Graduation Ceremonies

Honorary Graduates

Our honorary graduates come from all walks of life and have made significant contributions in their field.

Is there anyone you feel should get an honorary degree at a future ceremony? You can nominate them for one.

Professor Fiona Powrie

Professor Fiona Powrie

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Professor Fiona Powrie, FRS, an immunologist of the highest renown.

Fiona Powrie studied biochemistry at the University of Bath before undertaking a PhD in immunology in Don Mason’s Laboratory in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford. Following postdoctoral studies in the United States at the DNAX Research Institute, she returned to Oxford in 1996 to establish her own laboratory as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. In 2009 as the Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology she established the Translational Gastroenterology Unit and in October this year was appointed as Director of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford.

Professor Powrie’s research has shed light on the complex cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the interaction between the body’s immune system and its abundant commensal bacteria. Our intestines contain more bacteria than human cells and normally these microbial residents promote human health. Professor Powrie took on the challenging task of studying immune cell populations in the intestine and how they respond to intestinal bacteria. Her work not only identified key immune cells that control intestinal immunity but also identified their mechanism of action. She has also shown that a breakdown in the normal dialogue between our immune cells and gut bacteria can lead to debilitating intestinal inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and in some cases cancer.

Fiona’s first important contributions to the field came as a PhD student in Oxford. There she identified a population of T cells that control the immune response, effectively acting as policemen of the immune system. These early studies represented the foundations of the regulatory T cell field. During her post-doctoral studies, she developed models of intestinal inflammation that have shed light on the networks that control immune bacterial interactions in the gut. Her work identified the pathogenic role played by cytokines such as interferon-gamma and tumour necrosis factor-alpha in intestinal inflammation and the therapeutic potential of IL-10 and TGF-beta in the prevention of colitis by the regulatory T cell subset.

Upon returning to the University of Oxford in 1996, Professor Powrie’s group identified cellular mechanisms that promoted regulatory T cell activity in the intestine and established that the cytokine IL-23 is central in driving pathology in the intestine. Therapies targeting IL-23 for treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases are now being tested in the clinic.

Fiona Powrie has recently been appointed as Director of the Kennedy Institute in Oxford and hopes to translate fundamental basic science into new treatments for debilitating immune –mediated diseases such as IBD and rheumatoid arthritis. She has received several prestigious prizes including the Ita Askonas Prize for leading female immunologist from the European Federation of Immunological Societies, as well as the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2012 . She serves on editorial boards of leading journals in the field including Immunity and Journal of Experimental Medicine. Her election in 2011 as Fellow of the Royal Society represents a phenomenal (and probably unique) achievement for a female Bath graduate.

In short, Fiona Powrie has performed seminal studies (published in top tier high impact journals), on the Treg lymphocyte population. Her work has established several new paradigms in the field of immune regulation and has significantly contributed to our appreciation that Tregs are key regulators of the immune system, offering novel therapeutic targeting opportunities for autoimmune diseases, cancer and organ transplantation. In addition to her scientific work, Fiona Powrie is the mother of Jessica 13 and Cara 19, both here today. She met her husband, Adrian an architect, here at Bath and they are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year.

Chancellor, I present to you Professor Fiona Powrie, who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Professor Steve Ward
Orator

 

Professor Martin Hyland

Professor Martin Hyland

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Oration

Chancellor, Mathematics provides the descriptive and analytical toolkit that makes much of science and engineering possible. In the last century, computer science has emerged as a new scientific and engineering discipline, radically different from the others, and requiring a distinct mathematical foundation.

Today it is my pleasure to present to you Professor Martin Hyland, a distinguished mathematician whose work sheds light on the nature of computation.

Logicians and mathematicians who work on problems concerning computation often trace their intellectual heritage back to Alan Turing. Professor Hyland enjoys the rare distinction of having a direct claim to such heritage: he studied for his doctorate under the supervision of Robin Gandy at Oxford; Gandy himself had been the only research student of Turing. From the beginning, a central concern of Hyland's research was the question of the structure, behaviour and properties of those functions that can be calculated by a computer, and how to understand them as ordinary mathematical objects. Pioneering work in the 1930s in this area by Alonzo Church - incidentally, Church was the supervisor of Alan Turing's PhD - had introduced a sort of programming language for such functions known as the lambda-calculus. Hyland demonstrated very early on that there was a direct correspondence between the programs in this language and certain collections of mathematical functions. This idea, that programs can be precisely analysed by correspondence with mathematical entities, became the central tenet of the field known as semantics of programming languages; a field on which Professor Hyland's work has had a profound influence.

In 1976 Hyland became a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, where he has remained ever since. During this time, his deep mathematical insight has been brought to bear on a range of questions in mathematical logic, in the area of algebra known as category theory, and in theoretical computer science, with the problems of computable functions a recurring theme. Classical mathematics yields an understanding of functions that is too broad for computation: the early work of Church, Turing and others had clearly established that not all functions are computable. In semantics of programming languages, it turned out that even the most basic notion of mathematics, that of a set, needed refinement in order to support the various operations and constructions that were required. A significant branch of Hyland's work showed how new mathematical universes could be constructed where the basic entities, sets and functions, were immediately amenable to such constructions, and all functions were computable. So mathematics and computation were not so far apart after all.

Among Professor Hyland's more recent achievements, one perhaps stands out. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, much work in semantics of computation was driven by the so-called "Full Abstraction Problem for PCF": the question of how to construct a class of mathematical objects whose behaviour corresponded with the programs of a particular language. In the early 1990s Hyland and his collaborator Luke Ong cracked the problem: replacing sets by certain kinds of games, and functions by strategies for those games, yielded a solution. Far from closing off the field, this result inspired a new generation of research in what is now known as game semantics.

Beyond the unquestionable distinction of his research achievements, Professor Hyland is renowned throughout the research community for his great generosity of spirit, his enthusiasm for the field and his humble concern for those who work in it. His regular appearances at research conferences and workshops worldwide are always eagerly anticipated by audiences keen to benefit from the latest idea or gem of wisdom. Through his work, his insight, and his open, approachable nature, Professor Hyland marks himself out as one of the outstanding mathematicians working at the interface with computing.

Chancellor, I present to you Professor Martin Hyland, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Professor Guy McCusker
Orator

 

HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan

HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan<

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Education.

Oration

Princess Sarvath El Hassan represents a pioneering force in education, the influence of which has transformed the opportunities available for young people within Jordan and throughout the region. In 1981 Her Royal Highness founded the Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS), a prestigious co-educational school providing an international learning experience while remaining firmly rooted in the Arab Islamic heritage and culture.

The ABS was the first in both Jordan and the Middle East to offer the International Baccalaureate, and 34 years later, it continues to break ground in achievement and innovation. This year the school was accredited to offer the IB Primary Years Programme, with a unique bilingual curriculum, making it the only school in Jordan, and one of twenty–four schools worldwide, to offer all four IB programmes. A longstanding advocate of interdisciplinary learning, Her Royal Highness has insisted that the school embrace an understanding of education that extends beyond the classroom and that resonates with every child. In another first, not just for the school, but indeed for the world, the ABS has been accredited by the World Academy of Sport as an Athlete Friendly Education Centre. This means that the School can better support its highest performing athletes through an environment that balances their training commitments and academic studies. The new IB College Building will be the first Academic Institution in Jordan to receive the LEED GOLD medal – the medal for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Fearless and unwavering in her commitment to inclusive and multi-dimensional learning, upon her appointment as a member of the IB Council of Foundation, HRH tabled the issue of bias towards the Anglo Saxon tradition within the international component of the curriculum, which made no provision for the study of Arabic, Chinese or Persian at the Higher IB Levels. There was also a conspicuous lack of inclusion of a history or geography syllabus about the Islamic and Arab World. HRH made the inclusion of such subjects that would elevate the authenticity of the IB in the Muslim and Arab World to her ‘cause célèbre'. Today, IB schools can be found in all 22 Arab countries.

