvesting for aircraft structural health monitoring systemsFeatherston CA, Pullin R, Holford KMAirbus40517.501/01/2010 - 31/12/2012
KTC Performance Engineering (Non Convergence)McCann DJ, Pullin R, Holford KMNational Assembly for Wales (A4B)10726601/08/2009 - 31/07/2012
KTC performance engineering (Covergence)McCann DJ, Pullin R, Holford KMNational Assembly for Wales (A4B)16089401/08/2009 - 31/07/2012
Characterisation of damage in complex structures by acoustic emission (AE) during fatigue testingDr KM Holford, Dr SL EvansEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 26723701/11/2004 - 31/10/2007
Mechanical loading and drop testing of mounting brackets and T-Davit structures for lifting devicesPullin R, Eaton M, Holford K, Kwan AREID LIFTING LTD252214/08/2012 - 13/11/2012
Centre of Excellence for research in energy waste and environmentProf N Syred, Dr AJ Griffiths, Mr MP Alanou, Dr C Bates, Dr PJ Bowen, Dr JA Brandon, Dr HP Evans, Dr CA Featherston, Dr KM Holford, Prof FD Pooley, Dr DM O'Doherty, Dr T O’Doherty, Prof RW Snidle, Prof J Watton, Dr KP Williams, Dr Y XueWelsh Development Agency 30000001/05/2001 - 30/04/2004
PathwaysCipcigan L, Holford K, Davies HEPSRC3916401/11/2011 - 30/06/2012
Upgrading the small equipment base for early career researchers in the Engineering and Physical SciencesHolford K, Whatling G, Lees J, Anderson P I, Brousseau E, Cipcigan L M, Pullin R, Bigot S, Theobald P, Simpson R N, Kawashita L F, Clarke AEPSRC49832601/11/2012 - 31/03/2013
AE monitoring of transverse box girder deck beam supportsHolford KMAmey Mouchel 4057806/01/2003 - 06/02/2003
Damage detection by acoustic emission during landing gear fatigue testingHolford KMMessier-Dowty Ltd 12827801/03/2003 - 01/03/2006
Acoustic Emission in Structural Health Monitoring - DAMAS, ChinaHolford KMRoyal Academy of Engineering60001/08/2009 - 07/08/2009
Management of bridges with sub standard shear studs. AE testing Part 2Holford KMTransport Research Laboratory 380001/02/2002 - 01/08/2002
Usk River: Investigation of deck beam thrust hingesLark RJ, Holford KMGwent Consultancy 1189330/08/2002 - 30/09/2002
Structural performance laboratoriesHolford KM, Evans SL, Featherston CA, Lark RJNational Assembly for Wales (HEFCW) 162800001/04/2006 - 01/04/2008
A lightweight structural health monitoring systemHolford KM, Featherston CA, Pullin R, Evans SLTechnology Strategy Board (TSB)15115401/07/2009 - 30/06/2012
Concrete hinge model investigationHolford KM, Lark RJAtkins Ltd5150001/07/2007 - 31/12/2007
Performance engineeringHolford KM, Dr M Spratt, (with University of Wales Swansea)Welsh Development Agency 200001/01/2005 - 31/12/2005
Performance engineeringHolford KM, Dr M Spratt, (with University of Wales Swansea)National Assembly for Wales (WDA) 200001/01/2005 - 31/07/2006
Performance engineeringHolford KM, Dr M Spratt, (with University of Wales Swansea)Welsh Development Agency 460001/01/2005 - 31/12/2005
Characterisation of damage in complex structures by acoustic emission (AE) during fatigue testingHolford KM, Evans SLMessier-Dowty Ltd 12500001/11/2004 - 31/10/2007
Acoustic emission in hinge jointsHolford KM, Lark RJHighways Agency 2538801/04/2003 - 31/12/2003

Supervised Students

TitleStudentStatusDegree
DAMAGE DETECTION IN ROTATING ELEMENTS USING ACOUSTIC EMISSIONCOCKERILL Aaron JamesCurrentPhD
Ultrasonic Lamb Wave Energy Transmission System for Aircraft Structyral Health Monitoring ApplicationsKURAL AleksanderGraduatePhD
Development Of A Transducer To Be Used In Long Range Ultrsonic TestingCHASTON Andrew MarkGraduateEngD
The Use of a Novel Rate of Change of Torque Technique for Damage Detection in Gear SystemsCAHILL BenCurrentPhD
ACOUSTIC EMISSION TECHNIQUES FOR THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY MONITORING OF STEEL BRIDGESCARTER Damian CharlesGraduatePhD
Acoustic Diagnostics in a Hot Strip MillMURRAY David IanGraduateEngD
Hot Mill Downcoiler Wrapper Gap ControlDAVIES Dyfyr LlywelGraduateEngD
AE Analysis of Prestressed Concrete StructuresELFERGANI HishamGraduatePhD
Advanced Acoustic Emission (AE) Monitoring Techniques for Aerospace StructuresMCCRORY John PatrickThesis SubmittedPhD
CONDITION MONITORING OF STEEL BRIDGES USING ACOUSTIC EMISSIONWATSON Jonathan RichardGraduateMPhil
Acoustic Emission (AE) Monitoring of Buckling and Failure in Carbon Fibre Composite StructuresEATON Mark JonathanGraduatePhD
Damage Assessment by Acoustic Emission (AE) During Landing Gear Fatigue TestingBAXTER MatthewGraduatePhD
Development of Experimental Rubber Toughened Bone CementsNICHOLAS MyfanwyGraduatePhD
Property Prediction Of Continuous Annealed SteelsWIGLEY Nicholas RoyGraduateEngD
Structural Health Monitoring-smart BridgeMUHAMAD BUNNORI NorazuraGraduatePhD
QUANTITATIVE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT OF CONCRETE STRUCTURES USING ACOUSTIC EMISSIONBECK PaulGraduatePhD
THE INFLUENCE OF HYDRAULIC SYSTEM DYNAMICS ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF A VEHICLE ACTIVE SUSPENSIONSURAWATTANAWAN PrakobGraduatePhD
Structural Integrity Monitoring of Steel Bridges Using Acoustic Emission TechniquesPULLIN RhysGraduatePhD
Development of a Magneto-Rheological Active Damping System to Improve the Yaw Response of a Racing VehicleELLIOTT Richard ChristopherGraduatePhD
DAMAGE ASSESSMENT IN COMPLEX STRUCTURES USING ACOUSTIC EMISSIONAL JUMAILI Safaa Khairry JeaazThesis SubmittedPhD
TRIBOLOGY AND DEFORMATION MECHANICS IN THE CONDITION MONITORING OF SHEET METAL FORMINGMCCARTAN Sean GerardGraduateEngD
Acoustic Emission For Fatigue Crack Monitoring In Nuclear Piping SystemMOHD ShukriGraduatePhD
Acoustic Emission Monitoring in Industrial ApplicationsBRADSHAW TimothyGraduateMPhil
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDUSTRIAL LEARNING CLASSIFIED SYSTEM FOR APPLICATION TO A STEEL NOT STRIP MILLBROWNE William Neil LongbourneGraduateEngD