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Nottingham World Changers Hall of Fame

This summer we asked our alumni community to nominate indivudals who changed their world whilst they were studying at Nottingham. Below is a selection of those nominations. There is still time for you to nominate your world changer

Dr B.D. Shaw lecture 960 x 400

Pictured above is Dr B.D. Shaw and his explosive leacture on University Park in 1928.

World changing academic staff

H.G. Robinson
(Principle at Sutton Bonnington)
and all S. B lecturers

Practice is a slow teacher but married to theory we can steam ahead.

Professor Heini Halberstam
Mathematics department 

Prof. Halberstam was an excellent undergraduate teacher who delivered what was a very demanding first year course in mathematics to Faculty of Science students (1965-66). He gave me a comprehensive understanding of the mathematical theories that underpin science, helping me to enjoy more than 45 years as a professional scientist.

Gertrude Watson

She taught us dispensing with great enthusiasm and gave us a good grounding in the art.


Olive Stevenson

She explained the foundation for social work in simple moving words. I try to live by her ethos of 'respect for persons'.

Dr (Colonel) Shaw

Chemistry Lecturer

His were the only lectures that I can remember in any detail and they taught me the importance of showmanship in my teaching of chemistry.

Dr K Walters

Chemical Engineering Department

At my interview in 1977, I realized that Nottingham had so much to offer.


Dr Eric Markland

Engineering lecturer

I was uncertain about the career that I wanted to pursue after graduation, and he was such an inspiring and friendly teacher to all of his students that he set me on the path, after a period in the nuclear power industry, of becoming a Polytechnic lecturer & Open University Tutor.

Professor Diane Birch

She was my law tutor in 1975/76 and spotted my potential to be a law student. I changed my course to law and LOVED it. I have used the skills acquired every day thank you!

Professor John P. Cole

Geography Department

Prof Cole was an inspirational teacher who used the latest techniques to maximise the knowledge I gained. He also provided personal encouragement to me in preparing for final examinations.


Stuart Senior
My personal tutor at
Sutton Bonnington

Stuart pointed me in the direction which determined the path my life took for the whole of career. Even now at 82 I still think of some of the wise thing he said.

Dr Barrie Bycroft

He was my PhD supervisor and gave much encouragement through the times of difficulty and helped me finally achieve my goal.

Dr Mike Pearson

He got me interested in Plant Ecology and introduced me to Prof. Newbold from the New University of Ulster, who interviewed me to Dr Pearson's back garden over a few beers! I went onto study for a D.Phil at NUU under Prof Newbold.


Dr Colin Grant

My Philosophy tutor

He taught me how to think! (I was pretty good already!!)

Geography Staff

Professor Kenneth Cameron

He inspired my interest in the Anglo-Saxons, which has been my life-long study.


Dr Robert Young 
Professor of Industrial economics

Dr Young is the BEST lecturer I've ever had. He would always make himself available for questions about the cause or for a quick chat. Considering Dr Young was not in great health, it was always inspiring to see how much he gave to his students.

Dr Richard Tew and Dr Stephen Hibberd
Theoretic Engineering lecturers

Their guidance and tutoring set me on track for my career! Thanks Both.

Professor K.C. Edwards

M.A. PhD

An outstanding teacher and lecturer in geography whose vast experience and foresight inspired us all during my three years 1952-55.


Professor Brian Thomson

They supported me throughout our MSc studies on the microbiology course in 2002. I hope that my nominee is successful.

Dr George Parr

Department of Civil Engineering
- hydraulics

He inspired me to see the beauty of water (and turned my head from structures). I've been supplying and cleaning water, irrigating when there's too little and most recently trying to stop flooding when there's too much. All of these make a real difference to people's lives - which is what I love to do.

The education department which set up the opportunity for a P/T degree for teachers

My colleagues agreed to cover my classes one afternoon a week while I attended a B Ed course to convert my teaching diploma (56/58) into a degree for 2 years! That changed my life! Thanks for the note book!


Dr Richard Gilbert

His knowledge and interest in his subject-pharmacology - was a great inspiration to continue to study and update my own knowledge throughout my working life.

Prof Garner

Law Department

Interest in his Administrative Law course lead me to a career as a Local Government Solicitor which I never regretted.

Professor Edgeworth Johnstone

The late David Robinson

MSc Geography / Geology (south)

He introduced me to the world of geology and inspired my son to study it and PhD at Cork University and younger son to environmental methodology.

The course director and staff involved with
'MSc Cancer Immunology & Biotechnology'

They inspired me to continue studying immunology and undertake a PhD which I graduated from yesterday. I am very grateful to the education that I received in Nottingham - it has set me up for any future challenges.

Prof Angus Wallace

He encouraged me to continue with my research especially when I felt a failure.


Dr Arthur Cummings

He was tutor and inspiration.

