12 July 2005

Explorers, doctors and top geneticist given honorary degrees

The University of Sheffield is to award 18 honorary degrees at its degree ceremonies next week, from Tuesday 19 July to Friday 22 July 2005.

Honorary degrees will be given to, amongst others, Sir Ranulph Fiennes (DSc), whose ten world record breaking expeditions have led to him being known as the greatest living explorer on earth. Sir Ranulph's transglobe expedition (1979 - 1982) was the first ever surface journey undertaken around the earth's polar axis. Throughout the course of the expedition, Sir Ranulph worked closely with the University of Sheffield's Department of Physics to record radio waves from the earth's magnetosphere.

Professor Frank Ellis (DSc), who this summer will be as old as the University itself, and who graduated in 1927, will be awarded an honorary degree in recognition of his pioneering work in radiotherapy and radiology. Professor Ellis' work in the early part of the 20th century led directly to the modern calculation of radiation doses to be used in cancer treatment.

Professor Dr Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (DSc) who received the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1995 for her work in understanding the molecular basis of animal development will also receive an honorary degree. Professor Dr Nüsslein-Volhard was a pioneer of zebrafish genetics and her ground-breaking work underpins much of the research carried out at the Centre for Developmental Genetics at the University of Sheffield.

Lord May of Oxford (DSc), president of the Royal Society since 2000, will also receive an honorary degree. Lord May is a distinguished mathematical biologist whose research has contributed to the formulation of environmental policies. In 1995 he was named chief scientific advisor to the British government and was knighted the following year.

Sir Robert Kerslake (LittD), Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council since 1997, will also receive an honorary degree. Sir Robert is involved with many community and regional organisations including Sheffield First, the South Yorkshire Forum, and the Sheffield Partnership for Health.

Mr Andrew Lawrence-King (DMus), a world-renowned early music performer, will also receive an honorary degree. He has led baroque opera performances at many of the world's most famous venues, including Carnegie Hall, New York, the Sydney Opera House and La Scala in Milan. Earlier this year he played a pivotal role as guest musical director in the University of Sheffield's Centenary baroque performances in the city's cathedral.

Notes for Editors: Also receiving an honorary degree are:
Mr Joe Simpson (LittD)
One of Sheffield's most distinguished authors, he has published five books, the most famous of which is 'Touching the Void,' which was made into a feature film.
Emeritus Professor Keith Miller (DEng)
A former member of staff at the University of Sheffield, Professor Miller was head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research focused on fatigue and fracture of engineering materials and structures.
Mr William Forrester (DEng)
Mr William Forrester, former director of Sheffield Insulations Group who became chairman of John Laing Plc of London in 2001. Laing's is the UK's leading PFI/PPP investment company.
Dr Susan Kohler (LittD)
A former member of staff in the department of Landscape Architecture and instigator of the campaign to restore Sheffield's Botanical Gardens.
Dr Ferit Boysan (DEng)
Dr Ferit Boysan was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sheffield when he wrote the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software code TEMPEST. Dr Boysan recognised the commercial applications for his research, which was marketed by the company Fluent. He is now president of Fluent.
Mr David Young (LittD)
Mr Young grew up in Sheffield, attending King Edward VII School. He is now Chairman of HEFCE.
Mr Laurence Rees (LittD)
Creative director of BBC TV history programmes since 2000, Mr Rees has worked closely with Professor Sir Ian Kershaw from the University of Sheffield, on The Nazis TV series.
Mr Peter Lee (DEng)
A member of the University Council since 1965, he has made a major contribution to the University, serving as both Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council.
Mrs Pamela Liversidge (DEng)
Mrs Liversidge lives and works in the Sheffield region. She was elected President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1997.
Dame Deirdre Hine (DSc Med)
Dame Deirdre was Chief Medical Officer for Wales before her retirement in 1997. She has since held a number of prestigious appointments, including as Chair of the Commission for Health Improvement.
Dame Julia Polak (DSc)
Director of the Imperial College Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Centre, in 1995 she was found to be suffering from pulmonary hypertension, one of the conditions she had been studying. She had a heart and lung transplant and then set up the Julia Polak Research Trust which raises money for research into the causes of pulmonary hypertension.
Dame Anne Rafferty (LLD)
A graduate of the University of Sheffield, Dame Anne was the first woman Chair of the Criminal Bar Association.

For further information please contact Danielle Reeves, media relations officer, on 0114 222 5339.

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