An Oxford University Physics graduate, Kate started out as a computer programmer then took up a post as a trainee audio engineer for the BBC. She completed her training in the early 1990’s – despite already achieving success in front of the camera as a presenter for Tomorrow’s World. In 2003, Kate was awarded an MSc in Electronic Communication Systems by the University of Hertfordshire and is, once again, a student – in 2020 she embarked on a part-time PhD course at the Centre for Engineering Education at UCL.
Kate’s presenting skills came to the attention of BBC producers in the early 1990s. She was talent-spotted taking part in a series of engineering lectures for schools. Her success in the BBC Schools series ‘Techno’ led to her being offered a prize job in broadcasting – fronting the weekly live show Tomorrow’s World from 1990 to 1994. She went on to host the children’s ITV science programme ‘Big Bang’ and then Radio 5 Live’s ‘The Acid Test’.
In 2010, Kate returned to the BBC to feature as a reporter for the ‘Museum of Life’ – a 6 part documentary series on the amazing work behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum. Kate continues to present programmes and features as a contributor and commentator for news and current affairs. She was a major contributor to the documentary series ‘Disasters Engineered’.
Championing Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)
While working for the BBC, Kate became involved with the WISE Campaign and also took on the role of President of Young Engineers, working with their network of clubs in schools and colleges. Then, in 2010, Kate was appointed National STEM Careers Coordinator for the Department of Children, Schools and Families where her focus was to enable all young people to be able to make informed STEM subject and career choices.
A personal passion to champion opportunities in STEM, particularly for women, has led Kate to work with numerous organisations and companies including Young Engineers, the Women’s Engineering Society, the WISE Campaign, the Engineering Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institute of Physics and the Primary Science Teaching Trust.
Lifelong Learner and Educator
Kate is a committed lifelong learner. She delayed her honeymoon to finish her A level French exams which she was studying for at evening classes, while working as a TV presenter. And while some people take a career break when starting a family, Kate took a part-time masters in Electronic Communication Systems and in 2003 gained her MSc with Distinction from the University of Hertfordshire. Twenty years later, with her own children now university students, Kate has embarked on a part-time PhD at UCL.
Volunteering in her children’s school inspired Kate to take on another personal challenge, training to be a teacher. In 2007 she gained Qualified Teacher Status having done the GTP programme in KS3&4 Maths and later returned to teaching for 6 months providing illness cover for Physics GCSE and A Level.
Kate’s Roles and Honours
|Recent roles include||Honours|
|Alumni Association of the University of Hertfordshire – President||2016 – University of Hertfordshire. Honorary Doctorate in Science|
|Bloodhound SSC – Education Ambassador Development||2016 – IChemE – John Collier Medal|
|Institution of Engineering and Technology, Member of Knowledge Management Board||2016 – Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce – Outstanding Contribution to Business Award|
|Kings College London ASPIRES Project – Advisory Panel Member||2015 – University of Bradford. Honorary Doctorate in Engineering|
|Medicines Discovery Catapult – Non-Executive Director||2014 – University of Hertfordshire. New residential block named ‘Bellingham Court’|
|National Science and Engineering Competition – Chair of Judging Panel||2014 – De Montfort University. Honorary Doctorate in Science|
|National STEM Programme, National STEM Careers Coordinator||2014 – University of Hull. Honorary Doctorate in Technology|
|STEM Ambassador – School STEM Club leader||2013 – University of Kent. Honorary Doctorate in Science|
|University of Hertfordshire, Court Member||2012 – University of the West of England. Honorary Doctorate in Science|
|Women’s Engineering Society (WES) – Fellow and Active Member||2004 – Royal Academy of Engineering Public Promotion of Engineering Medal|
|Young Engineers, President||1997 – University of Staffordshire Honorary Doctorate in Technology|
The Arts – a personal passion!
It’s no accident that Kate is a natural performer on the podium and live TV – she is an accomplished stage artist and musician. She holds grade 8 in piano, oboe and voice, is a trained classical singer and has been actively involved in stage performance since she was at school. Kate says, “People suggest I am not a ‘typical’ engineer. I believe that we should not be pigeon-holed by our profession, and I am proud to show that through my love of music and theatre.”