The University of Huddersfield has created a Roll of Honour of notable alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to the fields of science and technology, learning, the arts, business and the professions, or in public life via community involvement, meritorious heroism or significant philanthropy.
Adil Ray is an actor, comedian and radio and television presenter. He stars in the BBC One comedy Citizen Khan, which he created and co-writes, as well as presenting on various BBC radio stations. He graduated with a BA (Hons) Marketing in 1997.
Adil began his career as a radio host on a pirate radio station during his studies and DJing at the university venue Eden. Later, during his placement year, he landed a job with a new small Asian radio station in Birmingham where he spent the first half of the year, before moving on to Choice FM. In 1997, Adil landed a spot with Galaxy 105, a job that made him the first full-time British South Asian presenter to host a mainstream commercial radio show in the UK. He then joined Century Radio in Manchester, Radio Aire Leeds and Ministry of Sound Radio. Adil joined the BBC Asian Network in 2002 to present the late night Adil Ray Show, which won best radio show category at the UK Asian Music Awards.
In October 2011, Adil performed the co-written comedy Citizen Khan at the BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase, centred on Ray's comedy creation Mr Khan and his long suffering family. Commissioned as a BBC Oneprimetime series, the Asian Muslim sitcom follows the trials and tribulations of big-hearted, loud-mouthed, tight-fisted, self-appointed community leader Mr Khan (Adil Ray).
In January 2013, Adil was nominated for the Arts and Culture Awareness award at the British Muslim Awards. Adil was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to broadcasting.
Adil has co-presented BBC flagship entertainment show 'The One Show' and 'Have I Got News For You', he is also a stand in presenter for 'Good Morning Britain' and 'The Zoe Ball Show.'
John's desire to be able to record music well put him onto the path of studying music which ended up with him graduating from the University in 1999 with a BMus (hons) in Music Composition and an MA in Electro Acoustic Composition.
John moved to London to work in the film industry. After a stint working in film / studio technical support and on various films as an assistant sound editor John finally got a break working for a team that had come from Skywalker Sound in the US to work on ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' as their assistant sound editor. John gained valuable experience and contacts from this job as they put his name forward to other people visiting the U.K. which led to him working on films like 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'.
After building up experience John managed to progress to work as an editor, initially as a sound effects editor on various films like Tim Burton's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and then later as a music editor on other films including 'Sweeney Todd', 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian', 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' and '127 Hours’. John discovered his passion for musical films during this time.
In 2012 John was offered a job on Les Misérables and ended up supervising the sound on this film which led to winning a BAFTA Film Award for Best Sound the following year. From this came more offers of work, supervising the sound and music on other musical or music driven films like ‘One Direction: This Is Us’, ‘Cats’ and 'Bohemian Rhapsody’. Bohemian Rhapsody was a huge international success and led to winning another BAFTA Film Award for Best Sound and also an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Sound Editing.
John continues to work in the film industry as a supervising sound and music editor. Read about Johns approach to supervising blockbuster films.
Allison Whitmarsh is the Founder of Propermaid, a unique and innovative Yorkshire based brand passionate about baking original "hand-made cakes with a twist".
Having gained a degree in Hospitality Management from Huddersfield in 2008, Allison successfully appeared on the BBC’s television series ‘Dragon’s Den’, when she succeeded in gaining backing for her enterprise from the well-known business entrepreneur Deborah Meaden.
Allison, whose unusual creations include a Christmas dinner cake, discovered a gap in the market after studying to become a cookery teacher. Allison benefited from the on-going support and advice from the University’s Enterprise Team. After graduating, she attended one of the Graduate Entrepreneurship Boot Camps where her business ideas really began to take shape.
Allison was ready to launch her business two months after graduation and after only a year of trading she had grown sufficiently to require four part-time employees and a move to new premises with a bakery and a shop selling her delicious cakes, such as courgette and lime, chocolate and beetroot and lemon and poppy seed with homemade lemon curd and Dandelion and Burdock – a Great Taste 2012 Gold Award winner.
ProperMaid was awarded New Business of the Year in 2013 by the Huddersfield Examiner and won the 2017 Eaton Smith Business of the Year Award.
Professor Bob Cryan CBE was appointed to his first Professorial Chair at the age of 30 and at the time he was the youngest Professor of Engineering in the UK. He then went on to become the youngest Vice-Chancellor in the UK when he took up his post at his hometown University, the University of Huddersfield, in January 2007, a University that now has over 22,000 students from over 120 countries. He is the recipient of the inaugural Guardian Inspiring University Leader Award 2013 and holder of six degrees including two doctorates, two first class honours and an MBA.
After graduating with a first class honours in engineering from Huddersfield, Bob went on to complete a British Telecom-sponsored part-time PhD programme, whilst working as a lecturer at Huddersfield. Bob believes that teaching should be underpinned by research and he is an active researcher who has co-authored over 200 publications.
Bob Cryan has led the University of Huddersfield to become The Times Higher UK University of the Year 2014, the Times Higher Best University Workplace 2014, the Times Higher UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013, Teaching Excellence Framework Gold rating in 2017, the only UK University to receive a Queen's Award in 2013 and the only UK University to have 100% of its academics Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Bob has built the University’s future strategy around being an inspiring, innovative University of international renown.
He is Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Board Member of the Leeds Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Business, Innovation and Growth Panel. He was invited to become a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute in 2014 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours. In 2015 he received The Daily Telegraph Educate North Inspiring Leader Award and was included in the group of 50 World leading Engineers appointed as Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
As a first generation British born black Brian struggled to find purpose and direction for his life. This resulted in several appearances in Juvenile Court as a youngster. However, aged 13 he was encouraged to take up boxing as a means of channelling his energy, he won the National Association of Boys Club (NABC), Amateur boxing title in 1980. At the age of 18 following his success at the NABC championship, Brian signed as a Professional boxer whilst also training as an apprentice electrician. In 1985 he won the British Middleweight title at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. He retired from boxing a year later at the age of 26 after losing his title at the world famous Royal Albert Hall.
Brian's premature retirement from boxing provided him with the opportunity to gain an education that had eluded him as a child and an opportunity to give something back to the community that had supported him. After volunteering and then working for the Probation Service as an assistant, Brian was successful in gaining a place at Huddersfield Polytechnic on the Social Work programme to train as a Probation Officer. His time at Huddersfield served as a catalyst to his education and he went on to complete a number of undergraduate/postgraduate programmes.
Over the last 30 years Brian has dedicated his life to working with offenders including roles as a Probation Officer both in the community and as a seconded officer in a Prison. In 1996 he was the first successful black candidate to gain a place on the Prison Service Accelerated Promotion Scheme (graduate). Following his graduation from the scheme he has worked in both the Private and Public sector prison service. He has governed several establishments becoming the UK's first Black prison Director in 2005. His leadership roles have included: Director - Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), Director - HMP & YOI Doncaster, Director - HMP & YOI Ashfield and Director - HMP Lowdham Grange.
In 2013 Brian took a break from Prisons to undertake the role of Director, National Citizen Services Network, a programme for engaging 16 – 17 year olds in Outward Bound and Volunteering. In 2015 Brian was invited to undertake the role of Strategic Advisor for Juvenile Welfare in Abu Dhabi for the local & Federal Government. He returned to the UK in 2017 and has recently taken on the role of Director at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre (STC), in Rugby.
Kate Halfpenny is a celebrity stylist, an esteemed fashion designer and founder of British luxury bridalwear brand, Halfpenny London. Before going on to dress iconic women such as Kate Moss, Rihanna and many more, Kate graduated with a BA Honors in Fashion Design in 1998 and went on to study for an MA in Textiles from London’s prestigious Central St. Martins, feeding her obsession with fabrics, lace and beading. This knowledge and experience, combined with Kate’s skills as a stylist, gave her an unparalleled ability to design and create breathtaking wedding gowns. Founded in 2005, her eponymous brand was born.
Coveted by the fashion elite, Halfpenny London weaves Brit cool with vintage inspiration to create truly stunning modern pieces and bridal wear. Kate brings creativity, intelligence and versatility to her collections. She designs for real women, every piece understands womens’ bodies, their individual beauty and their lifestyles. In 2019 Kate Halfpenny was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury in Walpole’s annual Luxury Power List. Halfpenny is proud to design and make in London, England.
Lord David Blunkett is best known as a British politician, having represented the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough constituency for 28 years through to 7 May 2015 when he stepped down at the general election.
Having studied teaching at Huddersfield’s Holly Bank in 1972, he became Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary in Tony Blair's Cabinet following Labour's victory in the 1997 general election. He was promoted to become Home Secretary following the 2001 general election, a position he held until his resignation in 2004. Following the 2005 general election, he was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. On 20 June 2014, Lord Blunkett announced to his constituency party that he would be standing down from the House of Commons at the next general election in May 2015.
In August 2015 he was awarded a peerage in the dissolution honours lists. He was created Baron Blunkett, of Brightside and Hillsborough in the City of Sheffield in September 2015. In July 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Huddersfield for services to government and education. Read more here.
David Richards is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technology executive who holds a BSc (Hons) in Computing from the University.
Since co-founding the Company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE) and shortly after the acquisition of AltoStor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. With over 15 years’ executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established and successfully exited several highly successful Silicon Valley technology companies. David was the founder & CEO of Librados, an application integration software provider, and led the company’s acquisition by NASDAQ listed NetManage, Inc. in 2005.
David currently serves as a non-executive director and interim non-executive chairman of London Stock Exchange listed 1Spatial plc. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC.
Fatou Lamin Faye is former Minister of Education and Minister for Basic and Secondary Education in The Gambia. Under her leadership, education in The Gambia has been transformed; resulting in significant improvements in children’s learning achievements in literacy and numeracy.
