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Distinguished engineer appointed to drive Ulster University composites research capability

Royal Academy Of Engineering : 11 November, 2014  (Company News)
One of the UK’s most influential and respected engineers has been appointed by Ulster University to further enhance the institution’s global research capability in the highly competitive area of composites and aerospace materials. Professor Eileen Harkin-Jones, has joined the university as its newly created Bombardier-Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair.
An international leader in materials development, most notably in the melt processing of polymer nanocomposites and the development of free surface moulding processes, Harkin-Jones has published over 200 papers in her field and has headed up several multi-million pound major research groups in these areas.
In 1999, Professor Harkin-Jones was appointed as the first female engineering professor in Ireland and for three years she sat as Chair of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) in Northern Ireland. In 2011 Professor Harkin-Jones was one of nine women elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was awarded an OBE for services to higher education in Northern Ireland in the 2013 honours list.
Focusing primarily on aerospace composites and building upon Ulster University’s already renowned capability in this sector, Harkin-Jones will also foster collaborations and partnerships across other key engineering research areas including computing, metal forming and nanotechnology.
Ulster University Vice-Chancellor Richard Barnett said: “Ulster University’s expertise in the area of advanced materials engineering within our Engineering Research Institute, particularly modelling and manufacturing processes, is internationally respected, no more so than in the aerospace sector.
“From the development of a platform of advanced manufacturing technologies to the development of globally leading materials concepts and commercialisation, Ulster University is impacting on local and international economies via technology transfer, consultancies and spin-outs; developing the core skills which are shaping key industry sectors and adding value to this region’s FDI proposition.
“Professor Harkin-Jones, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, brings many years of expertise, partnerships and strategically important skills. This can only enhance our relationship with both Bombardier and the Royal Academy, adding value to this university’s already world class research credentials and supporting the wider STEM skills agenda.”
Harkin-Jones said: “The specialist engineering research undertaken at Ulster University is truly exceptional. The advances made by the university’s talented and respected engineers, particularly across composites and metal forming, provides a perfect foundation from which I can work to enhance the institution’s materials research capability. It is also a major opportunity to support growth and research opportunities with one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, which is already known for its investment in materials innovation.”
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