Media Centre

Press releases

Sunburst behind Hazlerigg building

Professor Rachel Thomson appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching at Loughborough University

Rachel Thomson, Professor of Materials Engineering, has been appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching at Loughborough University.

Professor Thomson is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she studied for her undergraduate degree, in Natural Sciences, specialising in Physics and Theoretical Physics, her MA and PhD. She then spent a further three years at Cambridge as a Research Fellow.

In 1995 Professor Thomson moved to Loughborough University to take up a lectureship position within the Department of Materials. She made senior lecturer four years later and in 2002 was promoted to a Chair in Materials Engineering, one of the youngest professors ever appointed at Loughborough.

After a period as Head of the Department of Materials, Professor Thomson was appointed as Dean of the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering in 2014, becoming Loughborough University’s first female Dean within engineering.

Recently Professor Thomson has been spearheading the establishment of STEMLab, a £17 million development that will enhance the University’s teaching and learning facilities for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

She is also an active researcher, developing high temperature materials for power generation.

Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, said: “I am delighted that Professor Thomson has been appointed to such a pivotal role. The selection committee agreed unanimously that Rachel was the exceptional candidate from a field that included senior staff from other leading UK universities.

“As part of the appointing process Professor Thomson presented a truly exciting vision for learning and teaching at the University, which will build upon the outstanding work done by Professor Morag Bell, who vacates the Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching role at the end of the summer.”

Of her appointment, Professor Thomson said: “I am honoured to be taking on the important role of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching at Loughborough University.

“This is an exciting time for Loughborough as it continues to rise in the league tables, which is testament to the dedication of our staff and students, partners and alumni, and invest in new facilities to enrich the curriculum.

“I am passionate about the success of Loughborough University and am very much looking forward to providing leadership for the future development of teaching, learning and the wider student experience at our campuses in London and Loughborough.”

Professor Thomson will take up her role as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching in the autumn.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/80

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in theGuardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Related expert



Hannah Baldwin

Head of Corporate Communications

Telephone: 01509 222239

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224