‘Elite’ is a fitting description of Her Royal Highness’ approach to education in terms of educational standards and progressive learning philosophy. Her Highness has championed the notion that excellence in education is a right to be enjoyed by all, and not merely the privileged few. She has made this a reality at the ABS through excellence scholarships and bursaries for needy students. At the same time she has striven to address the needs of students with learning difficulties. Under the aegis of the Young Muslim Women’s Association, she founded the Bunayat Centre for Learning Difficulties, and a Sheltered Workshop for young men and women with special needs which was recognised by the ILO as a model for the region. Recognising the need to get girls into the work force, Princess Sarvath founded a Community College, which provides high school leavers a two year professional training in various fields as well as hosting teacher training courses to diagnose and assist special-needs students.

These achievements are but a few in a long history that showcases Her Highness’s commitment to educational opportunity. Through the work of our Department of Education, and particularly that of Professor Jeff Thompson and colleagues in the Department’s Centre for the study of Education in an International Context, we have been inspired by her influence in promoting international education worldwide. Today, we celebrate and honour the achievements of a longstanding and influential supporter of inspiring young people to create a better and more peaceful world. Chancellor I present HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Education, honoris causa.

Professor Colin Grant
Orator

 

Dr Cary Adams

Dr Cary Adams

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Health.

Oration

Vice-Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and the congregation Dr Cary Adams who serves as a national and international role model for young people how to combine a successful career in the business sector with a leading role of a very important Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), the Union of International Cancer Control.

Born in London, Cary Adams received a BSc Honours degree in Economics, Computing and Statistics in 1985 and a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Business Administration in 2002, both from the University of Bath. He is a Harvard Business School Alumni having attended the School’s Executive General Management programme in 2003. In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in International Relations from the University for Business and International Studies in Geneva.

In 1985, Cary was recruited by Lloyds Bank as a graduate trainee. In 2001, Cary took on his first general management responsibilities in the Business Banking division of the bank. He became Managing Director in 2004 on the strength of his vision for turning this division around. This success led to his appointment as Managing Director of International Private Banking for Lloyds TSB Group, headquartered in Geneva. In three years, Cary led the business into strong growth and profitability with high morale, a success that led to his last assignment as Chief Operating Officer of Lloyds TSB Group International Banking in London in 2008.

In 2009, Cary was appointed to his current position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). He was chosen above candidates with considerable NGO experience. “The final choice was a unanimous one,” said UICC president, Professor David Hill who was confident that they had “chosen a leader with outstanding capacity to build the organization, commensurate with the challenge of the global cancer crisis.”

Today, as CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control, Cary heads an organisation with over 870 members in 155 countries, featuring the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health and patient groups and he liaises with influential policy makers, researchers and experts in cancer prevention and control. Among other activities, Cary advises the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and many international corporates wishing to become global health leaders. Cary and his team focus on global advocacy to deliver the World Cancer Declaration targets by 2025, running worldwide programmes that address key cancer issues and using the organisation’s membership reach to bring about the exchange of best practice between countries.

Thanks to Cary and his team at the UICC, cancer is now at the centre of discussions and debates at the UN and the Members States’ annual World Health Assemblies. In recent years, Cary’s team have secured a global commitment that no-one should die in unbearable, avoidable pain. And this year, they secured agreement from the World Health Assembly to increase the number of recommended essential drugs for cancer from 30 to 46. The UICC is considered as a forward thinking opinion leader, hosting for instance the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit with three leading United Nations Agencies every year at a different location around the world.

Cary is also Chair of the Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, a coalition of around 2,000 organisations working on non-communicable diseases, which include cancer, diabetes, heart, respiratory, mental and neurological diseases. This has grown to be the largest Alliance of its kind in the world in only 5 years.

Vice-Chancellor, I present to you Dr Cary Adams, who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Health, honoris causa.

Professor Michael Finus
Orator

 

Lord Rees of Ludlow

Lord Rees of LudlowHe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Martin Rees was born in York, and his early education was at Bedstone College in Ludlow, a school founded by his parents who were both teachers. At the age of 13 he moved to Shrewsbury School from which he progressed to gain a first in the Mathematical Tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge – an institution of which he later became Master. He attributes the awakening of his abiding interest in nature and numbers to his education in those early years. Throughout his academic life he has consistently stressed the importance of providing relevant and high quality science education in schools, as an important foundation for the establishment of an appropriate level of science and technology expertise in universities, research institutes and in industry, to serve future needs.

