Proud partner of the Women in Defence Awards


This year, QinetiQ is sponsoring the Innovation category at the Women in Defence awards.

Not only are we honoured to be a part of the event, but we are also immensely proud that one of our people, Dorothy Holford, has been nominated for a lifetime of dedication and outstanding achievements in support of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Outstanding Contribution category.

Dorothy has worked in QinetiQ, and our predecessor organisations, for over 60 years after having joined the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) as a mathematician in 1959 straight from school. During this time, she has spent the majority of her career in the Structures group, becoming the foremost specialist in her field of aircraft loads and is now a QinetiQ Senior Fellow providing specialist advice across Fast Jet and Air Support platforms.

Highly respected throughout the UK, US and European major aircraft companies, as well as within the RAF, Dorothy has been responsible for the introduction of several requirements into the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) certification standard for aircraft dealing with the loading of structures due to gusts and turbulence and of the monitoring of aircraft fatigue. She has championed the requirement for loading to be measured on all types of UK military aircraft during daily flying tasks; advised on all the Operational Loads Measurement programmes that have arisen in compliance with the requirement; and assisted aircraft designers in the interpretation of the data gathered. She provides a wealth of advice across a wide range of platforms through the life cycle from specification requirements and certification to Release to Service and in-service monitoring.

Dorothy is constantly called upon to represent the MOD’s interest in complex technical discussions with aviation’s leading technical authorities, UK, US and European civil regulatory organisations and to advise senior defence personnel. She played a key role in setting the Special Conditions on Airbus for the certification of the A400M and recent updates to Hercules C-130J. She continues to support the C130J Hercules on loading issues and has provided the loads specialism behind the MOD's Release to Service of Typhoon, having worked on this programme since its inception.

Further to her illustrious career, Dorothy was awarded an OBE for Services to Military Aviation in June 2015 in recognition of the national significance of her contribution.

Dorothy’s length of service, working at the very top of her profession, and the highly specialised nature of her work mean that her overall contribution to military aviation safety is unparalleled.