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Roger Ainsworth is Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford and Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford.

Ainsworth was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. After completing an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce Aeroengines, he studied at Jesus College, Oxford (BA, MA, DPhil).

After completing his DPhil in 1976 he worked for Rolls-Royce and the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. He returned to Oxford in 1985 as a tutorial Fellow of St Catherine's College which he stayed until 2002. He was awarded the title of Professor of Engineering Science in 1998. He was elected Master of St Catherine's in 2002. He is also a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University. In the academic year 1998/99 he served as Senior Proctor. He has also been Chair of the Board of the Department for Continuing Education.

Among his other appointments Ainsworth is a Visiting Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He has been a member of the Science Review Panel which advised the Irish Government on the funding of universities; a technical evaluator for the NATO Advisory Group for Research and Development; an advisor to Oxford Catalysts Group plc; a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; a member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; a member of the Oxford Philomusica Advisory Council; Chairman of the Hinksey Fields Protection Group; Chairman of the Broad Street Plan Group of the Oxford Preservation Trust; a trustee of the Oxford School of Drama.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by HM The Queen of Denmark in recognition of his promotion of the work of Arne Jacobsen, the Danish architect who designed St Catherine's. He was unable to attend the ceremony at the Danish Embassy and instead the honour was presented to him by the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Tom Risdahl Jensen, during a college feast.

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