Ann Dowling

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Dame Ann Dowling

Ann Dowling in Cambridge 2011.jpg
Dowling in 2011
Ann Patricia Dowling

(1952-07-15) 15 July 1952 (age 67)[1]
Alma materGirton College, Cambridge
Known forSilent Aircraft Initiative
Spouse(s)Thomas Paul Hynes[2]
Scientific career
ThesisAcoustic Sources in Motion (1978)
Doctoral advisorJohn Ffowcs Williams

Dame Ann Patricia Dowling OM DBE FRS FREng (born 15 July 1952) is a British mechanical engineer who researches combustion, acoustics and vibration, focusing on efficient, low-emission combustion and reduced road vehicle and aircraft noise. Dowling is a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering,[4][5] and from 2009 to 2014 she was Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge,[6] where she was the first female professor in 1993.[7][8][9][10][11][12] She is also the President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Academy's first female president.[5]


Dowling was educated at Ursuline Convent School, Westgate, Kent[2] and the University of Cambridge (as a member of Girton College), where after studying mathematics at undergraduate level, and following a summer job at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, she was awarded a PhD degree in 1978.[13] Dowling's doctorate was in aeroacoustics, specifically on the Concorde noise problem.[14]


Dowling's research career has been at University of Cambridge starting as a research fellow in 1977[1] but she has held visiting posts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Jerome C Hunsaker Visiting Professor, 1999) and at the California Institute of Technology (Moore Distinguished Scholar 2001).[1] Dowling is one of four main panel chairs for the Research Excellence Framework.[15]

On 3 February 2012, the oil company BP announced that Dowling was to become a non-executive director with immediate effect.[16] She has been a non-executive board member at BIS since February 2014.[17]

Awards and honours[edit]

Dowling was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 1996 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003. Her FRS nomination reads:


In February 2013 Dowling was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[19] and was the subject of an episode of The Life Scientific in 2012.[20]

Dowling is a Patron of the Women's Engineering Society (WES).[21]

In January 2014 Dowling was nominated for election as President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She took up the position in September 2014,[22][23][24] and in that role chaired a 2015 review (the 'Dowling Review') of business–university research collaboration,[25] published in July 2015.[26]

She was appointed a CBE in 2002 and promoted to DBE in 2007. In 2016 she was appointed to the Order of Merit.[27][28]

The James Watt International Gold Medal was awarded to her in 2016 by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for her work associated with efficient, low emission combustion; and understanding, modelling and reducing the noise from cars, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft .[29]

In November 2017, Dowling was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering alongside 18 foreign individuals including Bill Gates and L. Rafael Reif.[30]

In 2019 she received the Royal Medal.[31]


  1. ^ a b c Debrett's People of Today Archived 4 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Prof Dame Ann Dowling
  2. ^ a b "DOWLING, Prof. Dame Ann Patricia, (Dame Ann Hynes)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  3. ^ "Dame Ann Dowling". The Life Scientific. 28 August 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  4. ^ Notice Special No 1, Monday 2 October 2017 - Cambridge University reporter
  5. ^ a b "The President - Royal Academy of Engineering".
  6. ^ "Professor Dame Ann Dowling, OM DBE FRS FREng — CUED Division A". University of Cambridge Department of Engineering.
  7. ^ Archived 30 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Women of Outstanding Achievement:Professor Dame Ann Dowling
  8. ^ Dowling, A. P. (1997). "Nonlinear self-excited oscillations of a ducted flame". Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 346 (1): 271–290. Bibcode:1997JFM...346..271D. doi:10.1017/S0022112097006484.
  9. ^ Dowling, A. P. (1999). "A kinematic model of a ducted flame". Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 394 (1): 51–72. Bibcode:1999JFM...394...51D. doi:10.1017/S0022112099005686.
  10. ^ Dowling, A. P.; Stow, S. R. (2003). "Acoustic Analysis of Gas Turbine Combustors". Journal of Propulsion and Power. 19 (5): 751. doi:10.2514/2.6192.
  11. ^ Dowling, Anne (1983). Sound and Sources of Sound. Ellis Horwood. ISBN 0853125279.
  12. ^ Ann Dowling's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Dowling, Ann Patricia (1978). Picoustic Sources in Motion (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  14. ^ "Interview with Professor Dame Ann Dowling". Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  15. ^ HEFCE announcement of panel chairs accessed 16 July 2010
  16. ^ BP Board Changes Archived 20 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine 3 February 2012
  17. ^ "Non-executive board member Professor Dame Ann Dowling". Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  18. ^ "EC/2003/12: Dowling, Ann Patricia. Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 11 February 2014.
  19. ^ "Woman's Hour - The Power List 2013 - BBC Radio 4".
  20. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – The Life Scientific". Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Patrons: Women's Engineering Society". Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  22. ^ Royal Academy of Engineering Council nominates its first female President
  23. ^ "Royal Academy of Engineering selects first female president".
  24. ^ "Royal Academy of Engineering celebrates its first female President". Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  25. ^ The Dowling Review of business university research collaborations launches call for evidence, Royal Academy of Engineering, 23 January 2014. Accessed: 2 September 2015.
  26. ^ Business-university research collaborations: Dowling review final report, BIS, 2 July 2015. Accessed: 2 September 2015.
  27. ^ "No. 61470". The London Gazette. 13 January 2016. p. 546.
  28. ^ University of Cambridge: Cambridge academics honoured over the New Year (accessed 19 January 2016)
  29. ^ "JAMES WATT INTERNATIONAL GOLD MEDAL: ANN DOWLING". Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 19 August 2018.
  30. ^ Xiang, Bo (27 November 2017). "Bill Gates elected to Chinese Academy of Engineering". Xinhua. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  31. ^ Royal Medal 2019

External links[edit]

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Sir John Parker
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering
September 2014–
Succeeded by