Dr. S. Wallwork
Department of Chemistry

I am grateful to Dr Wallwork for supporting me both financially and with my PhD work without which I could not have achieved what I am now. (1969-1972).

Dr J Evans

Pharmacology prof

He inspired my interest in natural world and drugs contained in plants etc.


Robert Kirk

He taught us that Philosophy is fun, exciting, thrilling, important, moving, beautiful and a pursuit which is joyous in itself.

Dr. Erik Parkins

School of Education, U. of Nottm.

Eric led us to acquire the knowledge of 'Education through the Education Psychology'  'Education Sociology' and the last but not the least 'Education Philosophy.' Furthermore I can use the spirit of above subjects to contribute my/our students. Thanks!



UoN Sports Staff  960x400


World changing staff

Dr Gervase Anthony Leyden

His dedication to improving the life chances of disadvantaged young people and those who have special needs was a constant inspiration. Throughout his life, through his wisdom, kindness, clear moral direction and irresistible sense of humour, he influenced the lives of the countless people he worked with: families, professionals and friends. And he married me.

Miss Eileen Sperman

BA. Warden of F.B. Hall

She insisted on high standards but was always approachable when you needed help. She taught me how to live in a 'middle class' world; having come from a very definitely working class one!!


Beverley McGrath
Nightingale Hall Housekeeping Assistant

Whilst becoming a Fresher was exciting, moving away from home was new and daunting for us all on the 2nd floor at Nightingale, which is why we were so fortunate to have a friend in Bev. She was always on hand to give us great advice, cheer us up if we'd had a tough week and have a good ol' chinwag.

Karen Cox (former Deputy VC)

She supported my career progression over a number of years, enabling me to rise to a Chair in Midwifery through a predominantly teaching route. She is an inspiration as a leader and role model.


Dr Eric & Carol Hall
Centre for Study of human Relations

Both very inspirational. Helped me to move from teaching to second career in counselling.

Dr Gerald Brookes (sadly deceased)

Mineral processing lecturer mining department (1972-78)

Gerald providing constant encouragement during my B.Sc. He was a wonderful Ph.D. Supervisor giving me great freedom, advice and inspiration. Great sense of humour. A life changer for me.


John Sheridan
University football coach

John is the heart and soul of Nottingham University Football Club. I hear that he keeps trying to retire but can't resist the temptation to guide, inspire and drive another generation of footballers at the University.



2 female graduates blowing sparkly leaves 960 x 400

World changing friendships

All the members of the technical committee from 1963-1966

With all their varied backgrounds and degree subjects they brought a shy village boy from a single-sex country grammar school out of his shell; I am still friends with some 20 of them 52 years later.

David Alan Claxton
fellow student

Under his influence I surrendered my Life to the Lord Jesus Christ and was transformed. David introduced me to the William Carey Society where Baptist students shared fellowship. In the jargon I was 'born again' and have enjoyed a fulfilled life whereas… who knows? 

Heather Risdon (neé Fitchen)

She introduced me to the Christian Faith and supported me when times were hard.

My wife Jane (neé Taylor)

My husband Neville

I always swore I would never marry, being very undomestic! We got by for 61 years.

Peter Seago


Gwyneth Johnson

I met Gwyneth Johnson who married me on 5th August 1961.

My husband Alan Holvey

We met at Nottingham at the first dance in 1947, and though I took History and he took Science, and married in 1950. We now live in Canada and would like to put our money together to support one student.

Derek William Black

I met my future husband here.


D.H Lawrence

It was because of reading his novels as a teenager that I applied to Nottingham. He remains one of my favourite writers, and I have set several of his poems to music.

Richard Carress Portwood
Fellow student and resident at
Florence Nightingale Hall

We married in 1952 and still talk to each other!!!

Richard Card

Professor Card I met in Hugh Stewart Hall and we both graduated in 1966 - Richard in Law and me in Civil Engineering. Richard is a lifelong friend who has taught me so much.


Sir Clive Granger

We were students together at Nottingham - happy days

Betty James

I made good friends. I was the W.I.V.A.B representative from Notts. Was Hockey Capt. and played for All England versus South Africa at Bisham Abbey. One grand-daughter has just finished her Master's and three of my daughters live there. We love Nottingham!

Neil Roberts

I married him 54 years ago!


My wife Brenda Holvey

Pippa Seago

Dr Enid S. Catanach-Holmes

She became my wife in 2000, died June 3rd, 2018, in Florida, USA.  She carried our ground breaking research in American universities, and was one of the finest persons I have ever known.


My husband Gordon Waring

We met while waiting to see Prof. in the Pharmacy department 1954 1st day at Nottingham after 2 years apprenticeship at Boots.

My husband

I got a government grant (as did my husband) - going from the Land Army to Nottingham in 1946.  I met and married my husband of 40 years who was doing Dip. Ag (I was doing dairying). He, like many other students in those days was an ex-serviceman (navy). They were of varying ages from young to middle-aged.




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