Professor Karen Holford CBE


Professor Holford is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University. Her career started at Rolls Royce in Bristol, where she completed an undergraduate apprenticeship, reading Mechanical Engineering at UWIST; followed by a PhD in Acoustic Emission at UCC, sponsored by HSE. She then worked as a senior design engineer at AB Electronic Products Ltd.

Image removed.In 1990, she joined Cardiff University’s School of Engineering as a lecturer and was appointed Director of the School in 2010. From 2012 -2017 she was Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of Physical Sciences and Engineering. Her research interest is in acoustic emission (AE), applied to damage assessment across a range of industrial applications. She has published over 160 research works, with more than 80 in peer-reviewed journals, and has led numerous research projects sponsored by research councils and industry totalling over £5M.

Professor Holford contributes enthusiastically to external activities on a voluntary basis: she was a founding member of the WISE in Wales committee; and has served as an advisory board member for ‘Science made Simple’ and a trustee of the Engineering Education Scheme for Wales. She is currently a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network and a member of Council of STFC. In 2015 she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and in 2016 she was named as one of the top 50 most influential women engineers in the UK

In 2018 Professor Holford received an CBE for services to Engineering and the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering.