Celebrating our alumni community 

An education at the University of Nottingham provides the platform for graduates to achieve great things in their careers – and is something everyone can be proud of.

Our Alumni Laureate Awards (ALAs) recognise those inspirational alumni who go on to make the most of their talents in their chosen field. Since 2007 we have awarded ALAs to recognise alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their community, stimulated new ideas and shown exceptional dedication, creativity or leadership.

Our winners are presented with their awards during graduation each year.

Award categories

Recent Graduate Award

Recognising the achievements of alumni who have graduated since 2010

Special Excellence Award

Recognising a wide range of achievements, such as sporting success, international work or contribution to the arts and the local community

Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognising alumni who have demonstrated special excellence over an extended period of time

You can view the full eligibility criteria here (PDF)

Meet our 2020 award winners

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jonathan Van-Tam MBE (Medicine, 1987)

Jonathan is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. Globally recognised as an expert on respiratory viruses, Jonathan has been one of the most senior advisors to the Government during the COVID-19 crisis and has regularly presented at the Government’s national briefings.

Jonathan’s career spans across academia, the pharmaceutical industry and the public sector, including roles as Head of the Pandemic Influenza Office and Chair of the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control, and serving on the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Jonathan Van-Tam, 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award winner


Recent Graduate Award

Madeline Pizzoni
(Nursing, 2013)

Madeline is a Captain in the Army Air Corps. Joining the Army after graduation, Madeline completed her officer training at Sandhurst in 2015, before training to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps. Completing her Wildcat training in 2019, Madeline advanced to front line 659 Squadron in December 2019, one of only a handful of active female pilots in the Army Air Corps. 659 Squadron are currently part of the COVID Support Force, and in addition to her work with her squadron, Madeline took part in a flypast with the Army Air Corps to mark Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday. 

Olivia Swift
(Midwifery, 2015)

Olivia is the founder of Lotus Maternity, an award-winning maternity brand which provides products and services to support and empower mums as they navigate parenthood. After training as a midwife and seeing the challenges faced by new mums, especially breastfeeding in public, Olivia was inspired to start her own business which has gone from strength to strength. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the support offered through her business, Olivia returned to midwifery on Nottingham’s maternity wards to help during the crisis. 

Emily Seto
(Clinical Microbiology, 2016)

Emily is a Planetary Protection Engineer at NASA. Joining NASA after graduating from the University in 2016, Emily has been part of the team working to launch a spacecraft to Europa (Jupiter’s moon) to investigate whether the icy moon could harbour conditions suitable for life. Most recently, Emily has joined the Mars 2020 Mission and took part in the launch from Kennedy Space Station in July 2020. Crucially, Emily is at the forefront of preparations to ensure that if we do find life on Mars, we can prove it. 


Special Excellence Award

Richard Wardlaw OBE
(Prod. Engineering, 1991)

Richard is a Lieutenant General in the British Army and as Chief of Defence, Logistics and Support, currently holds the rank of 3* General, placing him among the most senior soldiers in the Army. Joining the Army after graduation, Richard has over 28 years’ service and has served around the globe in Hong Kong, Brunei, the Falkland Islands, Germany and the UK and operationally in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 and 2009, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) following his tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Steve Cliffe
(Electrical Engineering, 1985)

Steve is the CEO and President of Ultraleap, an innovative technology company which brings together the world’s most powerful 3D hand tracking with haptic technology to be able to create the sensation of touch in mid-air, making digital worlds feel more human. With over 30 years’ experience in the technology industry, Steve has held a number of senior roles at leading companies including Plessey Semiconductors, ProVision and Xintronix. 

Anmarie Spaziano
(Sociology, 2002)

Anmarie is the founder and owner of Annie’s Burger Shack, one of the most popular restaurants in Nottingham. Annie’s Burger Shack’s humble beginning started when Anmarie, a native of Rhode Island, took over use of a little kitchen in the back of a rock ‘n’ roll pub with just a bum-bag and a frying pan. People fell in love with her tasty cooked-to-order burgers, and after moving to The Navigation Inn, queues would form with up to a three hour wait for food. In 2014 the first independent Annie’s Burger Shack restaurant opened in the Lace Market, where it remains one of Nottingham’s most-visited eateries.  




Alumni Engagement

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