Professor Simone Hochgreb has joined the Engineering Department at Cambridge where she has been appointed to the Rolls-Royce funded Chair of Experimental Combustion.
She moves from the USA where she was an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and consulting engineer at Exponent Inc.
Professor Hochgreb brings her expertise in combustion to the challenging field of lean premixed combustion in gas turbines. She is excited at the prospect of working with the world-leading group at Cambridge. "There is a strong basis in theoretical and computational combustion at Cambridge" she says, "and I welcome this opportunity which will bring the theoreticians and modelers directly into contact with the experimentalists".
Professor Hochgreb is enthusiastic about returning to teaching. She also has strong views on why young women are reluctant to take up engineering as a career. Role models are very important, while positive discrimination can sometimes be counterproductive. It is absolutely essential that posts be filled on the basis of merit, she says, yet opportunities must be created to attract women into the selection pool.
The new chair is funded by Rolls-Royce as part of the University Gas Turbine Partnership (UGTP). It is central to the expansion in combustion research at Cambridge University, which aims to lead advances in clean and reliable combustion processes for electricity generation and to power aircraft and ships. The EPSRC is contributing an initial £0.5M of research funding to go with the chair, while the Isaac Newton Trust, based in Trinity College, is funding a related lectureship.