New Year's Honours

Posted by er134 at Jan 02, 2014 09:25 AM |
Dedication, talent and service of individuals associated with the University of Leicester has been recognised through the awards of New Year’s Honours

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 December 2013

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Professor Helen Atkinson made CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2014

Professor Helen Atkinson FREng has been made CBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to Engineering and Education. Professor Atkinson is Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester and a Vice President and trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She chairs the Standing Committee on Education and Training for the Royal Academy of Engineering. She was elected the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council in its fifty year history, the body which represents engineering in higher education throughout the UK.

Professor Atkinson said:  ‘I am tremendously honoured to be made CBE. Engineering is crucial to our economy and quality of life. It enables transport, communication, power generation, energy security, combatting climate change through technology and medical care. It also gives you your laptop, your iphone and the internet. I am proud to be involved in the formation of professional engineers, at the University of Leicester, through the Royal Academy of Engineering and through the Engineering Professors’ Council.’

Professor Atkinson has a first class degree from the University of Cambridge (Girton College), a PhD from Imperial College and an honorary doctorate from the University of Liège in Belgium. She is a Visiting Professor at Arts et Métier ParisTech (one of the French Grands Écoles universities) and at the General Research Institute for Non-Ferrous Metals in Beijing (a premier Chinese metallurgical institute). She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – the highest honour for an engineer in the UK; when she was elected in 2007 she was one of 29 women Fellows alongside 1400 men. Professor Atkinson is also a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. The Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester is one of the largest at the University with about 700 students studying mechanical, aerospace, electrical and electronic, communications and software engineering.

Before joining Leicester, Professor Atkinson was in the Engineering Materials Department at the University of Sheffield for 14 years.

Professor Atkinson is married to the Bishop of Bedford, the Right Revd. Richard Atkinson OBE – a former Archdeacon of Leicester and former Vicar of Rotherham - and has three grown up children. She has served on the body governing the British Transport Police, the Lord Chancellor’s Committee on Appointment of Magistrates in Rotherham and as a public service appointee on a government safety committee.

Note to editors: to contact Professor Atkinson please ring University of Leicester press office

Richard Buckley - awarded Order of the British Empire for services to archaeology

Richard Buckley is co-director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services and led the dig that unearthed the remains of King Richard III in August 2012. The project has been recognised with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, Research Project of the Year by the Times Higher Education and Current Archaeology, and Richard Buckley is in the shortlist for Archaeologist of the Year in the Current Archaeology Awards 2014.

After graduating from the University of Durham in 1979, Richard was a Field Officer with Leicestershire Archaeological Unit from 1980 to 1995. During this time he worked on the investigation of Leicester Castle Hall and John of Gaunt’s Cellar (1986), the Shires excavation (1988-89) and the Causeway Lane excavation (1991).

In 1995, he formed (with Patrick Clay), University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) where, as co-director, he manages archaeological fieldwork projects principally in the East Midlands, specialising in urban sites and historic buildings. He was consultant and project manager for the Highcross Leicester Project, which led to three major excavations with a budget of over £4m.

Clare Taylor – British Empire Medal for Services to Higher Education

Clare Taylor, former Head of Student Welfare Service at the University of Leicester has been awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Higher Education in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2014.

Clare said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for this honour which recognises the excellent work undertaken by the University of Leicester’s Student Welfare team during my 23 years of stewardship.  It is a wonderful culmination to an extremely rewarding career in student support”.  The honour also acknowledges Clare’s participation in local voluntary activities over many years.

Clare has lived in Barwell, Leicestershire for most of her life.  She was educated at Hinckley Grammar School, later studying for ‘A’ levels at Earl Shilton Community College. She went on to read for a degree in Economic and Social History at the University of Leicester; she has a Science degree from the Open University and qualifications in Management from Aston University.

Clare has recently retired from the demanding post of Head of the Student Welfare Service at the University of Leicester.  Together with her team, she was able to assist many individuals who may otherwise have found Higher Education challenging or impossible. She established disability support at the University of Leicester and encouraged several local students to aspire and achieve in their educational goals   She had expertise in international education, and was able to help students from across the world through various major crises (the Boxing Day Tsunami, Balkan War, Gulf War, 9:11, various earthquakes and other natural disasters) . She was one of the University’s Child Protection Officers and in this capacity provided a taste of Higher Education for many local school students through the Higher Education Summer Schools programmes.

Clare has always attempted to support both the local and University communities through voluntary endeavours.  She was active in the St. John Ambulance Brigade as an Officer in the Order of St. John.  More recently she served for nine years on the Lord Chancellor’s Committee for Justices of the Peace in Leicestershire, and chaired the Ashby and Market Bosworth Sub-Committee – taking responsibility for the selection of Magistrates in this geographic area. She was a member of the University’s Chaplaincy Council and World Faiths’ Advisory Group; she endeavoured to ensure that students were able to practice their individual faith whilst studying at a secular University.

Clare has experienced a challenging medical history. She was fortunate in having a successful kidney transplant in 1991. With her family she is active in fund-raising for Kidney Research, and is passionate about promoting the Organ Donor message.

Clare paid tribute to the support she has received from her family, in particular her partner Chris Hopkins, her mother Jean Booton, and her two children Sarah Taylor and Jo Moore.  Sarah and Jo both carry out voluntary work and fund-raising locally, combining this with busy careers.  Clare also has four grandchildren who attend local Burbage and Hinckley schools and are always busy with their many extra-curricular activities.

Clare says: “I have so much to thank the University for, my education, my career, my wonderfully talented team.  I have met so many inspiring, courageous, interesting, and intelligent people along the way.  I will always consider it a privilege to have touched the lives of so many individuals.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “This is splendid news. I know the whole University will want to congratulate the recipients on their terrific achievement. Their honours are richly deserved.”


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