Lord Rees is regarded nationally and internationally as an outstanding scientist of our time, contributing not only to our understanding of cosmology and astrophysics – his major areas of research, teaching and publication – but also to the wider field of science as a whole. His reputation has been established as a result of an academic career that is dazzling by any definition. Following post-doctoral positions at Cambridge, California and Princeton, and Professorships at Sussex and King’s College London, he was appointed Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge – a post he held for eighteen years, during which time he was also appointed Director of the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy. His research deals with cosmology and astrophysics, especially gamma ray bursts, galactic nuclei and black hole formation, including the early generation of stars and galaxies that formed the end of the cosmic dark ages some 12 billion years ago, relatively shortly after the so-called Big Bang. He has authored or co-authored over 500 research papers – his study of the distribution of quasars leading to the final disproof of the Steady State Theory. Passion and rigour are two characteristics mentioned by those who follow his work closely.

His university research has been complemented by a wide range of impressive and influential appointments. These include his appointment as Astronomer Royal in 1995, President of the Royal Society, President of The Royal Astronomical Society, President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and other leadership roles in a wide range of scientific and educational institutions worldwide. It is therefore little wonder that he has received acknowledgement of the massive contribution that he has made, and continues to make, to his field in the form of numerous awards and honours. Having already received a Knighthood, he was elevated to a life peerage in 2005, sitting on the crossbenches as Baron Rees of Ludlow, and in 2007 was appointed a member the Order of Merit, which is a personal gift of the Queen.

For a man who is reported as saying that each night as he heads up to bed he most often looks up to the sky, knowing that it is something that the human race has been trying to understand since the beginning of time, he is remarkably down to earth. This is manifested in a number of ways. Most significantly he commands respect and admiration for the gift that he possesses of being an excellent communicator, not only among his scientific peer group but also across a much wider community of those who have been inspired by what he has to say through conference presentations and media outlets of many kinds, and by reading his views expressed in the books and articles which have been published in the popular press. He does not shy away from expressing his opinion (for example, he is widely quoted as advising his students that it is better to read first rate science fiction than second rate science, as it is more stimulating and no more likely to be wrong). He is also no stranger to controversy and he has written and spoken extensively about the problems and challenges of the 21st Century and of the interfaces between science, ethics and politics.

Lord Rees is an excellent role model for all those who are graduating with him today, and an inspiration to all who have an interest in our place in the universe and a concern for our future well-being.

Professor Jeff Thompson CBE
Orator

 

Rob Law MBE

Rob Law MBEHe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Rob Law MBE, an inventor and very successful entrepreneur.

Rob Law studied Product Design at Northumbria University where he first came up with the concept for his ride-on suitcase in 1997. When asked to design luggage as part of his course his "eureka!" moment came when he couldn't find much inspiration in the luggage section of his local department store so he wandered into the children's section and spotted ride-on toys. The rest is history. The children’s Trunki suitcase was born.

While the road to success was not a quick or easy one Rob’s Bristol-based company now turns over £7m a year with a Trunki suitcase being sold every minute. In just seven years of trading, the company’s reach expanded to 97 countries across the world with the majority of manufacturing now happening in the UK.

Rob is a wonderful example of perseverance. When he first set about pitching his idea it was rebuffed by toy companies insisting his product was luggage and luggage companies maintaining it was a toy. After putting his plans on hold and going travelling, on returning to the UK in 2002, he turned his attention to securing funds for Trunki’s licence.

Rob’s first real success was in being awarded a grant from The Prince’s Trust and in finding a licensee for his product. However, this early success was to be shortlived as the licensee went bankrupt and Rob took out a £10,000 loan to start producing Trunki himself. He suffered several major setbacks including faulty production, the bankruptcy of a crucial supplier and terror alerts resulting in a ban on aeroplane hand luggage.

In 2006, Rob’s luck looked set to change when he appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den but despite a promising start, a strap broke on one of the cases, causing all the investors to walk away. In response to this disaster, Rob added a survey to his company website, inviting customers to leave suggestions and feedback. Despite his on-screen calamity, positive comments and orders flooded in. Rob secured an interview with the John Lewis Luggage Department and Trunki’s fortunes took an upward turn.

The company has now won over 80 awards from the nursery, toy, design and business sectors. Rob was awarded the MBE in 2010 and Trunki was named the best small-to-medium enterprise at the 2012 National Business Awards.

When interviewed for Management Today, Rob was asked what he would change if he were Prime Minister for the day. He replied: “I’d put problem-solving skills at the heart of education: teaching our kids to think differently, come up with new ideas and embrace change. That would not only help them with their future careers in the global economy, but also allowing them to create a better future for all.”

Rob’s determination and success are inspiring, but all the more remarkable given the fact that he has cystic fibrosis. He has only relatively recently spoken publicly about living with the condition that killed his twin sister when they were 15. He explained: “I learnt very early how precious life is and I was determined to make the most of my time… I promised myself I would not let cystic fibrosis beat me.”

A keen triathlete and runner, Rob has not needed significant treatment for years and says “I count myself as very lucky. I hope that by speaking out, as many people as know about Trunki will come to know about cystic fibrosis so we can work towards extended life expectancy and ultimately a cure.”

Rob is patron of the Sixty-Five Roses Club, designed for donors who support the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The name comes from a small child’s attempt to pronounce cystic fibrosis.

Chancellor, I present to you Rob Law who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey
Orator

 

Dr Betty Chan Po-King

Dr Betty Chan Po-KingShe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Dr Betty Chan Po-king is Director of the Yew Chung Education Foundation, which includes Yew Chung International Schools located in Hong Kong, mainland China and Silicon Valley, USA as well as the Hong Kong-based Yew Chung Community College.

Growing from the first school founded in Hong Kong by Dr Chan’s mother Madam Tsang Chor-hang in 1932, Yew Chung International Schools are based on a philosophy of combining the best elements of Eastern and Western traditions and practices. Not only do they operate a distinctive bilingual and co-cultural model of education through a system of co-teaching (based on all early childhood and primary classrooms being equally led by one western and one Chinese teacher): all Yew Chung International Schools are jointly led and managed by two Co-Principals, one Western and one Chinese.

As a specialist in Early Childhood Education, Dr Chan is a founder member of the Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA). In 2006 she established PECERA’s Hong Kong chapter, for which she serves as president, and since 2012 she has also been president of PECERA International. Dr Chan serves or has served on many committees and boards, including roles as Chair of the Hong Kong-based Sir Jack Cater Scholarship Fund Selection Committee, Chairman of the Child Education and Community Services Discipline Board of the Vocational Training Council, and Advisor to the Center for Child Development at Hong Kong Baptist University. Also in Hong Kong she is a member of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) and a member of the Appeals Board (Education). Dr Chan’s work has been recognised by the award of the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and the award of an Honorary Fellowship by the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Internationally, Dr Chan is widely known for her promotion of international education and for her support for developing links between East and West. Her role as Director of the Yew Chung Education Foundation is complemented by her Director’s role with the Yew Wah Education Foundation through which she has, for instance, been instrumental in establishing a residential centre in Somerset which acts as a base for Chinese students to undertake cultural and educational visits to England. Associated links developed with Haygrove School in Bridgwater led to the 2013 opening of a new ‘Friendship Centre’ at Haygrove to facilitate development of links including exchange visits by Haygrove and Yew Wah students and staff.

Links between Dr Chan and the University of Bath, arising from our shared interest in international education, have existed now for 15 years or more. Department of Education academic staff have been keynote speakers at international conferences hosted by Dr Chan in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, and she has supported Yew Chung teachers to study on the Department of Education’s MA in Education programme. Most recently, colleagues from Bath have been funded by Dr Chan to research the implementation of Yew Chung’s international education mission across its network of schools. Also strongly supported by Dr Chan has been the Alliance for International Education – a worldwide organisation which owes its origins to work undertaken by the Centre for the study of Education in an International Context at the University of Bath, sharing a commitment to the promotion of international education and intercultural understanding. A keynote speaker at the 2004 Alliance for International Education conference held in Düsseldorf, Dr Chan subsequently oversaw the establishment of a China chapter of the Alliance, and in 2006 the Alliance for International Education conference was hosted by Yew Chung International School Shanghai. She continues to serve as Chairperson of AIE China, in which connection she has organised biennial local conferences in Huangshan, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.

