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Measurement for Recovery - M4R
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Measurement for Recovery - M4R

Karen Holford

Karen Holford

Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University

My engineering career spans industry and academia and is characterised by individual engineering excellence and leadership involving responsibility for people, finance and technical decisions.

My primary role is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University.  I also continue to enage in research as Rsearch Professor in Mechancial Engineering. From 2012 -2017 I was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Physical Sciences and Engineering and prior to this I  was Head of the School of Engineering.

My career began at Rolls Royce where, as an undergraduate apprentice engineer, I contributed to a range of technical projects including work on the Adour and Pegasus engines in collaboration with engineers from Europe and the United States as well as development work in advanced engineering. At AB Electronic Products I was senior engineer and responsible for project management of a variety of technical projects including the design and development of a significant new product (a thin film pressure sensor for BMW ABS systems) as well as developing automotive electronic products for Jaguar Rover.

I have now worked in academia for over 29 years. The now substantial reputation of the AE group in Cardiff, led now by Dr Rhys Pullin, has grown through provision of research funds from EPSRC, Innovate UK, EU and industrial sponsors. The strategy has been to achieve long-term quality by well-designed research and transfer of technology to field applications; recognition of this is exemplified by the high level of industrial support, the licence agreement with Physical Acoustics, an impact case study for REF 2014 and the Highways Agency advice note for the use on the technique in the field. Our approach has been to demonstrate the true potential of the method by exploitation of advances across many fields. Through this work, Cardiff University has gained an international reputation for research in AE and has the best equipped experimental AE facility in Europe. The group is making a major contribution to the knowledge of the technique of Acoustic Emission in particular the application of the technique to the location of faults in real engineering structures. The current work is not only addressing parts of the technique which were previously ignored, such as the relationship between the physical parameters and the detected signal, but also the use of computational techniques in order to exploit these features for classification purposes and to increase location accuracy. I have published 160+ research works including 90+ papers in peer-reviewed journals. My primary research theme is damage assessment using acoustic emission applied across a range of industrial applications including bridges (commercialised under licence agreement with Physical Acoustics Ltd and included in a Highways Agency Advice note) and aerospace landing gear (with EPSRC and Messier-Dowty) and across a range of materials including composites (with Airbus and Boeing), concrete and metals.