Rachel Thomson is a Professor of Materials Engineering, and Director of the Materials Research School at Loughborough University. Rachel is one of our most respected academics, and has been nominated personally by Professor Shirley Pearce, the University's Vice Chancellor. After a successful career at Cambridge University, Rachel moved to a lectureship at Loughborough in 1995. She was promoted to a Personal Chair in 2002 - one of the youngest Professors appointed at Loughborough.Rachel works closely with industry and uniquely combines academic excellence with delivering solutions to challenging problems. She is an enthusiastic inspiring teacher, motivator and communicator. As well as her academic credentials, Rachel is a great advocate for the development of early career researchers, and actively supports UKRC, responsible for advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.