December 18, 2017, by Liz Goodwin

Master-brewer is honoured by the University of Nottingham in winter 2017 graduation

A former professor of the University of Nottingham, who pioneered world class research into brewing science, has received an honorary degree during this year’s winter graduation ceremonies. She was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws in a ceremony on Wednesday 13 December.

Professor Katherine Smart, who was a previous holder of a SABMiller professorship within the University’s School of Biosciences, joined thousands of successful students celebrating the triumphant culmination of their studies. They formally received their degrees and became graduates of the University during the ceremonies which ran from Tuesday 12 December 2017 to Friday 15 December 2017.

Professor Smart studied biology at the University and when she returned to Nottingham in 2005, she was appointed as the UK’s only female Professor of Brewing Science.  During her time at Nottingham, she was instrumental in developing research programmes and establishing the Bioenergy and Brewing Science Building, which features a state-of-the-art micro-brewery, opened in 2011.

Until recently, she was Chief Brewer for the world’s largest brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev and before that she was Global Chief Brewer for SABMiller.

On receiving her honorary degree, Professor Smart said: “It is such an honour to be here today. I was an undergraduate at this university 30 years ago and even then it was a huge honour and a privilege to be here. I was also first in my family to go to university. Today I’m reflecting on my grandparents. They were born and bred in Beeston, which is the nearest town to this campus, and this is for them.”

Robert WH Cripps AM — The Cripps Foundation

Robert Cripps and his family have been one of the University of Nottingham’s most generous donors supporting a range of buildings including Cripps Hall alongside Chairs in Engineering, and establishing a tradition of philanthropy stretching more than 60 years.

The Cripps family and Foundation have had an extraordinary impact on the University of Nottingham over many years and without it the institution would not be the place we know today.

The original Cripps Health Centre at the University of Nottingham was pioneering when it was built in 1969. Now, thanks to a transformational £9m gift, the Foundation is enhancing the original vision by building a 21st-century healthcare and wellbeing facility for students, staff and the community, which will be unrivalled within higher education.

Mr Robert Cripps was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws in a ceremony on Wednesday 13 December.

Robert Cripps receives an honorary degree in this year’s winter graduation ceremony


Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE DL

After starting her career as a secondary school teacher, Professor Madeleine Atkins developed a research interest in the social mobility of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and the use of technologies to support effective learning. She was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws in a ceremony on Friday 15 December.

She became a lecturer in education management at Newcastle University and held several senior academic roles there before serving as Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University from 2004 to 2013. She has been Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England since 2014.

Professor Atkins has a long-standing commitment to the contribution that higher education can make to the prosperity of society and has held non-executive Board positions in regional, national and international organisations. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was awarded a CBE in 2012 for her contribution to higher education.

Alumni Laureate Awards

Each year awards are given to University of Nottingham alumni in the UK and throughout the world who have made outstanding contributions to their community, have stimulated new ideas and have shown exceptional dedication, creativity and leadership.

  • The following Alumni Laureate Awards took place on Thursday 14 December:

Recent Graduate Award

Dr Janey Lowes

Veterinary Medicine and Science, 2010, 2012.

Won ‘Vet of the Year’ 2016 at the Animal Hero Awards for her work which was inspired by seeing first-hand the state of homeless animals while on holiday to Sri Lanka.

Special Excellence Award

Dr Kirsty Clode

BSc Hons Chemistry 1986, PhD Chemistry, 1989.

Freelance consultant, working with companies in the Humber region to improve the number of women in science, technology, engineering and maths jobs.

Special Excellence Award

Mari Davis


Founder member of Urafiki, a charity set up in 1999 which works to transform the community in Yala, Kenya by offering friendship, expertise and direct, practical help

to those in need in order to build a sustainable environment for the village, tagged ‘Donorship to Ownership.’

Special Excellence Award

Mary Storrie

MA Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights, 2013.

Established the Rosie May Foundation after her daughter’s murder, with immediate funds going to the Sheffield Paediatric Intensive Care Unit which gave Rosie May special care during the last 48 hours of her life.

Special Excellence Award

Andrew McNaughton

Civil Engineering, 1985.

A civil engineer and business leader with over 30 years’ experience in the infrastructure industry, delivered many of the UK’s major infrastructure projects.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sir Nigel Sherlock, KCVO OBE, Hon DCL, Hon DBA

Law, 1961.

Following a successful career in stockbroking, he was awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to economic generation and to community life in the North East.

  • The following Alumni Laureate Awards took place on Thursday 14 December at 3:15pm:

Recent Graduate Award

Lawrence Brand

Politics and International Relations, 2011.

Founder of Porterlight Bikes.

Special Excellence Award

James Kustow

Medicine, 2000.

Set up Marrow in 1998 as a medical student to recruit student stem cell donors as a result of a friend’s diagnosis of leukaemia.

Special Excellence Award

Norma Gregory

PGCE English, 2010.

Norma has been successful in the receipt of a £96,700 Heritage Lottery grant in 2017 to complete the national project to continue collating the black coal miners’ experiences from across the UK.

Special Excellence Award

David Hancock

MSc Sports Medicine, 1999.

First Englishman to be recruited by an NBA franchise (New York Knicks) to become the first Performance Director of their professional athletes, including the introduction of GPS software to track the players training and game information to help coaches with their preparation for the game season.

 Lifetime Achievement Award

Baroness Margaret Wheeler of Blackfriars, MBE

Politics, 1971.

Baroness Wheeler joined the House of Lords as a Labour Life Peer in 2010, and has served as Senior Opposition Whip since 2014. In this time she has served as a member of the Shadow Health team, and campaigned for better provision for adult social care and primary support services.

  • Unable to attend the ceremony:

Recent Graduate Award

Theodore Taptiklis (known professionally as Theo James)

Philosophy, 2007.

Theo has carved a successful path in acting, including prominent roles in Hollywood blockbusters very early in his acting career.

Posted in AlumniAwards and accolades