Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge

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The Baroness Brown of Cambridge

Official portrait of Baroness Brown of Cambridge crop 2.jpg
Baroness King's official parliamentary photo
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
30 October 2015
Life Peerage
Personal details
Julia Elizabeth King

(1954-07-11) 11 July 1954 (age 65)
Colin William Brown (m. 1984)
EducationGodolphin and Latymer School
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA, PhD)
Known forThe King Review of low-carbon cars
Scientific career
ThesisFracture mechanisms in embrittled alloy steels (1979)

Julia Elizabeth King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, DBE FREng FRS FInstP CEng FRAeS (born 11 July 1954)[1] is a British engineer and crossbench member of the House of Lords, present Chair of the Carbon Trust and was the Vice-Chancellor of Aston University from 2006 to 2016.[2][3][4]


Julia King at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Climate Change Summit in 2008

King was born in London on 11 July 1954.[5] She was educated at Godolphin and Latymer Girls' School and New Hall, Cambridge, and graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first degree in Natural Sciences in 1975,[6] followed by a PhD in fracture mechanics in 1978.[7][6][1]


King continued at Cambridge as a Rolls-Royce research fellow for 2 years before taking a post as a lecturer at the University of Nottingham from 1980 to 1987.[5] In 1987 she became the first Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow. She then returned to Cambridge, holding a series of research and teaching positions from 1987 to 1994.[5] In 1994 she moved to Rolls Royce where she held a number of senior positions including Head of Materials, Managing Director of Fan Systems and Engineering Director of the Marine Business. She was appointed chief executive of the Institute of Physics in September 2002. From September 2004 to December 2006 she was Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College London, after which she joined Aston University as Vice-Chancellor[8] where she served until September 2016 when she was succeeded by Alec Cameron.[9] King was appointed as Chair of STEM Learning Ltd in September 2016.

King has held a number of senior public appointments and works closely with Government on education and technology issues. She is a member of the Committee on Climate Change,[10] the Airports Commission,[11] is the UK's Low Carbon Business Ambassador[12] and was previously a non-executive Director of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

She was an inaugural member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and is a former member of the World Economic Forum Automotive Council. She was a Board member of the Engineering and Technology Board (now EngineeringUK) from 2004 to 2008 and led a Royal Academy of Engineering Working Party on "Educating Engineers for the 21st Century" which published its final report in June 2007. King has advised the Ministry of Defence as Chair of the Defence Science Advisory Council and the Cabinet Office as a member of the National Security Forum. She was also a non-executive member of the Technology Strategy Board for five years.[citation needed]

She was a non-executive Director of Angel Trains[13] and is a non-executive director of the Green Investment Bank.[14] She was a member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership,[15] the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council,[16] and the Board of Universities UK, chairing its Innovation and Growth Policy Network.[17]

King was appointed by Gordon Brown, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, in March 2007 to lead the King Review to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport.[18] The interim analytical report was published in October 2007,[19] and the final recommendations in March 2008. She has published over 160 papers on fatigue and fracture in structural materials and developments in aerospace and marine propulsion technology, and has been awarded the Grunfeld, John Collier, Lunar Society,[20] Constance Tipper,[21] Bengough and Kelvin medals as well as the Erna Hamburger Prize and the 2012 President's Prize of the Engineering Professors' Council.[18]

Honours and awards[edit]

In 1997 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng)[1] and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to materials engineering in the 1999 Birthday Honours.[22] She is a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths Company, an Honorary Graduate of Queen Mary, University of London, the University of Manchester,[23] the University of Exeter and an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, Cardiff University and of the Institutions of Engineering and Technology, the Society for the Environment and the British Science Association. In 2006 she presented the Higginson Lecture.[24] On 5 May 2010, she discussed the challenges and opportunities that surround low-carbon transport when she delivered the Institution of Chemical Engineers 6th John Collier memorial lecture.[25][26] She is the UK government's low carbon business ambassador.[25] She has been named as an Inspiring Woman Engineer by the Royal Academy of Engineering[27] She was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to higher education and technology.[28]

On 13 October 2015 her appointment to become a life peer in the House of Lords was announced by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. She sits as a Crossbencher.[29] On 30 October 2015, her title was gazetted as Baroness Brown of Cambridge, of Cambridge in the County of Cambridgeshire.[30] She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017.[31] In the same year she was appointed one of two patrons of the Royal Microscopical Society, the other being fellow member of the House of Lords, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff.[32]

Personal life[edit]

King is married to Dr Colin William Brown,[1] Engineering Director at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.[33]


  1. ^ a b c d Anon (2017). "BROWN OF CAMBRIDGE, Baroness". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.41612. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Julia King Entry at ORCID
  3. ^ Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Davis, C. L.; King, J. E. (1994). "Cleavage initiation in the intercritically reheated coarse-grained heat-affected zone: Part I. Fractographic evidence". Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A. 25 (3): 563–573. doi:10.1007/BF02651598. ISSN 1073-5623.
  5. ^ a b c Debrett's People of Today Archived 21 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine Julia King
  6. ^ a b The Engineer Aston Vice-Chancellor Julia King
  7. ^ King, Julia (1979). Fracture mechanics in embrittled alloy steels. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 500492509. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.462079.
  8. ^ "Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, Prof. Dame Julia King -".
  9. ^ "Aston University appoints a new Vice-Chancellor". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Membership of the Committee".
  11. ^ Airports Commission Julia King
  12. ^ Press Release Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Aston University
  13. ^ "Angel Trains new non-exec".
  14. ^ Green Investment Bank Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Vice Chancellor joins the GBSLEP Board".
  16. ^ "EPSRC website". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ UUK Board Archived 16 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ a b Julia King career biography Archived 3 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ King Review of low-carbon cars issues analytical report Archived 8 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Aston Vice Chancellor awarded Lunar Society medal".
  21. ^ "Vice Chancellor receives Achievement Award".
  22. ^ "No. 55513". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1999. p. 9.
  23. ^ Falklands War veteran Simon Weston, author and screenwriter Professor Jeanette Winterson and scientist and academic leader Professor Dame Julia King will be awarded honorary degrees at The University of Manchester, University of Manchester 2014-10-22
  24. ^ Higginson Lecture speakers Archived 6 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ a b The Chemical Engineer, June 2010 page 24
  26. ^ IChemE news 7 May 2010 Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Julia Elizabeth King". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 6.
  29. ^ "Four new non-party-political peers". House of Lords Appointments Commission. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  30. ^ "No. 61400". The London Gazette. 5 November 2015. p. 21710.
  31. ^ Anon (2017). "Professor the Baroness Brown of Cambridge (Julia King) DBE FREng FRS". royalsociety.org. London: Royal Society.
  32. ^ "Report and Financial Statements (for the year ended 31 December 2017)" (PDF). Royal Microscopical Society. 31 December 2017. p. 2. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  33. ^ "EPSRC Appointments Assurance Committee Members Conflicts of Interest 2014/15" (PDF). Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Retrieved 30 October 2015.

Academic offices
Preceded by
Michael T. Wright
Vice-Chancellor of Aston University
Succeeded by
Alec Cameron