Sheffield celebrates Honorary Graduates

We are delighted to celebrate and congratulate these distinguished individuals for their outstanding contributions to society.

Photo of Honorary Graduates 2022

Below is a list of all the individuals who recieved an honorary degree from Sheffield this year.

March 2022

The Rt Hon Lord Burnett of Maldon (Hon LLD 2022): Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

The Right Honourable Lord Burnett of Maldon was called to the Bar in 1980; he became a pupil and then a member of Temple Garden Chambers where he practised until May 2008, for the last five years as Head of Chambers. Lord Burnett was appointed to the High Court Bench, and was the Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit from 2011 until 2014 when he was appointed to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. He was Vice Chairman of the independent Judicial Appointments Commission from November 2015 until March 2017. He was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales on 1 October 2017.

Emeritus Professor Pamela Enderby OBE (Hon DSc 2022)

Professor Enderby founded the Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol and in 2000 received an Honorary Doctor of Science in recognition of her outstanding contribution to speech and language therapy and rehabilitation research. Professor Enderby moved to Sheffield in 1996 as Chair of Community Rehabilitation in SCHARR and continued her clinical practice with Community Health Sheffield. In 1997, after a decade of legal challenge against the Department of Health, she won a landmark case for equal pay which lead to the ‘Agenda for Change’, described as the most radical modernisation of the NHS pay system since its foundation in 1948. Professor Enderby was the first female, non-medical appointment to the position of Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. She is an inspirational leader and her outstanding contributions to healthcare research and dedicated service to speech and language therapy culminated in the award of OBE in 2018. 

Professor Tim Kendall, BEM (BMedSci Biomedical Science, 1981; MBChB Medicine 1983; Hon MD 2022): National Clinical Director for Mental Health at NHS England.

Professor Tim Kendall is a Sheffield alumnus, who was Director of the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Psychotherapeutic studies from 1991 until 1998; this was the largest and most multi-disciplinary institution of its kind, which brought together clinical work and applied approaches with scholarly and empirical research. For the past 15 years Professor Kendall has been Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He has also been Medical Director at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust for 13 years, continuing his practise as Consultant Psychiatrist for the homeless in Sheffield, and has been a Visiting Professor at University College London for 8 years. Professor Kendall's distinguished career has been marked by his strong commitment to social justice and human rights in the field of mental health, and a determination to champion the involvement of service users and carers in healthcare governance, development of strategy and policy, and in research.

Poppy Gustafsson, OBE (BSc Mathematics 2003; Hon DSc 2022): Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Darktrace.

Poppy Gustafsson gained a BSc in Mathematics from Sheffield University in 2003. After graduating she studied for an accountancy qualification at Deloitte and then worked in various roles before taking an opportunity to join Darktrace’s founding team. She became co-CEO of the company which under her leadership reached $1.65 billion valuation in less than five years. It was named Europe's 9th ‘Fastest Growing Company’ by the Financial Times and ‘Fastest Growing Super Scale-up’ by Tech Tour. Darktrace is the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) company for cyber security. The Enterprise Immune System uses machine learning and AI algorithms to detect and respond to cyber threats across diverse digital environments in real time. As a regular commentator on Cyber Security, Ms. Gustafsson accompanied Theresa May on a trade mission to Japan in August 2017. She was also named City A.M’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, was winner of the ‘Veuve Clicquot Business Women Awards 2019’, and was recognised in Management Today’s ’30 Women under 35 List’ in 2018

Jonathan Seaton, MBE, DL (MA Law 2007; PGDip Legal Practice 2008; Hon DSc 2022): Co-Founder and CEO of Twinkl Education Publishing. And Susie Seaton (Hon DSc 2022): Co-Founder of Twinkl Education Publishing.

Alumnus Seaton and his wife Susie founded the Sheffield-based educational resource publisher Twinkl in 2010. It has rapidly grown into a highly successful global enterprise, with customers in 168 countries. Twinkl is a quality specialist digital educational publisher, providing primary and secondary educators with one of the largest collections of high digital teaching materials in the world. It now employs over 450 people, has an office in Australia and has a turnover of £15m. Due to this outstanding success, the company won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for its outstanding growth in overseas earnings. Whilst in June 2018 Jonathan received the Ernst and Young North of England Entrepreneur of the Year Scale-up Award, winning praise for his inspirational leadership.

May 2022

Dr Sam John Chapman (BEng Software Engineering 1999; MSc (Res) Materials, Structures and Systems Engineering 2001; PhD Computer Science 2010; Hon DEng 2022): Chief Innovation Officer, Co-Founder and Director of Floow.

Alumnus Dr Sam Chapman has excelled in his chosen career, as CIO and co-founder of The Floow. The company has changed the telematics industry by making use of data and social sciences in order to change driver behaviour and lower the risks on our roads. Dr Chapman has led the digital industries sector of Sheffield, has advised the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety (PACTS) and taken part in government trade missions overseas. He is a strong advocate for the city, encouraging other digital businesses to make their base in the region.

Robert Griggs (Hon MD 2022): Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Highly distinguished Neurologist Professor Griggs specialises in neuromuscular diseases, with a focus on experimental therapeutics and has received many teaching awards. He is currently Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, USA and has involved Sheffield Neuroscientists in several important initiatives in the US, including translational neuroscience symposia and membership of high impact journal editorial boards.

Chris Rea CBE, OBE, DL (Hon DEng 2022): Founder and Managing Director of ASSEAL.

Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and former Deputy Lieutenant for South Yorkshire, Rea founded and grew ASSEAL into a major international company, now employing 1,700 staff and operating in 230 locations worldwide as the world’s 4th largest mechanical seal manufacturer for a wide range of industries. In 2011, ASSEAL created a £1 million charitable fund donating to the South Yorkshire Community Foundation.

Martyn Ware (Hon DMus 2022)

Born and raised in Sheffield, Martyn Ware is best known as a founding member of The Human League and Heaven 17, and as a leading record producer. Ware has not only played a part in the legendary Sheffield music scene, but also a pivotal role in its creation. Although his career in popular music is unprecedented, with his name as producer appearing on some 50 million records, Ware still maintains strong links with the city as a Patron of Sheffield’s Sensoria Festival; a unique mix of live performance, film screenings, installations, exhibitions, plus music and film industry activity at venues across Sheffield. As a passionate educator on popular music and music production, Ware speaks frequently about the future of electronic music and holds numerous visiting professorships recognising his services to music.

Professor Paul White, OBE (Hon 2022): Emeritus Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Public Orator at the University of Sheffield.

Professor White has had a distinguished academic career at the University of Sheffield and in the Higher Education sector, joining the University’s Department of Geography in 1974 and rising to become a Professor of European Urban Geography. In 2006, the quality of Professor White’s research was recognised when he was presented with the Royal Geographical Society's Edward Heath Award for contributions to research on the geography of Europe, and in 2011 he was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He retired in July 2016 as Professor of European Urban Geography and in the same year received an OBE for services to higher education.

July 2022

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, CBE, FRS (Hon DSc 2022)

Professor Sir Keither Burnett became the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield in 2007 until his retirement in January 2018. He was previously the Head of the Division of Maths and Physical Sciences at the University of Oxford and in his early career worked as a physicist in the United States and Imperial College in London. In 2013 Keith was knighted for services to science and higher education.

Ben Giles (Hon LittD 2022): Managing Director at Matobo Films Ltd.

Ben Giles is a distinguished film-maker, who has gained an international reputation for his own work and that of his Sheffield-based production company, Matobo Films. This has brought distinction to the City, The University of Sheffield and to creative industries in the Sheffield region. Mr. Giles has made numerous landmark, specialist factual documentaries for the BBC, Ch4, ITV, Discovery, National Geographic, WGBH Boston and ZDF. Matobo now trains over 500,000 learners in local government, the BBC, the NHS and schools across the UK, in information governance, cyber awareness and data protection. He has made 17 films for the University of Sheffield Geography Department on “Storying Relationships” and “LowPerm” projects in the UK and the Arctic. In each of the projects, his role involved a very active engagement with the commissioning professors, wrangling sensitive and difficult subjects into narrative arcs that would be accessible and easily understood. Mr. Giles has been awarded 5 BAFTAS and an Emmy, plus a personal BAFTA nomination in 2006. His films have also been featured on the Royal Geographic Society website and selected as headline film for the Polar Film Festival in 2017. 

Dr Alex Hildred (BA Prehistory & Archaeology, 1978; Hon LittD 2022): Head of Research and Curator at Mary Rose Trust.

Archaeology alumna Dr Alex Hildred has excelled in her field, becoming the Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains at the Mary Rose Trust. Dr Hildred joined the project in 1979 upon graduation from Sheffield and has worked with the Mary Rose ever since. In December 2019, she celebrated 40 years of work with King Henry VIII’s world famous warship, preserving and discovering the secrets of one of the country’s most treasured relics. She was an archaeological supervisor during the 1979-1982 excavations, helping a team of more than 500 volunteers to excavate the vessel in the Solent before it was eventually raised in 1982, which still remains the world’s largest underwater excavation. She has since directed the site, which culminated in recovering the stem in 2005. With extensive experience of underwater sites, Dr Hildred was appointed Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists Maritime Affairs Group and a member of the Government Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites.

Dr Ayesha Husaini (PhD Education 2009; Hon DEd 2022): Founder and Director of Manzil Centre.

Alumna Dr Husaini is the Founder Director of Manzil, a Sharjah based not for profit centre focussing on the educational, social and vocational inclusion of individuals with disabilities. During 20 years’ in this field, across India and the UAE, Dr Husaini has made a positive impact on 400,000 lives. Her work has been widely recognised, with numerous awards including the UAE Woman of the Year Award, the Princess Haya Award for Special Education (2012), and the British Council MENA Regional Social Impact Award (2018).

Professor Sir Simon Lovestone (BSc Microbiology 1982; Hon MD 2022): Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.

Alumnus Professor Sir Simon Lovestone is a highly prominent and successful clinical researcher who was knighted last year for his services to neuroscience research. He is currently a Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. A national leader in dementia, Lovestone led the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Translational Research Collaboration in Dementia (TRCD), and is theme lead for Informatics and Digital Health at the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.

Dame Alison Nimmo DBE (Hon LittD 2022)

Dame Alison Nimmo is one of the leading professionals in the built environment with a very distinguished career in planning and real estate. This culminated in her role as Chief Executive of the Crown Estate where she transformed its operation, a position from which she has recently retired. Dame Nimmo also played a key role in the life of Sheffield City having been the Chief Executive of Sheffield One, the first of the City’s regeneration companies, leading the £130 million major ‘heart of the city’ re-development of Sheffield’s city centre. During her time in Sheffield she was a also member of the University Council and served on it’s Estate Committee. Dame Nimmo holds many awards, including the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) highly prestigious Gold Medal, awarded to only 15 planners in the entire 106 year history of the institute (and one of only two women who have been honoured in this way). In 2004 she was appointed CBE for services to the Olympics and in 2019 she was appointed DBE for public service.