Professor Rebecca Lingwood

Professor Rebecca Lingwood
Visiting Professor

Professor Rebecca Lingwood has over two decades of experience in higher education senior leadership with a deep commitment to widening opportunities and social mobility. From her own background, she knows how transformational higher education can be.

Rebecca graduated from the University of Cambridge with an undergraduate degree in engineering and continued there to complete her PhD. She is an internationally recognized research leader and professor in fluid dynamics and has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). She takes an active role for the RAEng, sitting on multiple committees and acts in a similar capacity for the Royal Society and for the Daphne Jackson Trust. Her research activities are based at the Royal Institute of Technology KTH (Stockholm, Sweden), where she is also an Affiliated Professor. Rebecca is a Halpin Consulting Fellow engaged in a range of projects for HE institutions.

Until October 2022, she was Provost of Brunel University London and prior to that she was Vice-Principal (Student Experience, Teaching & Learning) at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Earlier in her career she led continuing education at the University of Cambridge and before that she led continuing professional development at the University of Oxford with a strong focus on professionally orientated courses for career development and diversification. Rebecca is a strong advocate for the importance of adult education, lowering the barriers to entry, and the positive impact this can have on raising the aspirations of adult students’ children and wider families. 

Rebecca has worked for a start-up company in intellectual property and R&D management, and has worked extensively in partnerships with business, industry and further education. She introduced (employer-led) degree apprenticeship programmes to two universities, led the foundation of a University Technical College (a vocationally orientated school for 14-to-19 year olds), and led on two of the first 12 DfE-funded Institutes of Technology representing the anchor universities along with FE colleges and a host of anchor employers.

At QMUL and Brunel, where the student populations were largely from under-represented groups and less advantaged backgrounds, Rebecca led major university-wide student experience and innovative educational change programmes to improve outcomes during and beyond university for students and graduates. She has taken specific EDI roles in her work ranging, for example, from Athena SWAN leadership and sponsorship of women in STEM to personal sponsorship of individuals and multiple mentoring roles, to senior disabilities champion at Brunel and sponsorship of the university’s anti-racism work. Rebecca is a member of the Board of the Institute for Educational & Social Equity.

Qualifications and awards
  • FREng – Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • FRAeS – Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society
  • CEng FIMechE – Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • PFHEA – Principal Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy, HEA)
  • PhD, MA, BA (Hons) University of Cambridge