Dame Julia Higgins to be the IOP's next president-elect

13 May 2015

Polymer scientist Prof. Dame Julia Higgins is to be the Institute’s next president-elect, taking up the role on 1 October 2015.

Julia Higgins

Prof. Higgins was elected unopposed and will serve as president-elect for a two-year term until 30 September 2017, then as president from 1 October 2017 until 30 September 2019.

An honorary fellow of the IOP, she is currently emeritus professor and senior research investigator at Imperial College London, and a member of the college’s council. She was principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial (2006-07), and previously director of its Graduate School in Engineering and Physical Sciences (2001-06).

She was professor of polymer science (1989-2007), and previously reader in polymer science (1985-89), in the Chemical Engineering Department, having joined Imperial as a lecturer in the department (1976-85).

Before moving to Imperial, she was a physicist at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France (1973-76), a research fellow at the Institut Charles Sadron, in Strasbourg, France (1972-73) and an SRC research fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Manchester (1968-72).

After completing a degree in physics at Somerville College, Oxford, and a D Phil in physical chemistry at the University of Oxford, she taught physics for two years at Mexborough Grammar School in Yorkshire (1966-68).

Prof. Higgins has held several chairmanships, including chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2003-07), of the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (2008-12), and of the Athena Project (1998-03). Her presidencies include president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (2002-03), and of the then British Association for the Advancement of Science (2003-04). She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1995 and was its foreign secretary and vice-president (2001-06).

She has been a trustee of the Daphne Jackson Trust, and in 2010 she was named as one of six Women of Outstanding Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology by the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET.