University recognises twelve honorary graduates during summer graduation

Summer graduation week (20-24 July 2015) is one of the most exciting weeks of the year. We really enjoy getting a chance to welcome all our new alumni in person, seeing the campus full of excited families and jubilant graduates.

Throughout the week the University also awards a number of Honorary Degrees to distinguished recipients who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen fields. Several of these honorary graduates were already Sheffield alumni. Here we detail those privileged recipients:

Professor Sir Simon WesselyDr Andrew CaveDr Andrew Cave (PhD English Cultural Tradition, 2002) is one of the most respected mountaineers in the world today. Andy is also a successful author, academic lecturer, motivational speaker and business coach. Initially a coal miner, he left his job at Grimethorpe Colliery to focus on climbing. Later he returned to education, which eventually led to the award of a PhD in socio-linguistics from The University of Sheffield in 2002. His two books, Learning to Breathe and Thin White Line, have won numerous awards.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely was born and raised in Sheffield. Sir Simon is Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, where he is also the Vice Dean for Academic Psychiatry. He is a renowned expert on chronic fatigue syndrome, Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research and the current President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He was knighted in 2013 for services to military healthcare and to psychological medicine.


Emeritus Professor David HeySir Roger BoneSir Roger Bone had a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service, which culminated in his appointment as Ambassador to Sweden and then to Brazil, before he becoming President of Boeing UK from 2005–14. He continues to be very supportive of The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing. Sir Roger is an honorary ambassador for British business and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Universities and Business.

Emeritus Professor David Hey is a highly regarded and pioneering figure in the fields of local and family history and surnames. David is Emeritus Professor of Local and Family History at The University of Sheffield. He was a member of academic staff in the Division of Adult Continuing Education for many years and served as Dean of the Faculty of Education. He is the author of numerous books including the bestselling Family History and Local History in England.


Professor Huang WeiProfessor Richard CarwardineProfessor Richard Carwardine, FBA is an eminent historian, best known for his acclaimed analytical biography of Abraham Lincoln. His research focuses on American politics and religion in the nineteenth century. A former member of staff and Professor of American History in The University of Sheffield’s History department, he is now President of Corpus Christi College, and latterly Rhodes Professor of American History, at the University Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Professor Huang Wei is President of Nanjing Tech University in China. He has collaborated with Nobel laureates on developing light-emitting polymers and other organic materials, and creating processing routes for wires of graphene, which has the potential to revolutionise medicine. He has promoted a strong collaborative partnership between The University of Sheffield and Nanjing Tech. Elected to the Chinese National Academy of Sciences in 2011, he is helping to foster innovation in China and contributing to China’s rise as a global scientific force.


Emily MaitlisProfessor Colin LawsonProfessor Colin Lawson has been the Director of the Royal College of Music since 2005, and as a leading clarinettist and scholar, Colin Lawson is one of the country’s most influential musicians. Actively involved in teaching, doctoral supervision, classical clarinet tuition and coaching, he is also a regular performer, recording artist and researcher. He was a member of academic staff of The University of Sheffield’s Department of Music from 1978–97, where he made a lasting contribution to performance studies.

Emily Maitlis is one of the BBC’s most respected journalists and a main presenter of the flagship current affairs programme Newsnight. She has a reputation as a formidable interviewer, questioning major political leaders, sports personalities and celebrities – ranging from Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger and all of the last four UK Prime Ministers to David Beckham, Hugh Grant and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Emily was raised and educated in Sheffield, attending King Edward VII School.


The Rt Revd John RawsthorneRosie ValerioRosie Valerio was, for 17 years, the Director of Human Resource Management at The University of Sheffield. In this role she established the University’s reputation as an employer welcoming and celebrating diversity amongst its staff. She sought to improve career prospects for women, and led the University to recognition as an equal opportunity employer for LGBT colleagues. Under her leadership the HR team won the award as the best in a UK university in 2010.

The Rt Revd John Rawsthorne, former Bishop of Hallam, has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the Catholic faith, religious education and charitable causes. He was a trustee of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, and supported organisations such as the St Wilfrid’s Drop-In Day Centre in Sheffield, raising over £150,000 through sponsored walks. A member of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, he is interested in education and youth work. In Sheffield, he has championed interfaith activities, and supported asylum seekers and other marginalised groups.


Professor Pallab BhattacharyaProfessor Roderick SmithProfessor Roderick Smith , FREng, CEng, FIMechE, FIM, FCGI is a former Head of The University of Sheffield’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and currently the Royal Academy of Engineering/Network Rail Research Professor of Railway Engineering, and Chair of the Future Railway Research Centre at Imperial College, London. His research is concerned with fracture mechanics, railway engineering and structural integrity. He served as the 126th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2011–12 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Transport in 2012–14.

Professor Pallab Bhattacharya (MEng Electrical Engineering, 1977, PhD Electrical Engineering, 1978) is a graduate of The University of Sheffield, and is currently the James R Mellor Professor of Engineering and the Charles M Vest Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He has an outstanding international reputation in solid state electronics, and has made pioneering contributions in the fields of optoelectronics, compound semiconductors and high-frequency electronics. He has maintained close links with the Faculty of Engineering at Sheffield throughout his career.


Congratulations to all our honorary graduates, and welcome to the Sheffield Alumni.

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