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Image © Andy Rankine

66th RJ Mitchell Lecture

Making the Impossible Possible

Warren East CBE

CEO Rolls Royce PLC

Thursday 13th October 2022

6 pm - Drinks Reception

7 pm - Lecture

Venue:  Turner Sims Concert Hall

University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

 Advanced Registration Required
Free Event open to all

We are pleased to be able to welcome Warren East CBE to present the 66th RJ Mitchell lecture.


Warren will share some of his experience as CEO, both at ARM and Rolls-Royce. He will talk about the imminent challenge (opportunity!) of the transition to Net Zero for Rolls-Royce and conclude with some reflections on his journey as a leader of transformational technology companies.

[Image courtesy of Rolls Royce]

Warren has held senior executive roles in the engineering industry for over 20 years as well as several non-executive appointments. Warren is currently on the supervisory board of ASML Holding N.V. and before being appointed as Chief Executive in July 2015, Warren was a non-executive director of Rolls-Royce plc. Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, Warren spent 11 years with Texas Instruments and 19 years with ARM, where he served as chief executive officer from 2001. Under Warren’s leadership, ARM matured into an established FTSE 100 business, the world’s leading semiconductor IP licensing company with an outstanding record of innovation and a strong commitment to research and development.

Warren was awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to engineering and technology. He is a fellow of the Royal Society; the Institution of Engineering and Technology; the Royal Academy of Engineering; a distinguished fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT; and a companion of the Chartered Management Institute. Warren graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Engineering Science and then went on to earn a Master of Business Administration degree from the Cranfield University School of Management as well as honorary doctorates from Newcastle and Cranfield.

History of the RJ Mitchell lecture

The R J Mitchell lecture is the prestige named lecture of the Solent branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Held annually, the lecture was established in 1954. Since that first lecture given by Mr. Joe Smith, a colleague of Mitchell's, many well known names from the aerospace world have accepted the invitation to present this lecture. The event has assumed international status with speakers from the USA and Europe.


Reginald Mitchell was the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire and the Schneider Trophy winning seaplane, the Supermarine S6B. Mitchell was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1895, and moved to Southampton in 1916 where he lived and worked until his death in 1937 at the early age of 42.

At the age of 24 he became chief designer and the following year was made chief engineer as well, for the Supermarine Aviation works which had its factory in the city. By the time he was 33 he was director and chief engineer of the company, which was then owned by the famous engineering firm of Vickers.

As well as the legendary Spitfire which first flew from what is now Southampton airport, he designed a total of 23 aircraft in just 16 years.

Past lectures

View details of the RJ Mitchell lectures since 1954 here.

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