Professor Elaine Martin joins the Trustee Board of the Royal Academy of Engineering

The Head of School of Chemical and Process Engineering, Professor Elaine Martin OBE has been elected to the Trustee Board of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE).

The Board comprises 13 trustees elected by and from the 1,500-strong Fellowship and is chaired by the President, Professor Dame Ann Dowling.

"I’m absolutely delighted to have been elected,” says Professor Martin. “The RAEng is going through a period of change. It’s becoming more transparent, focused and action-oriented, and this is a fantastic opportunity to influence the scope and strategy of the organisation at a relatively early stage in its transition period. 

"As a member of the Trustee Board we are responsible for overseeing the work of the RAEng’s 12 committees, and I hope to play a bigger part in some of these during the course of the next three years.

I’m also absolutely passionate about bringing the experience and knowledge I gain back here to benefit Leeds. Making those important contacts, having key information and knowing what’s going on at a strategic level in the RAE will be hugely beneficial to us.

Professor Martin originally trained as a civil engineer at the University of Glasgow, before completing a further degree in statistics and a doctorate in environmental statistics."

Until coming to Leeds, she was in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials at the University of Newcastle, where she was Dean of Research for the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering for three years and latterly Acting Head of School.

She was also heavily involved with the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, shaping agendas and identifying opportunities as member and then chair of the Technical Opportunity Panel. She received the OBE for Services to Sciences as a result of influencing strategy for the research councils.

"My career has been a bit strange because of my knowledge of engineering and expertise in statistics,” continues Professor Martin. “I use statistics across a wide range of different areas, working with industries such as oil and gas, speciality chemicals, and biopharma.

A lot of what I do is around the characterisation of processes; I use information gained from data together with fundamental knowledge of a processes, to develop a new process and get it up and running quickly.

I’m a great believer in keeping things simple, even though they may have very complex roots. I still do fundamental research, searching for new methods of analysing data. It’s a fascinating area which enables me to work across disciplines with chemists, biologists, physicists, engineers and mathematicians. There are enormous opportunities at Leeds and I’m thriving on the challenges of the job."