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School says farewell to Professor Karen Holford

21 July 2021

Photograph of Professor Karen Holford

Professor Karen Holford has been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University.

Professor Karen Holford is leaving Cardiff University on the 1st of August 2021 to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield University.

Karen began what would become a forty-year association with Cardiff University as an engineering student and, following roles in industry with Rolls-Royce and AB Electronics, returned to the University as a lecturer. Karen was a leading researcher, Professor in Mechanical Engineering, and Head of the School of Engineering. From 2012-2017 she led the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering at Cardiff University as the founding Pro Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Holford has played a valuable and essential role in the development of the School of Engineering over the past thirty years. Her research in acoustic emission monitoring has been applied to large, complex structures and has subsequently transformed the inspection processes of concrete and steel bridges worldwide.

Professor Holford is a leading advocate of engineering and is part of several committees and organisations that actively encourage young people to consider a career in the field.

In 2007 she was awarded the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Excellence award for her long-term commitment to supporting girls and young women in science and engineering.

In 2015 Karen was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was named as one of the top 50 most influential women engineers in the UK in 2016. She later received a CBE for services to engineering and the advancement of women in science and engineering.

The School of Engineering held an online presentation on 28 June 2021, where fellow staff members were able to share memories and thank Karen for her hard work and dedication to the School.

We wish Professor Holford every continued success and happiness for the future.

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