Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises University of Sheffield staff

  • David McKown appointed MBE
  • David has worked at the University for 27 years, improving training in the hospitality sector in Sheffield and across the UK
  • David invited to receive his medal from a member of the Royal Family

David McKown

The University of Sheffield’s Head of Training and Quality in Accommodation and Commercial Services has been recognised for services to hospitality training and education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

David McKown, who has worked at the University for 27 years, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Honours are awarded to extraordinary people across the UK for service to the country to mark the Queen's official birthday.

David has been invited to an Investiture at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle in the coming weeks, where he will receive his medal in person from the Queen or a member of the Royal Family.

Over nearly three decades, David has spearheaded a series of projects to boost training and education in the hospitality sector, both at the University of Sheffield and across the country.

In 2011, he became a Director of University Hospitality Seminars Ltd, a company that designs, organises and delivers training for staff working in higher education institutions across the UK.

David was awarded Honorary Membership of the Master Chefs of Great Britain (MCGB) in 2012 having developed and supported the organisation since 1996, when he invited the MCGB to present a dinner at the University of Sheffield. The dinner is now an annual event.

That same year, he created the annual UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year competition, a vehicle to help young people build careers in the hospitality industry.

He became a Director of College and University Business Officers (CUBO) in 2016, advising the board on the strategic development and implementation of training programmes for the sector. David is also a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.

At the University, David guided his department to Investors in People accreditation in 1995 and the Customer First Standard in 2011.

In 1998, he created the internationally renowned Skills for Chefs Conference, which takes place at the University of Sheffield each summer.

He has also received awards for his work, including a Cost Sector Catering Award for the University/College Sector and a Catey Award for Education and Training.

David McKown, Head of Training and Quality in Accommodation and Commercial Services at the University of Sheffield, said: “I was very surprised to learn that I had been recognised. I am of course delighted and totally blown away to be receiving this honour and will be having a special dinner with family and close friends to celebrate!

“I would like to thank all my colleagues and industry friends who have supported me along the way. My achievements would not have been possible without the University embracing such a strong set of values and without senior colleagues supporting and encouraging me to be innovative and creative.”

Helen Dingle, Chief Financial Officer, provides leadership to Accommodation and Commercial Services. She said: “Since joining the University, David has worked tirelessly to promote training and education in the hospitality sector, positively enhancing people's lives at work and beyond.

“David always brings energy, enthusiasm and a fresh way of thinking and he is truly passionate about his work. He deserves huge thanks for his commitment and dedication, and congratulations on this well-deserved and incredible achievement.”

David McKown was not the only person with links to the University of Sheffield to be recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Engineering graduate and Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Professor Jim Norton, has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to engineering and the digital economy.

Professor Norton received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield in 2003 and is currently Pro-Chancellor at Coventry University and Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering Community of Practice in Digital Systems Engineering.

Professor Richard Carwardine, an eminent historian and former member of staff and Professor of American History in the University of Sheffield’s History Department, has been awarded a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to the study of American history in the UK and the USA.

University of Sheffield alumni who were recognised include:

  • Dr Keith Clarkson, who was awarded an MBE for services to wildlife conservation.
    Dr Clarkson graduated from the University with a BSc in Zoology in 1979 and a PhD in Zoology 1985. He has spent a career working with wildlife and was, until his recent retirement, the manager for Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Under his leadership visitors to the reserve more than doubled, generating real growth for the local area and helping ensure the continued conservation of the site.
  • Author Lee Child, who was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to literature.
    Mr Child (the pseudonym of Jim Grant), the worldwide bestselling crime author of the Jack Reacher novels, graduated with an LLB in Law in 1977 and was awarded an honorary degree in 2009. Since the first book’s publication in 1997 he has released more than 20 novels, all the while supporting the University, both as a generous donor providing scholarships, and as a speaker at events with students where he has shared his writing expertise, and at alumni receptions.
  • Clive Robert Humby, Chief Data Scientist at Starcount, was awarded an OBE for services to
    data and business in the UK.
    Mr Humby graduated with a BSc in Applied Maths and Computer Science in 1975 and was awarded an honorary degree in 2016. He is a leading marketing analyst and a pioneer in data analytics, and his company (dunnhumby) was behind a groundbreaking international loyalty card scheme for Tesco. Clive has now turned his attention to social media as Chief Data Scientist for Starcount.
  • Professor Lee Elliot Major, lately Chief Executive Officer at the Sutton Trust and Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation, was awarded an OBE for services to social mobility.
    Professor Major graduated from the University with a BSc in Physics in 1990 and a PhD in Physics in 1994, and was awarded an honorary degree in 2017. He is now Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter, a Trustee at the Education Endowment Foundation, and was until recently the Chief Executive Officer at the Sutton Trust, a foundation which improves social mobility in the UK through evidence-based programmes, research and policy advocacy.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

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Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

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