Through her commitment to promoting, and supporting through education, the development of greater understanding between East and West, and indeed between those of different cultural backgrounds more widely, Dr Chan has demonstrated leadership in an increasingly important area of international significance.

Dr Mary Hayden
Orator

 

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw CBE, FBA

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw CBE, FBA

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Jonathan Bradshaw, CBE is one of the UK’s leading social scientists and scholars of social policy. Over the past almost 50 years, he has made significant contributions to the study of social security policy, poverty, living standards, comparative social policy, and child well-being.

Jonathan Bradshaw graduated from Trinity College, Dublin and moved to the University of York in 1967, where he completed his MPhil and DPhil in social administration. He has made an outstanding academic career at the University of York – from research fellow to lecturer to professor. He was head of department (twice, 1988-1994 and 2003-2007) and the founding Director of the Social Policy Research Unit (1973 to 1987). Jonathan formally retired in 2011 and is now Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at York and also holds a chair in social policy at Durham University.

Jonathan is the author of numerous books and academic articles. To give just a few examples: in 1972 he wrote about the concept of social need, in a work that remains a reference point today. In 1983 he and Alan Deacon wrote about the operation of means-testing in UK social policy, again still of central relevance. In the 1990s he produced significant reports on lone parenthood and child poverty. And throughout the 2000s, he has been writing major comparative cross national studies of poverty, child support, and the first international “league table” of child well-being.

I recommend all of these. But you can also get an excellent shorter introduction to his work in the collection put together by his colleagues to mark his retirement. This was published in 2013 by Policy Press as Jonathan Bradshaw on Social Policy: Selected Writings 1972-2011. As the editors note, the collection “demonstrates his clear, humane thinking based on systematic evidence and analysis”.

Jonathan’s contribution has been recognised in many ways. He was appointed Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 1996, Commander of the British Empire in 2005, and Fellow of the British Academy in 2010. He holds an honorary degree from the University of Turku, Finland. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and Honorary Research Fellow at the South African Human Sciences Research Council.

His work on child poverty and child well-being – which was cited in his CBE honour – has been an ongoing thread. His academic work has been ground-breaking in the use of large comparative data sets to produce compelling and rigorous analysis. This has been matched by his commitment to using that research to argue for the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable children in our rich country. His is a leading voice in current debates about how to not only protect children from poverty, but also to create the conditions of well-being and social inclusion for all children.

Hopefully this gives a flavour of what Jonathan has achieved and his immense contribution. This is very impressive, by any standards. But what is also important is how he has done this. Jonathan is a man of great personal integrity, warmth and generosity. His many former and current students and research partners can be found not just in the UK but around the world. I know that all would agree that working with Jonathan is always stimulating and enjoyable.

He has a real talent for engaging people and opening up opportunities that enable them to develop. Those of you who are graduating with doctoral degrees today will know the important role that your supervisor plays in how your research and indeed career develops. Jonathan was my doctoral supervisor, for which I am - many years later - still grateful.

Jonathan is a leading social scientist who has been steadfast in his commitment to social justice for children. He is an inspiring example to us all.
Chancellor, I present to you Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, CBE, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

Professor Jane Millar OBE
Orator

 

Dr Nigel Stein

Doctor Nigel SteinHe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Nigel Stein, an industrial leader of high renown.

Nigel was born in Glasgow. He graduated in Engineering Science from Edinburgh University and gained a postgraduate diploma in Accounting at Herriot Watt University. This combination placed him in a unique position for leadership of technological business.

Following university, he served a three-year accountancy apprenticeship before joining a manufacturer of diesel engines. There followed roles as Finance Director for two manufacturing companies before Nigel joined GKN in 1994. His rise through the company, from Divisional Financial Controller to Group Finance Director to CEO of automotive Driveline, and now Chief Executive of the GKN Group, is built upon his firm management of resources and risk. He personally visits a GKN factory every few weeks, and recognises the need to innovate - both technologically and organisationally - in order to maintain and grow the rich legacy of this fine British engineering company.

