Related Links

For further information,
please contact:
Tony Trueman
University Press Office
44 (0)1225 384 220
44 (0)7966 341 322

» submit an item · an event

The Chancellor at last year's winter ceremonies
The Chancellor at last year's winter ceremonies

Press Release - 04 December 2007

A founder of the UK’s mobile phone industry to receive honorary degree from University of Bath

One of the founders of the UK’s success in the mobile phone market, Sir Julian Horn-Smith, will be awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bath next week.

He receives the degree of Doctor of Laws at a ceremony in the Assembly Rooms at 12-30pm on Tuesday December 11. In all there will be six ceremonies on December 11 and December 12, at which 600 students will receive their degree awards.

The two other honorary graduates are a University graduate, Dr Stephen Huckvale, who is a Vice-President of the engineering firm Moog, and James Sherwin, who was a lawyer in the US and a champion chess player before moving to Bath.

Sir Julian worked for Rediffusion, Philips and Mars before joining Vodafone. He studied part-time at the University of Bath and was awarded an MSc in Management, now known as an MBA, in 1979. He later said: “the MSc provided me with a real stepping stone into professional management.”

Sir Julian then worked for Vodafone from its launch in 1984 to 2006, working his way up from Marketing Executive to Deputy Chief Executive.

The most notable period in his career was his part in helping Vodafone carry out a hostile takeover of the huge German conglomerate, Mannesmann, for $200 billion dollars, the largest corporate transaction ever. This formed the largest telecoms operator in the world.

Sir Julian is also well-known for promoting corporate social responsibility and his philanthropic interests include working as a trustee for the Prince of Wales’ International Business Leaders’ Forum.

In his oration, Professor Andrew Pettigrew, Dean of the University’s School of Management, will say: “Sir Julian Horn-Smith has distinguished himself by helping to create in Vodafone a company of global presence. In doing so has also helped to create a new industry which touches us all.”

James Sherwin, a US citizen, was a winner of the US Open Chess Championship and once beat the legendary US world chess champion, Bobby Fischer. He worked as a corporate lawyer and businessman, eventually running a billion-dollar company, GAF Corporation. He moved to Europe in 1981 as Chief Financial Officer of Hunter Douglas N.V., the Dutch multinational group.

In 1999 he retired from office and settled in Bath. He has numerous connections with the University, including being Chair of the University’s Investment Committee, and sitting on its Remuneration Committee and Finance Committee. He receives the degree of Doctor of Laws at 3pm on 11 December.

Dr Stephen Huckvale who took a BSc and PhD in engineering at the University, has worked for the Moog Inc. a designer and manufacturer of precision control components for aircraft, industrial equipment and medical devices since 1980. He worked his way up from Engineering Manager to a Vice-President of the corporation and now heads its International Group. He receives the degree of Doctor of Engineering at 10am on 12 December.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: