Peter Troughton, Pro-Chancellor, has been awarded a CBE for services to business, education and culture while Professor Chris Budd, Professor in Applied Mathematics, has been awarded an OBE for services to science and maths education.
Peter was an outstanding Chair of the University of Bath’s Council, its governing body, for almost nine years until he stepped down from the role last July. He became a Pro-Chancellor of the University in 2013.
During his chairmanship the University rose into the top ten of all major UK league tables, significantly expanded its estate and student numbers and further strengthening its financial and international profile.
Peter was a director of WHSmith plc and chairman of the boards of WHS Retail, Waterstones, Our Price Music and Virgin Retail till 1995. For 11 years he then supported the contribution made by Lord Rothschild to this country, particularly to its arts and heritage. He is Chairman of the Lowland Investment Company plc and Vice Chairman of Archant Ltd, the regional newspaper and magazine publisher. He is a Trustee of the Royal Collection and the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund, and has been a trustee of the National Gallery as well as a school governor.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: "Peter Troughton richly deserves this honour which recognises his distinguished contribution not only to the University but also to the nation. He has given magnificent leadership to the University’s Council and continues to be a very effective ambassador for us."
Commenting on the honour, Peter said: “This award is a wonderful surprise, for which I am very grateful. It honours above all the success of the University of Bath in its many endeavours in research and teaching, with which I am proud to be associated.”
Professor Chris Budd joined the University of Bath in 1995. He is the creator of Bath Taps into Science, a major hands-on science festival which has won several national prizes in the 14 years it has been running.
The week of events aims to show students and families how the science and maths that they learn at school can be applied to the wider world and to inspire them to want to become a ‘scientist’ or ‘mathematician’. Many schools have praised its transformational effect on thousands of young people who have been given the ability to present science to their own peers and to world-leading scientists.
In 2010, 70,000 members of the public attended the hands on maths exhibition 'Living in a Complex World' which was part of the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary celebration. Professor Budd led this exhibition, and has since taken it to Manchester, Japan, Canada, Ireland and (every year from 2011) to the Big Bang Fair, at which it has been presented to 300,000 members of the general public.
As a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow he set up a Communicating Maths undergraduate course and, as the Royal Institution Professor of Maths since 2000, has spoken at maths masterclasses around the country in his own time most Saturdays. He recruits students from the whole UK maths community to give talks to the general public and more generally works tirelessly for public engagement to be as worthy of respect as all other aspects of academia. In 2013 he was the mathematical consultant for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, designing a maths trail for the underground.
He is very active in both the Institution of Mathematics and its Applications (initiating and co-directing the first UK Festival of Maths in July 2014 and as Vice-President coordinating a year-long celebratory event for its 50th anniversary); and the London Mathematical Society for which he was Education Secretary. He was also part of the small team which produced the well-regarded Vorderman report on the state of maths in schools commissioned by Michael Gove.
He has published over 100 research papers, raised over £5m in research funding and founded (and still runs) the University’s MSc in Modern Applied Mathematics. His work has always been centred on making mathematics directly relevant to the needs of society, and he collaborates closely with many different industries and bodies to do this, working on problems as varied as microwave cooking, cancer treatment, and land mine detection.
He is currently actively working in problems in meteorology and climate change, and his close collaboration with the Met Office has helped to improve weather forecasting accuracy. He co-founded an international network which brings together mathematicians working in climate change with policy-makers (and leads its outreach programme). He is also the UK lead on a Marie Curie network, which trains many PhD students across Europe.
Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor, said: “Professor Budd is a first-class applied mathematician with a remarkable commitment to public engagement and to young people. He has made an enormous contribution to the mathematical community and to the University. I am delighted that this has now been recognised in this way.”
Professor Budd said: “I am very honoured to receive this award. I believe passionately that the importance of maths and science should be communicated in an exciting way to as wide an audience as possible. I could not have done this without the support of many others, and I hope that this honour is a way of recognising the wonderful work of everyone involved in public engagement.”