Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE FREng will become the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) from 1 December 2021, following approval by Council with the support of Senate.

She will join Bath from Aston University where she is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean leading the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. She will be responsible for developing and implementing the University’s Research Strategy, working alongside the Faculties, Schools, and colleagues across our organisation.

A Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, Sarah Hainsworth is a Professor of Materials and Forensic Engineering.

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List, for services to Engineering and Forensic Science.

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President, said: “I am very pleased to announce that Professor Hainsworth will be joining Bath as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) from December and wish to congratulate her most warmly on the appointment.

“She brings an extremely impressive track record as both a researcher and a leader in Higher Education and I am very much looking forward to working with her as we progress the University’s new Strategy.”

Professor Sarah Hainsworth said: “I am delighted to be joining Bath, and am looking forward to working with colleagues in all areas of the University to develop and deliver an ambitious new strategy for research.  It will be exciting to further grow and enhance the global reach and impact of Bath’s cutting-edge research, building on its strategic goals in sustainability, health and well-being, and digital innovation.”

Following an undergraduate degree and PhD at Newcastle University, Sarah worked at the University of Leicester where she held roles including Graduate Dean, Head of the Department of Engineering, and Director of the Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre. She is the current Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Her research expertise in Forensic Engineering is in the areas of knife crime and tool mark characterisation. Her work on stabbing with glass bottles has contributed to the development of standards for safer drinking glasses. She also has research interests in surface engineering, microstructural evolution in power plant materials, and measurement of residual stress in engineering components.

She was part of the research team that worked on the discovery of the body of Richard III at Leicester, working to characterise the weapon marks on the skeleton that allowed identification of how the King died on the battlefield – including the first use of micro-computed X-ray tomography in the analysis of tool marks in archaeological investigations.