Roger Ainsworth

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Roger Ainsworth
Roger William Ainsworth

17 November 1951
Died 23 February 2019 (aged 67)
Education Lancaster Royal Grammar School
Alma mater Jesus College, Oxford
Scientific career
Fields Engineering Science
Institutions St Catherine’s College, Oxford

Roger William Ainsworth (17 November 1951 – 23 February 2019)[1] was Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford and Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, England.[2]


Ainsworth was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. After an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce Aeroengines, he studied at Jesus College, Oxford and was awarded a First Class BA in 1973, and became Doctor of Philosophy in 1976.[3]

Industry and academic career

Professor Ainsworth then worked in industry, initially for Rolls-Royce and later for the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. [4] He returned to Oxford in 1985 as a Tutorial Fellow of St Catherine's College and, from 1998, as Professor of Engineering Science. He was elected Master of St Catherine's in 2002, a role he continued until his death. He was a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University from 2003 onwards. In the academic year 1998/99 he served as Senior Proctor. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Department for Continuing Education.[5]

Appointments and accolades

Among his other appointments Ainsworth was a Visiting Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He was a member of the Science Review Panel which advised the Irish Government on the funding of universities; a technical evaluator for the NATO Advisory Group for Research and Development; an advisor to Oxford Catalysts Group plc;[4] a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; a member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; a member of the Oxford Philomusica Advisory Council;[6] Chairman of the Hinksey Fields Protection Group;[7] Chairman of the Broad Street Plan Group of the Oxford Preservation Trust;[7] and a trustee of the Oxford School of Drama.[8]

He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by HM The Queen of Denmark in recognition of his promotion of the work of Arne Jacobsen, the Danish architect who designed St Catherine's. He was unable to attend the ceremony at the Danish Embassy and instead the honour was presented to him by the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Tom Risdahl Jensen, during a college feast.[9] [10][dead link] [5]. In 2002, he became an Honorary Fellow of his alma mater, Jesus College, University of Oxford. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, elected in 2004 in recognition of his work in the field of jet engine research. In 2017, he became a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, a distinction which acknowledged his academic excellence in the subject of mechanical engineering.[5]

He was Chairman of the Governors at Dragon School and a former Governor (and Vice-chairman) of Abingdon School and was awarded an Honorary Old Abingdonian status.[11]

Personal life

He married Sarah Ainsworth in 1978, with whom he had three children. He died of cancer on 23 February 2019.[5]

See also

Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Peter Williams
Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Peter Battle (pro-master)


  1. ^ "Roger Ainsworth (1951-2019)". St Catherine's College. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford". St Catherine's College.
  3. ^ "The year's review, Heads of Houses" (PDF). University of Oxford.
  4. ^ a b "PROFESSOR ROGER AINSWORTH, ADVISOR". Oxford Catalysts.
  5. ^ a b c d "Tribute to Professor Roger Ainsworth". University of Oxford.
  6. ^ "Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra Advisory Council". Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra.
  7. ^ a b "Oxford Preservation Trust receives a generous donation from Hinksey Fields Protection Group to further its work". Oxford Preservation Trust.
  8. ^ "The Oxford School of Drama Trustees:". Oxford School of Drama.
  9. ^ "Danish Knighthoods Bestowed on Britons, Embassy of Denmark, London (14 February 2007)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
  10. ^ "Danish Honour for the Master". St Catherine's College.
  11. ^ "Announcement from the Chairman of Governors of Dragon School - Professor Roger Ainsworth". Dragon School, Oxford.
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