Vice Chancellor receives Achievement Award

ICF Medal Prof Julia King
(Left to right) Professor John Knott , Professor David Taplin and Professor Dame Julia King
07 July 2013

Professor Dame Julia King and Professor John Knott of Birmingham University receive prestigious awards for their contributions towards structural integrity, fatigue and fracture.

Today (1st July 2013) Professor Dame Julia King DBE FREng of Aston University received an ICF Quadrennial Medal from Professor David Taplin on behalf of the International Congress on Fracture (ICF) for her pioneering contributions to the understanding of structural fatigue and fracture. She joins Professor John Knott OBE FRS FREng of Birmingham University, who received the ICF Quadrennial Sir Alan Cottrell Gold Medal: an international lifetime achievement award given every four years. Professor Dame King received the Tipper Silver Medal, which recognises international achievement at mid-career and is also awarded quadrennially - with the Inaugural Award in 2013.

These medals are named in honour of Sir Alan Cottrell (1919-2012) and Dr Constance Tipper (1894-1995), both international giants in their fields, who helped to create the modern discipline of Structural Integrity through books such as “Theoretical Structural Metallurgy” (Cottrell, 1948) and “The Brittle Fracture Story” (Tipper, 1962). Both Tipper and Cottrell were senior academics at Cambridge University.

John Knott is arguably the most prominent of Cottrell’s Cambridge research students.  He went on to establish a Fracture Research Group at Cambridge, 1970-1990, which then transferred to Birmingham, 1990-2010, and he has made many pioneering contributions to our understanding of the micromechanisms and mechanics of fatigue and fracture.

Julia was one of Knott’s research students from the Cambridge group. She has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of fatigue and fracture as well as being a leader in industrial research management and in the innovative leadership of technological universities.

David Taplin is Chief Executive Officer of ICF and chaired the Sir Alan Cottrell Memorial Symposium at the Thirteenth International Conference of Fracture (ICF13) in Beijing, China, 16 th – 21 st June 2013, where these awards were formally announced.  ICF13 was attended by 958 delegates from 49 countries. Other ICF Quadrennial Awards include those honouring Takeo Yokobori (Japan), George Irwin USA) & Paul Paris (USA) see


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Notes to Editors

The International Congress on Fracture (ICF) was initiated in Sendai Japan in 1965 at ICF1 and founded in Brighton UK in 1969 at ICF2. It is the world academy of structural integrity where the term structural integrity broadly relates to the avoidance of fracture in structures ranging in size from the scale of few atoms as in the case of biological cells, to components of machinery such as turbines and civil structures such as buildings and bridges with size scales ranging from centimetres to metres, and to the case of faults that can run into hundreds of kilometres in size in glaciers and in the earth's crust leading to geological activity and climate change. In each case the consequences of fractures  endanger human lives and have dire economic consequences. ICF provides a world platform for open and scientific discussion of these important topics through quadrennial and inter-quadrennial conferences conducted in various parts of the world.