To some people, engineers conjure up the image of nuts and bolts. GKN may well have helped create that image.
GKN originates from the Dowlais Iron Company, set up in South Wales at the dawn of the industrial revolution by John Guest. By the time his grandson, Sir John Guest, owned the company, it was one of the largest steel producers in the world. After Sir John died, his wife Charlotte successfully managed the company when it was deeply unconventional for a Victorian woman to hold such power. Attitudes have changed but she provides an enduring role model for women in engineering. At that time, Arthur Keen patented a nut making machine, set up business and through some astute deals, took over the Dowlais Iron Company. Guest and Keen acquired Nettlefolds, becoming one of the world's largest manufacturers; from coal and iron ore extraction, to finished products - including nuts and bolts, for which it was famous.

Over the next 100 years, Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (or GKN) left the steel industry and left the nuts and bolts industry. Through a series of acquisitions in Europe and America, GKN is now the world leader in powder metallurgy. In aerospace, it supplies the world's most advanced aerospace programmes. Nigel’s leadership of the automotive business successfully navigated the 2009 recession; moving it into All-Wheel and electrical drives and establishing GKN as the global leader in driveline products.

Today, with Nigel at the helm, the company employs over 50,000 people in more than 30 countries with annual sales of £7.5bn. Although listed in the FTSE 100 under Automobile Parts, it supplies a vast range of world-class products, from jet engine turbines to constant velocity joints, from composite airliner wings to fighter cockpit canopies. Nigel is passionate about the need to outgrow markets and invest in R&D. He is also aware of his responsibility to engage in wider debates about future industrial policy, skills development and EU membership.

The University of Bath is proud to be associated with GKN and delighted that this relationship is endorsed by Nigel. In Aerospace, the company supports research in composites analysis - helping to design and manufacture the next generation of ultra-efficient aircraft. It also has a link with the Change Management research of Professor Veronica Hope-Hailey in the School of Management.

Although it doesn’t make them anymore, GKN is still a “nuts and bolts” company, because it embraces the critically important task of putting things and people together to enable creative, world-class manufacturing. These activities require constant innovation to compete globally but they unlock stable jobs and create wealth. Nigel Stein is leading today’s development in this company’s rich engineering legacy.

Chancellor, I present to you Nigel Stein who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Professor Richard Butler
Orator

 

Dr Christopher Jones

Doctor Christopher Jones

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Oration

Christopher Jones received a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Bath in 1980. The following year, he became a qualified pharmacist and member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Subsequently, after three years as a formulation scientist at Glaxo Research, he returned to Bath to study for his PhD. in Pharmaceutics, receiving his doctorate in 1986.

Since then, Dr Jones has pursued an exemplary career as a dedicated industrial pharmaceutical scientist, rising to his current position of Vice President & Global Head of Pharmaceutical Development, at AstraZeneca. Remarkably, during his 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Jones has been involved in the development of numerous successful and innovative medicines, including Zoladex, Arimidex, Casodex, Faslodex, Iressa and Lynparza in oncology, Crestor and Bydureon in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, Merrem in infection, Symbicort and Pulmicort in respiratory, and Seroquel, Zomig, and Diprivan in neurology.

Dr Jones’ career began in product development at ICI Pharmaceuticals, working primarily on parenteral drug products, including the novel general anaesthetic, Diprivan. This led to progressively more senior managerial roles, first at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and then AstraZeneca where, in 1999, Dr Jones was promoted to Vice President, Pharmaceutical & Analytical R&D, at the Alderley (UK) and Wilmington (US) sites of the company. During the next 4 years, Dr Jones established an AZ Centre of Excellence in complex parenterals and his team delivered several important (and successful) products to the market, including Crestor, Iressa, Faslodex and Zomig Nasal Spray.

From 2003 to 2005, Dr Jones was based in Sweden and directed the AZ sites at Charnwood (UK) and Lund (Sweden). New products resulting from this role included the very successful Symbicort metered dose inhaler and the Pulmicort turbohaler. Subsequently, Dr Jones assumed leadership of the Global Product Team responsible for the Symbicort brand, securing regulatory approval for a remarkably effective medicine, the global sales of which exceeded $3B in 2014.

This remarkable achievement resulted in Dr Jones’ appointment as the AZ Vice President responsible for the integration of MedImmune, AZ’s biological arm, following its acquisition in 2007. Here, he was responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating the organisation model design and transition plans for all aspects of the business including research and development, sales and marketing, and the commercial supply chain.

