Roger Whorrod OBE was one of the University’s first engineering graduates. He completed an MSc in 1970 and went on to run his own company, manufacturing electrical equipment in the West Midlands, achieving a £20 million turnover.

Sue Whorrod began her career as a hospital staff nurse, moved into district nursing and then became Neighbourhood Nursing Manager for a large Birmingham housing estate.

The Whorrods watched the rise of the University over the decades with a sense of pride. Keen to play a part in its future they decided to support talented undergraduates and researchers, through the Roger and Sue Whorrod Fund.

In 2010, they donated a gift worth £1 million to the University to support the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) through endowment of the Whorrod Chair in Sustainable Chemical Technologies and the funding of research fellowships.

Roger said:

Seeing the progress made by the young undergraduates and early career researchers we support at the University has been a hugely enjoyable, invigorating and stimulating experience for Sue and me.

Whorrod Fellowships are funding talented early-career researchers. Their research is focused on new molecules, materials, processes and systems, from the lab right through to industrial application, with an emphasis on practical sustainability.

In the University’s Centre for DisAbility Sport & Health (DASH), Dr Jean-Philippe Walhin is investigating health issues faced by disabled people and the impact of exercise on their health and wellbeing, thanks to the Sue Whorrod Research Fellowship.

The Whorrods enthusiastically follow the progress of their scholars in their studies and careers, and host an annual reception for the students they support. Roger helped to establish the University’s Women in Engineering Student Society and regularly attends events.

Dr Chris Chuck, Whorrod Research Fellow in the CSCT, who is leading a research team at Bath aiming to produce the first ever yeast-derived alternative to palm oil on an industrial scale, said:

The research team in the CSCT is delighted that the Whorrods are being honoured by the University. Their generous and warm support is enabling young researchers to find answers to some of the world’s most pressing sustainability issues.

Read more about the research project.