Professor Dame Sarah Springman, DBE, FREng, is Principal at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford. Sarah studied engineering sciences at Cambridge University. She then worked for five years as an engineer on several geotechnical projects in England, Fiji, and Australia before returning to Cambridge, where she earned her PhD in soil mechanics in 1989. Sarah became the first female Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in Western Europe when she joined ETH Zurich in 2007 and she was elected as Rector from 2015-2021. Her expertise lies in soil-structure-interaction and geotechnical aspects of natural hazards. She uses geotechnical modelling of soil-structure interaction to develop solutions to improve the design of structures and has led several large-scale multidisciplinary field tests to explore geotechnical aspects of natural hazards, in particular concerning surficial landslides and melting permafrost. Professor Springman served on the Swiss Science and Technology Council (2000–2007) and is currently a member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She chaired the Swiss Building Award Jury (2019 and 2021) and the Labsters’ Falling Walls Jury in 2021. She took over as Principal of St Hilda’s College at the University of Oxford in 2022.
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