In 2009, Dr Jones was appointed to his current role of Vice President & Global Head of Pharmaceutical Development. In this position, he is responsible for designing and developing new medicines and their manufacturing processes from discovery through development to post launch optimisation. He now leads pharmaceutical scientists across the UK, US, Sweden, Germany, India & China and plays key roles in AZ’s global strategy for the innovation and development of new medicinal products.

Since graduating from Bath, Dr Jones has been a staunch supporter and advocate for our university, and he is presently a member of the University’s Ventures Board, which is responsible to the University Council for approving arrangements for the commercialisation of the university’s intellectual property. Further, Dr Jones and his wife are keen supporters of The Edge, the university’s new arts and management building.

In summary, there is no doubt that Christopher Jones has had a major impact on the success of one of the U.K.’s flagship pharmaceutical companies. He is a passionate supporter of the University of Bath and his willingness to share his insight and knowledge is a major benefit, not only to the Ventures Board, but also more broadly to healthcare researchers across the campus.
He is a credit to our University.

Chancellor, I present to you Christopher Jones, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Professor Richard Guy
Orator

 

Professor George Whitesides

Professor George Whitesides

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Professor George Whitesides, who is the most cited living chemist in the world and is without doubt one of the most creative and prolific scientists of the past century. His contributions to science are so wide ranging it would be impossible to cover all of them here but, in short, his focus is on developing Chemistry (in its broadest sense) to solve problems for the benefit of society. He is particularly noted for his work in nuclear magnetic resonance, materials science, surface science, microfluidics and nanotechnology.

George Whitesides is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. His scientific foundations were laid at Harvard University and California Institute of Technology, where he gained his PhD (with John D. Roberts) in 1964. He was a member of the faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 until 1982, at which time he joined the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University where he is currently the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor.

It is remarkable quite how prolific George’s career has been. Taking his scientific output alone, George has authored over 1200 scientific articles, has mentored over 300 students, postdocs and visitors, and is listed as an inventor on over 130 patents. In addition, he has co-founded 12 companies which have a combined market capitalization of over $20 billion. One hapless interviewer asked George how he spent his free time. “What free time?” was the reply.

Among the numerous national and international honours and awards received throughout his career, George is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a recipient of the highest honour conferred by the American Chemical Society, the Priestly Medal (which is coincidentally named after Joseph Priestly who discovered oxygen only 20 miles from Bath at Bowood House).

Over many years, George has played an influential role as a policy advisor through leading roles on a wide range of national and international scientific bodies and review boards.

At the risk of being parochial, George’s influence in this arena has impacted directly on the University of Bath. In 2002, he chaired an international review of UK Chemistry, widely acknowledged as a key moment in the recent development of the subject in the UK. One recommendation was a call for UK chemistry and chemical engineering to work more closely together, which was music to our ears in Bath where precisely this multidisciplinary approach was already being practiced. Thus it was partly in response to the Whitesides Report, that in 2008 the University was awarded over £7 million to establish a Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, a Centre which still thrives today and will be training PhD students until at least 2023. In applying for this funding, although we had never met, I sent George an email asking him for a letter of support. To my surprise and delight, and by return, I got an enthusiastic endorsement supporting the largest injection of government funding the University had ever received at the time. I subsequently wrote thanking George for his support and his response characterizes the wry humour that underpins his achievements:

“Congratulations! Getting one of these large centers is both a curse and a blessing, but (as with babies) we’ll focus on the blessing part.”

I have since established that he was, of course, right about centres (and babies too).

George is an outstanding communicator – look up some of his TED talks on the internet. Whether he is describing a lab the size of a postage stamp, soft robots, the state of the discipline or the importance of simplicity, he does so with style, clarity and economy. Undoubtedly, this is one of the keys to his success over such a broad range of endeavors. As he puts it:
“Academics like complexity and emergence. The real world puts up with it reluctantly, but really wants simplicity…”.

In science, public service, education and commerce, he is an inspiration through his originality of thought and clarity of communication. He is both visionary and challenging and there can be no better role model and advocate for the future development of science and technology for the benefit of global society.

Chancellor, I present to you George McClelland Whitesides who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Professor Matthew Davidson
Orator