Professor who warned of heatwave spent 10 years designing tank armour

Met Office chief who warned Britain of ‘absolutely unprecedented’ heatwave spent 10 years designing tank armour

  • Dr Penny Endersby is a career scientist and spent decade designing tank armour
  • Cambridge-educated Endersby took the Met Office chief executive role in 2018
  • Dr Endersby said that the 40C temperatures were ‘not far off’ back in November 
  • Her career also included stints at Deloitte and British Gas before her weapons role

The Met Office official who starred in the now-viral video which warned of the perils of the coming heatwave spent ten years designing tank armour.

Dr Penny Endersby, the Met Office’s chief executive, is a career scientist and spent  decade designing armour for fighting vehicles.

After studying natural sciences at Cambridge and a short stint at British Gas, Dr Endersby joined the Ministry of Defence working for the Defence, Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

At the DSTL, Dr Endersby was an Armour Scientist and was responsible for designing light, fast and strong armour for tanks and people – including by carrying out explosives tests and firing trials.

At the DSTL, Dr Endersby was an Armour Scientist and was responsible for designing light, fast and strong armour for tanks and people

She told Grow Media that she ‘enjoyed being a cool scientist and not giving a second thought to management or operational aspects of the organisation.’

Dr Endersby starkly told The Telegraph last November that the 40C temperatures that are forecast for this week were coming in the near future.

Her Met Office said that it was considering naming heatwaves, in the same way as serious storms are given names, to raise public awareness.

Dr Endersby told The Sunday Telegraph that the public is now increasingly knowledgeable about storms since the weather service began naming them.

Now, the same tactic which could be used for heatwaves as concerns grow over more extreme hot summers in the future.

Last year set a new record for heat-related deaths in the UK according to Public Health England, with summer heatwaves leading to 2,556 deaths – a stark rise from less than 1,000 recorded in previous years. 

Dr Endersby’s inspiration as a young woman going into the sciences was to have a scientific theory named after her.

She said that her ambition as the daughter of an engineer and a classicist in 1970s London was to have an ‘Endersby theory’ taught at universities.

After leaving the MOD at 30, Dr Endersby went into management with Deloitte before joining the Met Office in 2018.

Her role as chief executive has become increasingly high-profile as extreme weather events become more frequent.

Her most public appearance so far has been the sombre that the Met Office released a dramatic video this week warning Britons are ‘not adapted to what is coming’ regarding the coming heatwave

The prolific professor is also a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a visiting professor in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

Her most public appearance so far has been the sombre that the Met Office released a dramatic video this week warning Britons are ‘not adapted to what is coming’ as she warned of ‘absolutely unprecedented’ conditions for the UK.

Health officials told Britons to ‘look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions’ – and transport bosses warned of major rail disruption. Operators advised passengers against non-essential travel next Monday and Tuesday, with speed restrictions likely

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