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 Jean Bartunek

Professor Jean Bartunek

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration.


Vice-Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Professor Jean Bartunek, an academic of international renown.

Dr Jean Bartunek is the Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair and Professor of Organisational Studies at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, Massachusetts, USA, where she has taught since 1977. Jean is a former President of the Academy of Management, the largest and most prestigious body of Management Studies scholars whose membership currently numbers over 18,000 members from more than 100 countries.

Jean graduated with a BA Cum Laude in Psychology and Sociology from Maryville University, St Louis in 1966 and went on to attain both an MA and a PhD in Social and Organisational Psychology from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1974 and 1976. Since then her scholarship has been widely recognised internationally through her service on numerous editorial boards, her appointment as Visiting International Fellow at the Advanced Institute of Management Research, UK, and the bestowal of the Distinguished Service award by the Academy of Management in the USA in 2009.

Over the last forty years Jean has published numerous articles in the highest rated journals in her field. Jean’s research focuses on organisational change and transformation but with related interests in social cognition, sensemaking, affect and conflict. Jean is particularly interested in the interface between academics and practitioners, between theory and practice and rigour and relevance. She challenges us as scholars to think about what makes management research interesting to others, about evidence based management and about planned and emergent organisational change. In all of these areas Jean has made a substantial contribution to our scholarly knowledge but also to management practice in successful organisational change, a topic of critical importance.

However, as well as being a renowned scholar, Jean goes further. Jean causes us as an academic community to think more deeply about the role of workplaces in society and about the great impact that all organisations have in our lives. In an introduction to a special forum published in 2012 in the top journal Academy of Management Review, Jean and her co-authors ask us to consider the role of care and compassion in organisational life. The article starts by reflecting spontaneous incidents in different workplaces that have illustrated the very best of human spirit. Examples used include the compassion shown by kitchen workers at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, risking their lives to care for customers under terrorist attack; the acts of kindness shown by traditionally tough talking investment bank traders and Wall Street veterans who showed extraordinary courage and care to one another in the chaos and fear of the 9/11 bombings. Care and compassion are not normally top of the agenda of most executive board meetings and yet Jean and her colleagues present the following argument.

As organisations, nations, and people become more interdependent, collaboration and coordination become more essential to the achievement of both individual and collective goals. Care and compassion, which are grounded in relationships and relatedness, have much to contribute to an interconnected, suffering and surprising world.

Jean has been a loyal supporter of the School of Management here at the University of Bath, researching and writing with academics in the School, and supporting our practitioner forums by speaking at events organised by the Change Management Forum. Her visits to the School are enjoyable events precisely because Jean is also known and loved for her own very special blend of care and compassion. Bubbling with enthusiasm and concern for younger colleagues, impressive in her scholarly prowess yet warm in her greetings and strong in her convictions, Jean represents all that is good about academia and humanity.

Whilst Jean is described by her work colleagues as “an academic to her toes”, it will perhaps come as no surprise to also learn that since her teenage years Jean has been a Sister within the Society of the Sacred Heart Community in Boston. Professor Jean Bartunek shows us that a scholarly life spent reflecting upon the theories of compassion and transformation can also be combined with a practical day to day life spent showing care and compassion for others.

Vice-Chancellor, I present to you Professor Jean Bartunek, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey


Justin Webb

Justin WebbHe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.


Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Justin Webb, journalist, author, broadcaster and campaigner who has worked for the BBC in a variety of roles for over twenty years.

Justin grew up in Bath and his early education was at Sidcot School, in North Somerset, one of nine Quaker schools in the UK. Even from a young age it was clear Justin was destined for great things when he secured his position in the school’s history, winning the Dymond Speech competition a record three times - an achievement yet to be matched to this day. Justin went on to read Economics at the LSE, first honing his journalism skills as editor of the student newspaper The Beaver. Justin is married to Sarah and they have three children, twins Martha and Sam and their youngest daughter, Clara.

Justin’s distinguished career began in 1984 working in Belfast as a graduate trainee for BBC Radio Ulster on the programme Good Morning Ulster. Justin then took up a role as a reporter on the BBC Radio Four Today programme before working as a foreign affairs correspondent, covering many significant events around the world including the Gulf War, in Bosnia, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first democratic elections in South Africa.

