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Our Alumni Laureate Awards

Do you know any alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field or made outstanding contributions to society?

2017 marked the tenth anniversary of our Alumni Laureate Awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of our alumni.

You can now nominate alumni for our 2018 awards which will be presented at this year's Winter Graduation ceremonies.

Awards lined up on a table


What are the Alumni Laureate Awards?  

Introduced in 2007, our annual Alumni Laureate Awards are given to alumni in the UK and around the world who have made an outstanding contribution to their community, stimulated new ideas and services, or shown exceptional dedication, creativity and leadership. These awards are a celebration of our alumni community and demonstrate the amazing things that can be achieved with a University of Nottingham education.

Nominate a Nottingham graduate for a 2018 Alumni Laureate Award

Award categories

Recent Graduate Award -
alumni who have graduated since 2007 will be eligible for nomination for this award.

Special Excellence Award - Examples include in recognition of sporting achievement, international work, contribution to the arts and the local community

The Lifetime Achievement Award - to recognise alumni who have demonstrated special excellence over an extended period of time.

UNNC Alumni of the Year - to recognise alumni of University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)

UNMC Alumni of the Year - to acknowledge alumni of University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC)

You can view the full eligibility criteria here (PDF). 

Our 2017 winners

We were delighted to announce our 2017 Alumni Laureate winners and Honorary Graduates in Connect Online: your digital alumni magazine. 

Our 2017 winners are:

Lawrence Brand
Politics, 2011

Recent Graduate Award, 2017

Adapting a popular Scandinavian idea, Lawrence designed and built his own compact cargo bicycle in his living room – a bike to match modern living, capable of carrying home the weekly shop or transporting the kids, but small enough to fit into an apartment hallway. Success in the University’s Ingenuity entrepreneurship competition meant the chance to give up his day job and focus on the project. Three years later, Porterlight Bicycles is now the global cargo bike provider for Deliveroo and Lawrence was listed in the European Forbes 30Under30 list, which celebrates the brightest young innovators, entrepreneurs and game changers.

Lawrence Brand official ALA

Dr Jess French
Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Surgery, 2016

Recent Graduate Award, 2017

Jess’s love for the natural world stems from her childhood and her dad’s exotic insect breeding business, which sparked her extensive knowledge of invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. She is now a zoologist, naturalist, entomologist and author. She presented her own CBeebies TV show Minibeast Adventure with Jess, helped with insect wrangling for Sky’s TV series Micro Monsters with Sir David Attenborough, and worked as a story developer on Springwatch for the BBC.

Jess also writes children’s wildlife books and is a passionate supporter of global conservation programmes. 

Doctor Jess French handling an insect

Adam Jacobs 
Geography, 2008

Recent Graduate Award, 2017

In the first year of his degree, Adam discovered his severe migraines and constant dizziness were a result of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). As part of his recovery he used his photographic hobby as a distraction from the pain. With his senses heightened by his symptoms, Adam began taking panoramic photographs of stadia which led to commissions for Olympic, World and Super Bowl events.

Adam has photographed some of the world's most important celebrities and politicians including Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Mick Jagger.  

Adam Jacobs holding a camera

Dr Janey Lowes 
Veterinary Medicine and Science, 2012

Recent Graduate Award, 2017

After witnessing first-hand the plight of homeless animals while travelling through Sri Lanka, Janey effectively dedicated herself to saving some of the country’s three million stray street animals. She founded WECare Worldwide to catch, neuter and vaccinate strays, treat injured animals and educate local people, vets and technicians. Her intervention has resulted in a huge decrease in the number of unwanted puppies on the streets and a reduced risk of rabies.

She won a prestigious ‘Point of Light’ award and a ‘Vet of the Year 2017’ award at the Daily Mirror’s Animal Hero Awards. 

Janey Lowes official ALA

Theodore Taptiklis - known professionally as Theo James
Philosophy, 2007

Recent Graduate Award, 2017

Successful actor, producer and musician, Theo's remarkable talents were evident during his time at the Nottingham New Theatre. In 2010, he made his TV debut in A Passionate Woman with Billie Piper but it was the Woody Allen film You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger that caught Hollywood’s attention and landed him a starring role as Tobias ‘Four’ Eaton in the Divergent film trilogy. He has since worked on a number of projects from Jim Sheridan's The Secret Scripture with Rooney Mara and John Michael McDonagh's War on Everyone. Upcoming projects will see him star in Drake Doremus's Zoe with Ewan McGregor and How it Ends with Forest Whitaker. In 2015, Theo became the official face of Hugo Boss fragrances for men and he made his professional stage debut this year at Hampstead Theatre. 

Actor Theo James professional photo

Dr Kirsty Clode 
BSc Hons Chemistry, 1986, PhD Chemistry 1989

Special Excellence Award 

Kirsty is a highly professional, qualified and successful Operations and Safety Leader with over 27 years’ experience managing teams within a major, global, multi-billion dollar business taking her all over the world with BP UK, BP International and BP Chemicals. Kirsty has a strong track record of developing world-class teams. She is passionate about staff engagement and developing STEM talent.

Kirsty now chairs Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME), a business-led programme working with Humber businesses in the manufacturing and engineering sectors to proactively employ more women.

Kirsty Clode ALA official

Mari Davis
Psychology, 1983

Special Excellence Award 

A poverty-stricken community called Yala in Western Kenya is undergoing a transformation thanks to Mari, who with friends, established a charity called Urafiki to offer friendship, expertise and practical help to those most in need. Over almost 20 years the charity has fundraised to enable hundreds of young people access to education, with some of the earliest children ever helped now working as nurses and teachers themselves.

Mari’s work with, and for, the people of Yala is entirely voluntary, and she has managed this around raising her own four children and a very demanding job, providing leadership development to organisations across the world.

Mari Davis ALA official

Norma Gregory
English, 2010

Special Excellence Award 

At the heart of Norma Gregory’s work is a passion for preserving and enthusiastically sharing history. A former secondary school English teacher, she is now a historian of Black British history and the African diaspora experience in the UK. She has researched and produced various heritage-related educational materials, helping to develop, expand and enrich available heritage as well as addressing misrepresentations and omissions of history.Norma’s enthusiasm for her local and national work, and her leadership skills in the heritage sector, have deservedly won her plaudits and awards.

Norma Gregory ALA official

David Hancock
Sports Medicine, 1999

Special Excellence Award 

Chartered physiotherapist David Hancock is founder and CEO of Atherapy Ltd, managing a nationwide network of physical therapy/sports medicine clinics, and lecturing around the world on sports performance, sports analytics and medicine. He has worked with some of the greatest names in coaching during spells with Chelsea FC and the national England team. He was the first Englishman to be recruited by an NBA franchise when he joined the New York Knicks basketball team.

He is currently performance consultant with the Washington Nationals baseball team.

David Hancock ALA official

James Kustow
Medicine, 2000

Special Excellence Award 

When his childhood friend and fellow youth worker was diagnosed with acute Leukaemia, medical student James set about identifying students who were prepared to be tested and added to the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust Donor database. The idea of Marrow was born and James, with the help of countless other students, rolled the programme out nationally. Marrow now provides over a third of the potential donors to the UK register and raises £150,000 annually. Today, James is a National specialist in the field of Adult ADHD. He sits on the Executive committee of UKAAN (UK Adult ADHD Network) and chairs their Education and Training team. 

James Kustow

Andrew McNaughton
Civil Engineering, 1985

Special Excellence Award 

As a civil engineer with more than 30 years of professional experience, Andrew McNaughton has been involved with many of the UK’s recent major infrastructure projects, including Terminals 2 and 5 at Heathrow, the widening of the M25 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Formerly Chief Executive Officer of Balfour Beatty plc, he is now Chief Operating Officer of the Systra Group, which specialises in rail and public transport engineering and consultancy services. Andrew is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and was named Civil Engineering Manager of the year in 2002. He is also now a UK Business Ambassador promoting British infrastructure capabilities globally and encouraging inward investment into UK infrastructure.

Andrew McNaughton ALA official

Alison Mitchell
Geography, 2001

Special Excellence Award 

When she talked her way ball-by-ball through an England International, Alison Mitchell became Britain’s first female cricket commentator. Now a regular voice on the iconic programme Test Match Special, she also reports on a variety of sports for the BBC at premier sporting events including London 2012. 

Generous with her time and expertise, Alison recently chaired a talk on building a career in sport for current students and she is a volunteer on the University's Sports Board. She was voted Sports Broadcaster of the Year by the Sports Journalists Association in 2014. 

Photograph of Alison Mitchell

Mary Storrie 
Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights, 2013

Special Excellence Award 

After the murder of her ten-year-old daughter Rosie May, Mary Storrie turned personal tragedy into hope by creating a living legacy - the Rosie May Foundation (RMF) - an international children’s charity which helps children in crisis, especially girls. The Foundation has established local NGO’s in both Sri Lanka and Nepal, and works at grassroots level to provide holistic support to families and children at risk of separation, exploitation and trafficking.

An international ethical volunteering and research internship programme engages students from the University and Mary is a regular guest speaker raising awareness of the growing trend of orphanage tourism.

Mary Storrie ALA official

Sir Nigel Sherlock KCVO OBE, Hon DCL, Hon DBA
Law, 1961

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Sir Nigel has had a highly successful career in Investment Management, including membership of the Board of the London Stock Exchange. In parallel he has served as Chairman of Council of Newcastle University, was a founder member of the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation, President of the North-East Regional Chamber of Commerce, and has been involved with the Church of England both regionally and nationally. He was Chairman of the (now Royal) Northern Sinfonia Orchestra and headed the fundraising committee for The Sage Gateshead Concert Hall. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. Sir Nigel served for 14 years as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear.

Nigel Sherlock ALA official

Baroness Margaret Wheeler of Blackfriars MBE
Politics, 1971

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Baroness Wheeler started her career at the Confederation of Health Service Employees, which merged to form UNISON in 1993. She was Director of Organisation and Staff Development at UNISON for 17 years before joining the House of Lords in 2010.

She is now a Senior Opposition Whip in the Lords and a member of the Shadow Health team – speaking and campaigning extensively on health and social care issues and carers. She is also Chair of Blackfriars Settlement, a charity which supports a wide range of community projects and is Vice-chair of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance.

Baroness Wheeler ALA official

Siti Maslinda Sheikh Othman 
Business Administration, 2003

UNMC Alumna of the Year 2017

Siti received our University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Award for her work on Corporate Social Responsibility programmes at our prestigious awards dinner in Kuala Lumpur.

Siti introduced Air Asia’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program ‘Donate Loose Change,’ which was donated to the IJN foundation to fund the cost of heart surgery for eight patients. 

She was then instrumental in KENANGA KARES, a CSR programme in education, community and environment as part of the transformation team at K&N Kenanga Holdings Berhad. She is currently Head of Corporate Communications at Parkway Pantai, Malaysia Operations Division.

Siti Maslinda receives her award from Vice Chancellor David Greenaway

Zeng Xiao  
Finance, Accounting and Management, 2016

UNNC Alumna of the Year 2017

 A compassionate and talented leader, Zeng has used her skills and expertise to help communities in need - from being a volunteer teacher helping children in the poorest region of China, to working with volunteers to use social enterprise to help build a library for communities in Nairobi.  

Her career has involved supporting China's first food bank and she has developed a remarkable project called 'Chilli and Corn', supporting 16 women in Moloa village in Hunan Province to become entrepreneurs. This project has transformed lives in this impoverished community, attracting the attention of investors who are now supporting the build of a new factory. 

Photograph of Zeng Xiao

Sun Yuzhou  
International Studies with French, 2013 

UNNC Alumna of the Year 2017

Actively engaged in academic life at Ningbo, Yuzhou co-founded the Nottingham Debating Union China Ningbo. A talented student leader, she was named Best Student of the School of International Studies, awarded the prestigious President's Scholarship and named Outstanding College Student of Ningbo and Outstanding Graduate of Zhejiang Province. 

She then secured a place at the University of Oxford to study for a Master's in African Studies, only the second female Chinese student to ever be admitted onto the programme. Though only in the early stages of her research career, she's already presenting papers at prominent academic conferences and developing peer-reviewed articles alongside leading authorities in her field. 

Photograph of Sun Yuzhou

Alumni Relations

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