|Dame Julia Higgins|
|Born||Julia Stretton Downes
1 July 1942 
|Alma mater||Somerville College, Oxford (MA, DPhil)|
Dame Julia Stretton Higgins, DBE, FRS, FREng (née Downes; born 1 July 1942) is a polymer scientist. Since 1976 she has been based at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, where she is currently Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator.
Higgins chaired the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) from 2008-2012. She is also a former chair (1998–2003) of the Athena Project, which aims for the advancement of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) in Higher Education. Between 2003 and 2007, she was also chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Higgins was president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers 2002–3, and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 2003–4. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1995 and was its Foreign Secretary 2001–6.
She is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the City and Guilds of London Institute, of which she is also Vice-President. She is also an honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Somerville College, Oxford. She was awarded a CBE in 1996 before being named a dame in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours list. Dame Julia replaced Professor Adrian Smith FRS as ACME Chair in September 2008 when Adrian became Director General of Science and Research at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. She holds honorary degrees from a number of UK universities and the University of Melbourne, Australia.
In April 2003 she became Chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. She was succeeded by John Armitt on 1 April 2007. In June 2006 Higgins was appointed Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London. The Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College is one of the largest in the UK, comprising nine departments with 1,000 staff, over 4,200 students and an annual turnover of around £80 million. She is a member of the World Knowledge Dialogue Scientific Board, president of the ESPCI ParisTech Scientific Committee, and "Scientist in Residence" for the first symposium in 2006 in Crans-Montana (Switzerland).
She is a Patron of WISE, a charitable organisation that encourages young women to pursue careers in Science, Engineering and Construction. as well as a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.
Awards and honours
Higgins was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1989. Her nomination reads:
|“||After obtaining a first degree in Physics the candidate undertook research in the field of Physical Chemistry. She started using neutron scattering as a tool for investigating molecular structure and dynamics at this stage, first applying the techniques to the study of polymers while a post-doctoral research assistant in the Chemistry Department at Manchester. She was closely involved with the development of new techniques, their application in Polymer Science and the formation of an international community of scientists using these techniques while employed as a Physicist at the Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble. Since Since [sic] returning to the UK at Imperial she has built an internationally recognised group. She is well-known for her studies of the dynamics of polymer molecules, especially in the bulk state and, more recently the thermodynamics and demixing processes in polymer blends. Dr Higgins has a wonderful ability for recognizing when a new area of polymer science is ripe for experimental study and has a row of 'firsts' to her credit.||”|
Other awards and honours include:
- Principal of the Faculty of Engineering (2006-7)
- Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2003-April 2007)
- Trustee, National Gallery until 2010
- Trustee, Daphne Jackson Trust
- Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
- Foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States
- Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 2003
- President, British Association for the Advancement of Science from 2003 until 2004.
A portrait of her by Tess Barnes was unveiled in June 2014 at Imperial College.
- "HIGGINS, Dame Julia (Stretton)". Who's Who 2014. Who's Who (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription required)
- Julia Higgins from the Scopus bibliographic database.
- "Dame Julia Higgins". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- Professor Dame Julia Higgins' profile, Ingenia, September 2007
- Symposium Opening speech by Julia Higgins 2008 on YouTube
- The Royal Society'sThe Vision Committee's Vision for the future of Science and Maths Education on YouTube, chaired by Julia Higgins
- "EC/1995/11: Higgins, Dame Julia Stretton". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2014-07-31.
- "List of Fellows". Royal Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "The Queen's birthday honours". 2001. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- ESPCI International Scientific Committee
- WISE Patrons
- "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- "Board of Trustees". National Gallery. 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- THE UK’S MOST OUTSTANDING WOMEN IN SET ANNOUNCED, 2010-03-25
- Imperial College News 2014-06-23 Imperial unveils historic portrait of leading female scientist