Justin went on to become a BBC News presenter, becoming accustomed to early morning wake up calls as the main presenter of BBC One’s Breakfast News from 1992 to 1997. He also presented the BBC’s One O’clock and Six O’clock news bulletins and BBC Radio Four’s The World Tonight. This was followed by three years as the BBC’s European correspondent based in Brussels, reporting on the workings of the European Parliament, the introduction of the single currency and the enlargement of the European Union.

However, the lure of greater things tempted Justin to move to the USA in 2001 to become the BBC’s chief Washington correspondent in a particularly tumultuous period. In December 2007, he became North American Editor for BBC News, a newly created role intended to cover the 2008 US presidential election and one which saw him named political journalist of the year for his coverage of Obama’s campaign.

Justin’s relationship with the US went much further than just journalism, and he has written no less than three widely-acclaimed books on the rich tapestry of life in the USA, taking on the mantle of Alistair Cooke for the 21st century – a kind of Bill Bryson in reverse.

Towards the end of Justin’s time in America, his son Sam, who was eight at the time, was diagnosed with type-one diabetes. In the UK, there are 300,000 sufferers and the number of children under five developing the disease has risen fivefold in the past twenty years. No one knows why. And once it appears, it never leaves. Being diagnosed was a life-changing experience for Sam and the rest of the family and Justin has campaigned to raise awareness and understanding of the disease through interviews, a BBC World Service radio documentary and by raising money for research.

In 2009, Justin returned to the UK and the lure of 3am wake up calls to become a presenter on Radio Four’s flagship Today programme. Nearly seven million people tune in to the programme which not only plays an important part in the ‘national conversation’ but is one of the most listened to and loved radio shows in the UK, acclaimed for its analysis of current affairs and its in-depth, probing and sometimes combative interviews.

More locally, Justin was named as the inaugural patron of Bath Rugby Foundation in 2014 and was a panel member at this year’s Bath Literature Festival, debating the topic of the American Dream.

Chancellor, I present to you Justin Webb, who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Professor Peter Lambert


Gilbert Passin

Gilbert Passin

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.


Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Gilbert Passin, engineer, innovator and entrepreneur.

Gilbert is recognised as one of the world leading experts in automotive manufacturing, particularly in relation to electric emerging technologies.

Gilbert’s career, immediately post-University, saw him join the staff of the Department of Mechanical Engineering here at the University of Bath between 1984 and 1986. He was a teaching fellow specialising in dynamics and 3D mechanics. In this role he was engaged with the establishment of the European Engineering degree programme, advising, developing and teaching the required language modules to support students in engineering exchanges in France.

From Bath, Gilbert moved into industry and began a highly successful and distinguished career spanning 29 years in developing some of the most innovative automotive manufacturing plants in the world.

Prior to joining Tesla, Gilbert led some of the most high-profile divisions at Toyota, Volvo, Mack and projects at Renault across North America and Europe. He served as General Manager of production engineering for Toyota in North America and Chief Production Engineer for the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Tacoma in North America. Toyota’s manufacturing production process continues to be regarded as one of the most efficient in automotive assembly.

Previously, Gilbert was Vice President of manufacturing at Toyota's plant in Cambridge, Ontario. The award-winning plant produces over 400,000 automobiles per year and is the first Toyota site to produce a Lexus vehicle outside of Japan. It has won accolades and is considered one of 'Canada's Top 100 Employers'. Gilbert was instrumental in the manufacturing, planning and launch of the best-selling Lexus Sports Utility Vehicles. He also launched the manufacturing of the award-winning tenth generation Corolla, one of the most popular cars worldwide.

Prior to joining Toyota as Vice President and General Manager of the Volvo facility, he successfully consolidated the production of Volvo and Mack trucks while increasing the production rate and improving quality and productivity.

In 2010, all of this experience in the traditional automotive sector made Gilbert the ideal addition to Tesla, which is one of the most innovative and fastest growing automotive companies in the world. Based in California, and the brainchild of Elon Musk - the billionaire founder of PayPal and technical entrepreneur - they are the first company to focus on producing entirely electric vehicles, creating new battery and energy technology to offer record breaking performance and range. Their Model S car, launched under the supervision of Gilbert, has won numerous international awards including Time Magazine Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 award, 2013 World Green Car of the Year, and Automobile Magazine's 2013 Car of the Year.

