Julia Buckingham, who is currently pro-rector for education and academic affairs at Imperial College London, will take over at Brunel on 1 October, it was announced today.
She will replace Chris Jenks, a sociologist and philosopher, who became vice-chancellor and principal in February 2006.
Professor Buckingham, a former head of neurosciences and mental health at Imperial, is the first woman to be appointed as head of Brunel.
“I am looking forward to building on the strengths in research and education that Professor Jenks has developed to take the university to new heights,” she said.
Jane Kelly, chair of the university’s council, added that Professor Buckingham was “an outstanding candidate in a strong field of applicants”.
She also “demonstrates the skills, commitment and enthusiasm to build on Brunel’s strengths and aspirations”, Ms Kelly added.
There are currently 17 female vice-chancellors at the UK’s 115 universities – about 15 per cent, according to Universities UK.