Dame Ann Dowling is a pioneer in mechanical engineering, helping to design a single-wing airliner and developing some of the lowest-emission jet engines.
Ann consistently broke barriers for women seeking a career in engineering. As Head of the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University, she is one of Britain’s leading engineers, but she also became the first female president of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014. Ann completed a degree in mathematics, followed by a PhD in engineering where she contributed to pioneering research in noise-reduction on the Concorde – an aeroplane that could travel at supersonic speeds.
She pioneered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Silent Aircraft project in 2006. This produced a new aircraft design concept – SAX-40. Ann was appointed CBE for services to Mechanical Engineering in 2002, DBE for services to Science in 2007 and was appointed to the Order of Merit by the Queen in December 2015. She is widely considered one of the most influential women in science in the UK today, advocating for women to seek a career path in engineering. She encourages parents to buy LEGO® for their daughters, as well as pushing them to mend their own bikes and to get their hands dirty.
"What I'd really like to achieve is to make engineering central to society."
— Dame Anne Dowling