He joined Tesla when they did not even have a vehicle manufacturing team nor a factory. He spearheaded the staffing and forming of the entire vehicle manufacturing organisation; starting from just prototype vehicles to 500 cars produced a week in less than two years. Now Tesla is producing 1400 cars per week, with plans for further expansion, thanks to Gilbert’s leadership of their production operations.

Tesla has a growing presence in Europe, with Gilbert having been appointed to take executive lead for European Operations and is recognised as a truly innovative engineering company, with a global reputation for pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Gilbert has played a vital role in making Tesla the credible car manufacturer it is today. Without him the ground-breaking cars would not have made it into sustainable production.

Chancellor, I present to you Gilbert Passin, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Professor JG Hawley


Dr Frank Carter Duckworth MBE

Dr Frank Carter Duckworth MBE

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.


Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce to you and the congregation Dr Frank Duckworth.

Frank Duckworth has spent his career clarifying, simplifying and explaining things by the use of statistics. Badly or wrongly used, statistics can easily become misleading or confusing. In skilled hands, such as Dr Duckworth's, they can also be used to clarify, to simplify and to explain. Quite incidentally, doing this has made him famous. In fact, since almost every Indian knows his name, he may well be the most famous person present here today.

Dr Duckworth's fame arises from his work with the mathematician Dr Anthony Lewis, in which they used statistics to solve a particularly difficult problem that arises in the game of cricket: namely, what to do when it rains. This may not seem very important, because cricket is often perceived as a minority sport played in only a few countries. That is wrong: in reality, it is the second most popular sport in the world. The value of television rights for major tournaments runs into billions of pounds. The fairness of the outcome of cricket matches is, consequently, a matter of considerable economic importance as well as being of great interest to a very large number of people.

Two peculiar features of cricket combine to create a problem here. Firstly, despite having been invented in England, it cannot be played in the rain. Secondly, it is fundamentally asymmetric. Instead of two teams both trying to do the same thing at the same time, the teams take turns to bat. So if a match is curtailed by rain, one cannot simply look at the score at that point and see which team has scored more runs. One side has had its complete innings, and the other has not. Some estimate of the likely final score is needed; and estimates are the realm of statistics.

Several systems were tried to solve this problem. None of them worked, until Dr Duckworth and Dr Lewis devised a mathematical model to construct the celebrated Duckworth-Lewis method, which is generally accepted as fair. But it is not enough to invent a good system. It needs to be adopted for actual use: in the modern terminology, there needs to be impact. Somebody had to explain it to the administrators.

Fortunately, Frank Duckworth has been explaining statistics for a long time. His own initial training was not in statistics at all: he was a metallurgist. After graduating from Liverpool, he worked at the Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory of the Central Electricity Generating Board. There he came to realise the importance of statistics, not just to ensure reactor safety but also to assure the public that the reactors are safe. At that time there were no statisticians working at the laboratories, so he set about making himself into a statistician. Then he had to convince his colleagues and others of the power of statistics, and spreading that idea has been at the core of everything he has done since. Persuading the cricket administrators that statistics could help them was just another example of that.

Both cricket and nuclear reactors are specialised applications of statistics. Dr Duckworth reached a different audience through his voluntary work for the Royal Statistical Society. For two decades he edited their news magazine, often contributing editorials on matters relating to the public perception of risk. Quietly, but effectively, in boardrooms and in public, he has encouraged the use of statistics and mathematics, and overcome distrust and misunderstanding of them. He has now carried that message to hundreds of millions of people.

And South Africa should have been asked to score four, not twenty-two, off the last ball of that semi-final against England.

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

Professor Gregory Kumar Sankaran


Professor John Dudley

Professor John DudleyHe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.


Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Professor John Dudley, a physicist with a global reputation for the quality of his research and for his leadership of the field.

John Dudley studied at the University of Auckland, gaining his PhD in 1992. He did postdoctoral research at St. Andrews before returning to Auckland as a Lecturer. In 2000, he was appointed Professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, where he heads the Optoelectronics and Photonics research group. His research is into nonlinear optics and the strange behaviour of waves, but his interests are far wider and include much of physics, the benefits of education, and public engagement. He is an avid Twitter user and a widely-sought speaker on topics as diverse as the benefits of supporting pure research, freak events in nature, nonlinear fibre optics and how to forge a career in academia.

Physicists often come as one of two flavours: experimentalists and theoreticians. In the field of optics, experimentalists work with lasers, lenses, fibres and electronics. They are practical and need the skills of an engineer, spending much of their time tinkering with equipment. Theoreticians need none of that – they work with equations: sometimes paper and pencil, at other times a computer. Their time is spent reading, talking, working on a computer, or thinking. Theoreticians are often best able to make links between different areas of research through identifying the similarity in the underlying mathematics. Unusually, John Dudley excels as both theoretician and experimentalist. Much of his work has been around identifying particular solutions to the nonlinear wave equations, and to observe these experimentally in the optics laboratory. He has identified these same effects in a number of different disciplines, including in the behaviour of “rogue” ocean waves. His ability to communicate with a range of different scientists has been key to his remarkable achievements of the last few years.

On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). The proclamation recognised how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light has revolutionised medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society. The International Year of Light campaign (IYL 2015) has resulted in activities across 120 countries, indicating the extraordinary impact it has had. John Dudley was the Chair of the IYL Steering Committee, and drove the process from its inception, through the UN resolution and up until the present day. IYL 2015 started on 19 and 20 January at an event at the UNESCO HQ in Paris, where John Dudley spoke alongside five Nobel Prize winners, and has run through the year. The global launch was followed shortly afterwards by UK celebrations at St James’s Palace, hosted by His Royal Highness the Duke of York, who is a Patron of the Year of Light in the United Kingdom. Here at the University of Bath, students and staff have engaged with the public in a range of ways, both at open days on campus, and also in the City.

John Dudley’s research has been recognised by a series of appointments and awards, including being awarded the CNRS Silver Medal in 2013 and being President of the European Physical Society up until 2015. This year he was awarded the Robert E Hopkins Leadership Award by The Optical Society for his leadership, including, and I quote from their publicity, “…almost single-handedly creating the 2015 UNESCO International Year of Light”.

Chancellor, I present to you John Dudley who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Professor Jonathan Knight


Margaret Elizabeth 'Maggie' Philbin

Maggie Philbin

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science.


Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and the congregation Ms “Maggie” Philbin.

In 2015, Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie” Philbin was voted the 4th most influential woman in IT by Computer Weekly magazine, shortly after becoming President of the Institution of Engineering Design in 2014 in recognition of her work with TeenTech, an interactive science and engineering initiative that reaches over 5,000 teenagers across the UK every year.

Maggie must therefore be a computer scientist, or an engineer, or perhaps both? Many of you that recognise Maggie from her television career, Tomorrow’s World’, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Bang Goes the Theory, already suspect, perhaps even know, that such a straightjacket does not fit her well.

According to that most useful and ubiquitous of all IT tools, Google, the young Maggie did want to be a vet, but this overt courtship of science had apparently run its course by the sixth form at Evington Hall Convent School in Leicester when she chose English, History, French and German A-levels.

Next was English and Drama at the University of Manchester with such illustrious classmates as Adrian Edmondson, Ben Elton and Rik Mayall. After graduating, Maggie joined Noel Edmonds, Keith Chegwin, and John Craven as a co-presenter on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, which was broadcast on Saturday mornings on BBC One between 1976 and 1982. This programme was ground-breaking in its use of technology – it was live, used the phone-in format extensively for the first time on TV, and featured Swaporama where Keith Chegwin and the outside broadcast unit helped children swap their belongings with others. This undoubtedly presaged one of the giants of the internet revolution, eBay and more latterly Gumtree and the like.

Maggie stepped decisively away from those A-level choices when she joined BBC One's flagship science and technology programme, Tomorrow’s World. This, like Swap Shop, was broadcast live and had that same unpredictability that gives it a special place in the memory of a generation or two of its avid watchers. Since then, she has presented a variety of television and radio programmes, including Hospital Watch, Bodymatters Roadshow, QED, and BBC Two's women's documentary series, The Doll’s House.

In 2012, Maggie returned to mainstream science broadcasting with the BBC One’s update of Tomorrow’s World, Bang Goes the Theory, that set out to “inspire the audience to get hands on with science”. Maggie’s first episode revisited a ‘Tomorrow's World’ feature on phone security after nearly 30 years, investigating how hackers can access your smartphone. Prescient indeed. Hackers, as we now know, cover a very broad spectrum from criminal individuals to States. So, whist we love the smartness that internet technologies give to our phones, TVs, watches, and our kitchen white goods, it is vital that people like Maggie, who showcase these wonders, also educate us that they offer no panacea and can at worst expose us to great risk. Maggie is in a wonderful position to do this; she leads the UK Digital Skills Task Force, which published an interim report in July 2014 and subsequently appeared as a witness before the House of Lords Digital Skills Committee.

Maggie has not been content to reach her audience through television alone. In 2008, Maggie created TeenTech which provides teenagers with hands-on exhibits and challenges run by companies, universities and business organisations, inspiring many to realise careers in science, engineering and technology. In 2010, TeenTech was awarded the Best Engineering Event in National Science and Engineering Week by the British Science Association, and other national and international awards have followed.

Maggie has also championed women in science and technology. In 2009 she featured as a speaker at the London branch of Girl Geek Dinners where she put forward her support and encouragement for women in IT, and is a patron of the Daphne Jackson Trust which helps, mostly women, scientists, engineers and technologists return to work after a career break. In 2012 Princess Anne presented her with the award for Communication and Outreach in the WISE Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards. Earlier this year she also became patron of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing and was given that accolade by Computer Weekly I mentioned earlier.

Finally, returning to early choices. In 1981, Maggie formed the one-hit wonder band Brown Sauce with Noel Edmunds and had a No.15 hit with I Wanna Be A Winner. Maggie you are a winner and an example of how early choices need not dictate your path through working and cultural life, and therefore Chancellor, I present to you Maggie Philbin, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Professor Rod Scott


Lawrie McMenemy MBE

Lawrie McMenemyHe received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.


Vice-Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and the congregation Lawrie McMenemy who was one of the most successful managers in post-war English football. He was born into a large family in Gateshead, County Durham, and started to play his football on the cobbled streets of The Avenues before graduating to the park at the end of his road to play with the older boys. He passed his 11+ and attended St Cuthbert’s Grammar School in Newcastle. While doing his National Service in the Coldstream Guards he suffered an injury that ended his ambitions to be a professional footballer with Newcastle United.

Instead, once out of the army, he worked in the Education Department of the local authority whilst playing his football with Gateshead. He started coaching at Gladstone Terrace Youth Club and from there, in 1961, became Trainer Coach at Gateshead.

In 1964 he was appointed manager of Bishop Auckland and transformed them from a struggling side into Northern League champions. He then moved to Sheffield Wednesday as a coach before landing his ‘big break’ as manager of Doncaster Rovers where he remained until May 1971 when he became manager of Grimsby Town, winning divisional championships at both clubs. In 1973, he became manager of Southampton.

Whilst at Grimsby, Lawrie took his players to the docks to see the working lives of those who paid his players’ wages at the turnstiles to remind them of how privileged they were to be professional footballers. He took his deep sense of civic and moral obligations to Southampton and insisted his players played their part in the local community. I was a direct beneficiary of this as the University Football Club, for which I played, was coached by Southampton first team players.

I used to watch ‘the Saints’, without paying, from the balcony of Overdell Court - a University Hall of Residence - during some of the best years of Lawrie’s time at Southampton, including in 1976 when the club achieved its highest ever league position and beat Manchester United in the FA Cup. I am sure that Lawrie remembers, as I do, Jack Charlton’s prediction of a 6-0 win for Man Utd!

Lawrie left Southampton in 1986 to join Sunderland and in 1990 he became England’s assistant manager. In 1993, Lawrie returned to Southampton in a new position as Director of Football and remained with the club until 1998 when he was appointed manager of Northern Ireland.

Lawrie retired from managing in 2000 and since then has concentrated on his role as FA special ambassador. In 2004, he became Chairman of the Special Olympics, the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition programmes for children and adults with learning disabilities. He is now the organisation’s President and in that role we as a University are very pleased to work with him. The University of Bath provided the main venue for the Bath 2013 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games, hosting nine of the 12 participating sports.

Lawrie is involved with several charities in Hampshire where he lives and at a national level. He is a Patron of the Alzheimer's Disease Association and works with Scope, the NSPCC and the National Autistic Society. He is also on the committee of Outward Bound and a trustee of the Peter Osgood Trust, which works with underprivileged children through sport.

This is the biography of a man who is held in great affection by those who know him; who recognises his civic and moral obligations; a leader who can make the best out of the circumstances in which he finds himself and who can bring out the best in others; someone who leads by example and someone who has achieved exceptional success.

Vice-Chancellor, I present to you Lawrie McMenemy who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Professor Ian Butler