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Professor Nicola Symonds

nC2 Engineering Consultancy, University of Southampton

Professor Nicola Symonds, a trailblazer in failure analysis and engineering safety, emerged as the first in her family to attend university. Graduating from the University of Southampton in 1996 with a degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, she later earned a Ph.D. in tribology, revealing an early passion for understanding material dynamics.

As a Chartered Engineer and distinguished member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Professor Nicola Symonds played a pivotal role in spearheading impactful aviation forensics investigations for 1710 Naval Air Squadron under the UK Ministry of Defence. In this capacity, she diligently delved into the intricacies of component failures, meticulously uncovering root causes, and proposing strategic preventive measures to elevate engineering safety standards for over a decade.

In 2010, Nicola transitioned her skills to academia, establishing and leading the nC2 Consultancy Unit at the University of Southampton. Under her guidance, nC2 has evolved into a highly respected consultancy, specialising in failure investigation and safety improvements for a wide range of industries. Recognised as a Professor in 2022 and honoured among the Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2023, Nicola continues to inspire as a leader who has not only broken gender barriers but also significantly contributed to the advancement of engineering safety on a global scale

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