David McKown recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Tonight (Friday 7 June 2019) the Queen’s Birthday Honours List has been published and we’re delighted to announce that David McKown, Head of Training and Quality in Accommodation and Commercial Services, is recognised for services to Hospitality Training and Education.

Honours are awarded to extraordinary people across the UK for service to the country to mark the Queen's official birthday. In response to being appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), David, who joined our University in 1992, 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.”

David's career achievements

An MBE is the latest in a long list of achievements for David McKown during his career in hospitality training and education.

After joining the University in 1992 he guided his department to Investors in People accreditation in 1995 and more recently the Customer First Standard in 2011.

In 1998, he created the internationally-renowned Skills for Chefs Conference which takes place every summer at our University. This year will be the 22nd annual conference.

In 2004, he received a Cost Sector Catering Award for the university/college sector.

In 2011, David 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 has lectured at a wide range of institutions in England, Scotland and Wales.

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 our University. The dinner is now an annual event.

In 2012, David also created the annual national competition UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year, a vehicle to help young people carve a career in the hospitality industry.

David received a Catey Award for Education and Training in 2015. The Cateys are regarded as the industry Oscars.

He also became a Director of College and University Business Officers 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.

David McKown

David works 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.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication and congratulations on this well-deserved and incredible achievement.

Helen Dingle, Chief Financial Officer


Congratulations to Visiting Professor Jim Norton

Engineering graduate and Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Professor Jim Norton, has also been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours – for services to Engineering and the Digital Economy.

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

He led the Cabinet Office Performance & Innovation Unit team which developed the report e-Commerce@its.best.uk for the Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999. The actions from that report kick started the government’s commitment to e-Commerce and the digital economy.

He was also E-Evangelist for the Institute of Directors from 2000 to 2002 and 2005 to 2008, giving hundreds of presentations on the benefits of e-business to groups of SMEs across the UK. And more recently, 2015–2019, he chaired the work of fellows and staff at the Royal Academy of Engineering on the applications of Data Analytics (Big Data) and Machine Learning.


Congratulations to American History Professor Richard Carwardine

Professor Richard Carwardine, an eminent historian and former member of staff and Professor of American History in the Department of History, 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.

Professor Carwardine became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1983 and was one of the pioneers in his field during this period. He has written six text books during his career on various topics within American History.

He went on to win the Lincoln Prize Laureate in 2004 and his most recent accolade is being inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln, the highest honour given in the state, by the Governor of Illinois in 2009 as a Bicentennial Laureate.