Joanna Kennedy

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Dr Joanna Kennedy OBE FREng FICE, (born 22 July 1950),[1] is a British civil engineer and project manager. She is currently a non-executive director of the property company Native Land[2] and a director of the ERA Foundation,[3] having been Global Leader for Programme and Project Management at Arup until 2013 (a Director from 1996). She is a Patron of Women into Science and Engineering (WISE),[4] which she helped launch in 1984.[5] She became a Trustee of Cumberland Lodge in 2001[6] and in June 2015 was appointed a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery.[7][8]

Early life, education and family[edit]

Born Joanna Alicia Gore Ormsby, in London, Kennedy was educated at The Abbey School, Reading and Queen Anne's School, Caversham and won a scholarship to Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford; she was one of just three females among over a hundred engineering students and graduated with first class honours in Engineering Science and the ICE Prize.[9]


Kennedy joined Ove Arup & Partners, consulting engineers, in 1972[10] and her projects as a design engineer included the M25 Runnymede Bridge[11] and St Paul's Thameslink station. She was a founder of the firm's project management practice in 1990, became its leader for Europe in 2006 and was appointed Global Leader for Programme and Project Management in 2010. The practice was the APM Project Management Company of the Year in both 2007[12] and 2012.[13]

She was project director for redevelopments at the Southbank Centre designed by Richard Rogers, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall,[14] Hackney Empire, the Horniman Museum and she led the design team for the remodelled King's Cross St. Pancras tube station.

She was Arup's project management director from 2008 to 2013 for the Francis Crick Institute[15] and from 2009 to 2013 project director for the planned Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre.[16][17]

Kennedy's other appointments have included Vice-Chairman of the Port of London Authority,[18] a Commissioner of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, a Trustee of the Science Museum [3] and a member of the Engineering Council.[9]

She was appointed to the Council of the University of Southampton from 1996 until 1999,[1] and of the Royal College of Art from 2001 until 2016 (also chairing the Buildings & Estates Committee).[19] She was commissioned as a Major in the Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps in 2004[20] and was elected to the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers in 2005.[1]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "'KENNEDY, Joanna Alicia Gore', Who's Who 2016". A&C Black. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. ^ "People – Native Land". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Our Board - ERA Foundation". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  4. ^ "WISE Patrons". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  5. ^ "History of WISE". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Cumberland Lodge – Our People". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  7. ^ "The Prime Minister appoints a new Trustee to the National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Joanna Kennedy reappointed as Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b Richmond, Caroline (7 June 1984). "Joanna Kennedy: A builder of bridges". New Scientist: 38.
  10. ^ "Debretts People of Today". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  11. ^ Taylor, Allegra (June 1985). "Women engineering change". Illustrated London News: 34–37.
  12. ^ "Arup win Project Management Company of the Year".
  13. ^ "APM award winners 2012".
  14. ^ "Shiver my timbers (RIBA journal December 2002)" (PDF).
  15. ^ Berry, Steve. "Engineering DNA" (PDF). CIBSE Journal (September 2014): 24–28. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  16. ^ "A Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre Volume 1: Feasibility Study Report" (PDF). Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  17. ^ "The Origins of the DNRC programme". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Inspiring Women Engineers". Royal Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  19. ^ "RCA Celebrates Battersea Milestone as Woo Building Frame is Completed". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Army appointments" (PDF). The London Gazette. Supplement: 3165. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Queen's Birthday Honours 1995" (PDF). The London Gazette. Supplement: 12. 17 June 1995.
  22. ^ "Celebrating Leading Women in Engineering". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  23. ^ Arnold, Damian (15 August 2007). "Inspirational Force: Joanna Kennedy, Woman of the Year". New Civil Engineer.
  24. ^ "Joanna Kennedy wins First Woman of Engineering Award 2013". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  25. ^ "First Women Awards Winners 2013".
  26. ^ "Honorary Fellows - RCA". Retrieved 26 November 2017.