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Fellows Directory

Ann Dowling

Ann Dowling

Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS


Elected: 2003


Ann Dowling is a mechanical engineer who investigates ways in which we can obtain quieter and more environmentally friendly aviation and power. To reduce harmful emissions, gas turbines in aircraft and industry often operate on the verge of instability. By applying theoretical modelling and experimental approaches, Ann is finding ways to reduce the excessive noise produced under these conditions.

She was the first ever female professor to be appointed at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. During this time, as UK lead of the Silent Aircraft Initiative — a joint Cambridge–MIT project — she helped to demonstrate that ultra-low noise aircraft can be developed using currently available technology.

Since 2014, Ann has been the President of the Royal Academy of Engineering — the first women to take on this position of leadership in engineering. In recognition of both her research and leadership achievements, she received a CBE in 2002 for services to mechanical engineering, followed by a DBE in 2007 for services to science.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Engineering
    • Engineering, aeronautical, Engineering, mechanical


Acoustics, Combustion, Gas turbines, Aircraft, Jet engines


  • Royal Medals

    For her leading research on the reduction of combustion, aerodynamic noise and the design of aircraft, and her distinguished services to engineering.

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