Katherine Bellingham (born 1963) is an English engineer and television presenter most widely known for her role presenting the BBC science show Tomorrow's World from 1990–1994. Following a period pursuing other interests and raising children, she resumed her broadcasting career in 2010.
Bellingham was born in Buckrose, East Riding of Yorkshire, and educated at the independent Mount School on Dalton Terrace (A59) in York, followed by the University of Oxford, where she studied Physics. She graduated in 1984. She earned her MSc in Electronic Communications Systems Engineering from University of Hertfordshire.
Bellingham was a BBC radio engineer working in the BBC Broadcasting House in 1988 when she was selected to co-host the annual Faraday Lecture sponsored by the Institution of Electrical Engineers – a tour of live shows for school pupils around the UK. A BBC Schools producer saw her perform and she was offered a presenting role on a new Design and Technology programme called Techno.
She returned to her engineering training, but then applied for Tomorrow's World and joined the team of presenters working on the show in 1990 for four years.
Programmes she has presented include:
- Radio Five Live – The Acid Test from 1994–7 and Splitting the Difference in 1996
- BBC School Radio
- Radio 4 – Testing Times (four-part series in November 1999)
- BBC2 – Working in Engineering in 1999
- The Open University
- Children's ITV – The Big Bang from 1996–2004
After around five years of regular television work, hosting numerous live events and presenting corporate video programmes, Bellingham decided to focus first on her young family and then to follow her core professional interest by returning to university to secure an MSc in Electronics.
Promotion of engineering (especially for women)
She went on to train and work as a maths teacher until July 2007, but has now returned to her media work, and to promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to general public audiences, particularly school pupils. She is the DCSF's STEM Careers Champion (NSCC), Education Ambassador for the Bloodhound Engineering Adventure. Kate returned to TV screens in March 2010 as a regular co-presenter for Museum of Life a documentary series for BBC2 about the Natural History Museum. She was one of the celebrity judges at the National Science + Engineering Competition at The Big Bang Fair in March 2012, which rewards students who have achieved excellence in a science, technology, engineering or maths project and awarded prizes for the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls in 2015.
She was also involved with the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs) in October 2010, an event, organised by British-based Eureka and New Electronics, which aims to promote the engineering achievements of British companies. During the awards Kate wore the "e-dress" (designed by Abigail Williams from Amman Valley School and created by Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz of CuteCircuit), discussed the role of Design Technology (DT) in schools and its significance to British Engineering in the future.
In 1997, she received an honorary doctorate in Technology from Staffordshire University. In 2003, she received an MSc in Electronics from the University of Hertfordshire. She is President of Young Engineers, the national network of engineering clubs in schools and colleges. She is also a Patron of WISE, a charitable organisation that encourages young women to pursue careers in Science, Engineering and Construction. In 2011 she was awarded a Women of Outstanding Achievement Award, partly in recognition for her work as National STEM Co-Ordinator for Sheffield Hallam University's Centre for Science Education.
Bellingham is married to BBC maintenance engineer, Martin Young. They have two children and settled in Hertfordshire.