Rowena Innocent - Aegis Professor of Technology, Innovation and Equality

Rowena Innocent was appointed to an Aegis Professorship in December 2021, working across the Faculty of Science as Aegis Professor of Technology, Innovation and Equality. 

Rowena has 30 years’ experience in research and product development for industrial applications. In April 2022 she was appointed to the newly created role of Senior Vice President of Engineering at Ultraleap, which manufactures interactive user interfaces using hand tracking and haptics. Her previous roles included Group Head of STEM* strategy at Spectris plc, a supplier of precision instrumentation and controls, and Vice President of Research and Development at Malvern Panalytical** (formerly Malvern Instruments), a market leader in material characterisation, instrumentation and services. Rowena led global research and development teams in designing and delivering new products, working with both well-established and ‘bleeding edge’ technologies, including acquisition and integration of smaller businesses and start-ups.  

As part of her strategy to support the business' growth ambitions, Rowena set up a student program for Malvern Panalytical and established a data science team in Bristol, leading to a formal partnership with the University. She is passionate about supporting the next generation of scientists and technologists, and is a STEM ambassador, engaging in outreach at schools. She is also a Trustee for NMITE (New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering), an initiative to respond to the UK’s shortage of engineers by transforming engineering education. Most recently she created the Spectris Foundation to support education and training in STEM subjects for under-represented groups. 

In her role as Aegis Professor, Rowena has a broad remit to work across the Faculty, sharing her industry expertise with colleagues. She will provide coaching and mentoring to fellowship applicants and support early careers researchers and academics with innovation and spin ups. She is also dedicated to diversity in innovation and will work with the Faculty to develop activities supporting this.


Enterprise Masterclass podcast: Building Productive Relationships with Industry

On 30 November 2023, as part of the University's Enterprise Masterclass series, Rowena was interviewed by Michele Barbour, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Enterprise & Innovation. Rowena and Michele discussed how to build trusting and fruitful relationships with industry, the importance of shared goals, and how to create that all-important contact network.

Listen to the discussion on our Science in Partnership podcast, via the link below.


*STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics 

**Malvern Panalytical is part of Spectris plc. 

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Rowena Innocent
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