Honorary Award recipients Pictured (l-r) Professor Ojan Assadian, John Bernard, Rachel Cooper OBE, Colin Dennis, Jacqueline Dyer, Eric Nicholls, Sir Paul Nurse, Christopher Reid and Ashok Vaswani

Eight recipients will receive the award of Honorary Doctorate of the University and a retiring professor will be conferred with the title of Emeritus Professor

A NOBEL Prize winner is among the leading figures in the fields of engineering, healthcare, finance, business and literature who are to be honoured by the University of Huddersfield.  During a sequence of graduation ceremonies in July, nine distinguished people from the UK and overseas will receive honorary awards.  They are:

This year’s recipients will be (in alphabetical order)...

  • Professor Ojan Assadian (Emeritus Professorship)
  • John Bernard
  • Rachel Cooper OBE
  • Colin Dennis
  • Jacqueline Dyer
  • Eric Nicholls
  • Sir Paul Nurse
  • Christopher Reid
  • Ashok Vaswani

Sir Paul Nurse – The geneticist and cell biologist and Nobel prize-winner’s major work has been on the cyclin dependent protein kinases and how they regulate cell reproduction.  He is Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London, and has served as President of the Royal Society and Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK.  He shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has received the Albert Lasker Award and the Royal Society’s Royal and Copley Medals.  He was knighted in 1999, received the Legion d’Honneur in 2003, and for 15 years was a member of the Council for Science and Technology, advising the UK Prime Minister and Cabinet concerning science and innovation issues.

Professor Ojan Assadian – Austrian-born, he received a medical degree from the University of Vienna in 1997 and the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2000.  In 2003, he became Associate Professor in Hygiene and Medical Microbiology at the Medical University of Vienna.  In 2015, he was appointed Professor of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention at the University of Huddersfield.

John Bernard – Currently Marketing Director for Dexcom, the San Diego-based medical devices manufacturer, he is a marketing graduate of the University of Huddersfield and has made a major impact on companies including Mozilla, Sony Ericsson and Siemens.  He is credited with creating the LG Mobile brand in Europe and set the template for integrated mobile phone launches that are commonplace today.

Rachel Cooper OBE – A leader in design and design research for over 30 years, she is currently Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University, Visiting Professor and Council Member of the Royal College of Art and Chairs the Advisory Group for the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield.  She is an advocate for the application of design research across many fields.

Colin Dennis – A Fellow of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Safety and Reliability Society, he has been involved in the development and application of safety and reliability analysis techniques to the nuclear, railway and other industries.  At the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), he was responsible for producing the rail industry safety performance reports, industry risk assessments and the industry safety risk profile.  He currently chairs the Safety and Reliability Society.

Jacqueline Dyer – Huddersfield-born, she is currently Vice Chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce for England.  An independent health and social care consultant with a background in adult mental health commissioning as well as community and family social work, Ms Dyer is a senior management board advisor for the national “Time To Change” anti-stigma and discrimination campaign and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group for Mental Health.

Eric Nicholls – The Vice-Chair of the University of  Huddersfield’s Council, he was a graduate trainee at Rolls Royce before joining the Bradford & Bingley Building Society, eventually becoming Head of Personnel.  Mr Nicholls then worked as a freelance HR consultant.  A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, he is Chair of the University of Huddersfield’s Estates Development Committee and a member of the Audit, Governance and Membership, and Remuneration Committees.

Christopher Reid – As poetry editor Faber and Faber, he oversaw a list that included Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.  In 1999, he set up his own publishing firm and A Scattering, his 2009 collection of elegies for his wife Lucinda, was declared Costa Book of the Year.  In 2010, his narrative poem, The Song of Lunch, became a BBC2 film.  For two years, he was Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Hull and Mr Reid edited the Letters of Ted Hughes for publication.

Ashok Vaswani – As CEO for Barclays UK, he oversees Retail Banking, Wealth, Business Banking and Barclaycard UK.  He joined the bank in 2010, managing the credit card business across the UK and Europe.  He went on to manage Barclays in Africa, Barclays Retail Business Bank globally and Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking.  Prior to Barclays, Mr Vaswani was a partner with a J P Morgan Chase- funded private equity firm – Brysam Global Partners.  He started his career in India and has since worked and lived in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US.