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Professor Dame Ann Dowling

Kirsty Young interviews Professor Dame Ann Dowling, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the engineer and international expert on aircraft noise reduction, Professor Dame Ann Dowling.

The first female president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, one of her passions is encouraging more young people, particularly women to choose engineering as a career. In 1998 she became the first female professor of Engineering at Cambridge University and went on to be the first female head of the Department.

As a child she was fascinated with how things worked, taking her bike apart aged six, and even dismantling the electric lights in her dolls house. Later, an over enthusiastic session with her chemistry set caused the conservatory curtains to briefly catch fire.

A passion for aeroplanes led her down the path of aeroacoustics and aircraft noise reduction alongside her hobby of flying airplanes.

She was awarded the DBE for services to science in 2007 and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 2016.

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Available now

36 minutes

Last on

Fri 29 Jul 2016 09:00

Music Played

  • The Beach Boys

    Good Vibrations

    • The Beach Boys: Greatest Hits.
    • EMI.
  • Thomas Weelkes

    Give ear, O Lord

    Performer: The Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Conductor: David Skinner.
    • Grant The King A Long Life: English Anthems & Instrumental Music.
    • Obsidian.
  • Claude Debussy

    Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

    Performer: Peter Lloyd. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: André Previn.
    • Images Pour Orchestre.
    • EMI.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Un bel di vedremo

    Performer: Renata Scotto. Performer: The Chorus and Orchestra of the Rome Opera House.
    • Puccini: Madama Butterfly - Highlights.
    • EMI Classics.
  • Giuseppe Verdi


    Performer: Joan Sutherland. Performer: Marilyn Horne. Performer: Luciano Pavarotti. Performer: Martti Talvela. Performer: Chor der Wiener Staatsoper. Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Georg Solti.
    • Verdi Requiem.
    • Decca.
  • Joni Mitchell

    Both Sides, Now

    • Clouds.
    • Reprise.

    • Gustav Mahler

      Symphony No. 4, III, Ruhevoll.

      Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Georg Solti.
      • Symphony No. 4.
      • Decca.
  • Billie Holiday

    Our Love Is Here To Stay

    • Verve Silver Collection.
    • verve.

    The collected papers of Sir James Lighthill


    An artist's studio


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Ann Dowling
Producer Sarah Taylor


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