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Ainsworth was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. After an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce Aeroengines, he studied at Jesus College, Oxford and was awarded a First Class BA in 1973, and became Doctor of Philosophy in 1976.
Industry and Academic Career
Dr. Ainsworth then worked in industry, initially for Rolls-Royce and later for the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. He returned to Oxford in 1985 as a tutorial Fellow of St Catherine's College where he stayed until 2002. He was awarded the title of Professor of Engineering Science in 1998. He was elected Master of St Catherine's in 2002. He is also a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University. In the academic year 1998/99 he served as Senior Proctor. He has also been Chair of the Board of the Department for Continuing Education.
Appointments and Accolades
Among his other appointments Ainsworth is a Visiting Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He has been a member of the Science Review Panel which advised the Irish Government on the funding of universities; a technical evaluator for the NATO Advisory Group for Research and Development; an advisor to Oxford Catalysts Group plc; a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; a member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; a member of the Oxford Philomusica Advisory Council; Chairman of the Hinksey Fields Protection Group; Chairman of the Broad Street Plan Group of the Oxford Preservation Trust; a trustee of the Oxford School of Drama.
He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by HM The Queen of Denmark in recognition of his promotion of the work of Arne Jacobsen, the Danish architect who designed St Catherine's. He was unable to attend the ceremony at the Danish Embassy and instead the honour was presented to him by the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Tom Risdahl Jensen, during a college feast.
He married Sarah Ainsworth in 1978, with whom he has three children.
Sources and further information
- Danish Knighthoods Bestowed on Britons, Embassy of Denmark, London (14 February 2007)
- Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford
- Danish Honour for the Master[dead link]
- Oxford Catalysts
- The year's review, Heads of Houses
- Oxford Philomusica People
- Oxford Preservation Trust News
- Oxford Preservation Trust Archive
- Oxford School of Drama
- Claire Sanders, 'University grandee reaches for his lawyer', Times Higher Education Supplement (30 June 2006)
Sir Peter Williams
| Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford