Professor Katrina Thompson

Innovator in Focus

Explore the Museum of Innovation
Professor Katrina Thompson standing with her arms crossed in Belfast harbour, Harland and Wolff cranes visible in the background
Katrina Thompson is leading and overseeing the launch of the world’s most advanced high-speed zero-emission passenger ferry, and developing the technical and operational requirements for a maritime transport system of the future.
Her love of maths and physics as a child has lead her to an exciting career in engineering, constantly pursuing new skills and knowledge and applying her expertise in industrial settings.

Personal Life

As a child growing up in Belfast, Katrina had no idea that engineering was a career that was open to her. She loved maths and physics at school and some advice from her physics teacher led her to an engineering open day at Queen’s University Belfast. It was here she realised that she could take her interests in these subjects and develop them into a challenging and rewarding career. What she did not expect was that throughout her career she would return to university education at various times, never losing the desire to find out more about how physical structures could be designed and improved. 

Katrina has pursued a career across many disciplines in engineering; working in London, America and Canada; crafting a career that is varied, whilst picking up new skills, new knowledge, and pursuing new opportunities for applying them in an industrial setting.

She is married to Ian, a consultant structural engineer, and has a daughter Dara, who is studying Business Economics. She loves hiking with her black Labrador, Lacy.

Professional Life

Katrina is Chief Engineer for Research and Technology at Artemis Technologies. As Programme Director for the Strength in Places funded Belfast Maritime Consortium, Katrina is leading the programme which will launch the world’s most advanced high-speed zero-emission passenger ferry, the Artemis EF-24 Passenger. The Belfast Maritime Consortium is working to develop a sustainable maritime transport system of the future.  

Artemis EF-24, Artemis Technologies
Artemis EF-24 Passenger

A chartered engineer and graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, she has over 30 years of industrial experience across the aerospace, telecommunications, and maritime sectors. Her primary technical expertise is in numerical methods and modelling, specialising in finite element analysis of major aircraft structures. She also has several years of experience as a software engineer and project manager, across all phases of the software development lifecycle. She has a Ph.D. in Computational Fluid Dynamics, and an MSc in Finite Element Analysis. Her most recent role before joining Artemis was part of a post-doctoral research project with Rolls-Royce, designing aero-structural conceptual design tools. 

Katrina is an Honorary Professor of Practice in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. 

Watch the video below to learn more!

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast – 1989-1992 
  • PhD in Aeronautical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast – 1994-1999 
  • Master of Science, Theoretical and Practical Application of Finite Element Method and CAE Simulation, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia – 2012-2014 
  • Honorary Professor of Practice in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast – 2023-present 
A boat moves through the water. It seems to be raised up out of the water, balanced by two silver propellors underneath the boat.
Artemis EF-12 Workboat, image courtesy of Artemis Technologies