The Honourable Fatou Lamin Faye was born in Banjul and after High School she joined the Ministry of Agriculture and continued her education at Ahmadou Bello University in Nigeria. On return to The Gambia she joined the Ministry of Education as a Home Economics Assistant Instructor. After studies at the Coady International Institute in Canada she was promoted to the rank of Instructor. In 1990, she was appointed as Co-ordinator of the Rural Vocational Training Programme and was then redeployed to Mansakonko as Principal of the Rural Vocational Training Centre, a position she held until 1996, when she took up the opportunity to travel to the UK for Masters degree study at the University of Huddersfield.
On return to The Gambia in 1998, she took up a Principal Education Officer post at the Directorate of Technical Education and Vocational Training. But in 2000 she joined the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of The Gambia as Senior Programme Officer and subsequently as Director. On her return to the Civil Service in 2001 she became Director of the Gambia Technical Training Institute, until 2004 when she was appointed as Minister of Education and, from 2007, Minister for Basic and Secondary Education.
She has been a member of the Senate of The University of The Gambia, the Steering Committee of the Community Skills Improvements Project under the Department of Community Development, the National and International Committees of the West African Examinations Council, the ECOWAS Gender Technical Commission as well as being chairperson of the National Women’s Council.
In 2013 Fatou Lamin Faye was awarded Doctor of University - watch an interview with Fatou here.
Frank To is a contemporary fine artist whose work has been displayed alongside some of the art world’s most iconic artists, including Banksy, Jimmy Choo and Damien Hirst.
He has become a leading figure of the Scottish art scene, with his work being featured in several national art fairs in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. He has a loyal following for his recognisable style and approach to his paintings, including perhaps most notably Emeritus Chancellor Sir Patrick Stewart, having first met him during his end of year course show in 2004 when they talked in depth about To’s artistic style. Other public collectors include Deloitte and the Walter Scott Collection. To has generously decided to give back to the University and inspire fellow students by donating his degree-show piece, Fallen to the University. The piece is currently on display in the Creative Arts Building.
His unique painting technique is garnering him international recognition as a leading contemporary artist has had his unique gunpowder copper art pieces accepted to the prestigious Royal West of England Academy 165th Annual Exhibition. Read more here.
Sir George Buckley is one of the world’s leading businessmen. He became Chairman of the Brunswick Corporation in 1997 and in 2005 was appointed Chairman, President and CEO of 3M, whose portfolio of iconic brands includes Scotch Tape and Post-it notes. 3M are also one of the world’s largest inventors and manufacturers of medical products.
Knighted in the Queen’s 2011 Birthday Honours, Sir George stepped down as Chairman and Chief Executive of 3M in 2012 on reaching the age of 65. Sir George was instrumental in the creation/development of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, a purpose built specialist environment creating a business-facing centre for collaboration and research. Sir George Buckley has a state of the art ‘Harvard style’ lecture theatre named in his honour at the University of Huddersfield as well.
Born and raised in Sheffield, he was apprenticed as an electrician before gaining a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Huddersfield. He also holds a PhD in Engineering studied jointly at the University of Huddersfield and the University of Southampton, and an Honorary DSc in Engineering from the University of Huddersfield.
Sir George is currently Chairman of Smiths Group plc. and Stanley Black & Decker Inc. and a Member of the Board of Directors of PepsiCo and Hitachi, he also sits on the Americas Advisory Board for Deutsche Bank, the Advisory Board for Rothschild North America and the Advisory Board for Schillings.
Professor Guy Lloyd Jones studied Applied Chemistry and Chemical Technology, before graduating from the University of Huddersfield in 1989. As part of his degree he did a placement year at ICI Pharmaceuticals before embarking on a distinguished academic research career that has led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society, one of the highest honours in the scientific world.
He is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading organic chemists, having received numerous awards both in the UK and internationally. The first Huddersfield alumnus to become a FRS, he is currently the incumbent of the Forbes Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, where he heads a major research group. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).
In addition to academic research, Professor Lloyd-Jones serves as a consultant to a number of companies in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and organic materials sectors. Professor Lloyd-Jones has retained links with the University of Huddersfield’s School of Applied Sciences, returning to deliver guest lectures. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in July 2014.
Jackie Hole is an SEM strategist, Internet Marketing consultant and Adwords trainer with over 20 years experience in digital. Jackie studied Interactive Media at Huddersfield University, graduating in 1998, she set up her own company in 1999 specialising in Conversion Improvement, Content Development, SEO/PPC, Adwords and SEM training.
Jackie has worked both agency and client side, and has become a well known face in the industry winning the prestigious ‘European Search Personality of the Year Award’ for “recognition of a talented and inspiring practitioner who has revolutionized the European search industry” in 2013.
Voted one of the Top 50 Women in Search in the Google & The Drum Top 50 Awards in 2015, she is consistently viewed as a leader in her field by colleagues and competitors alike.
Jackie is an editor and blogger for www.StateofDigital.com and www.SEOChicks.com and more recently, a trainer, speaker and judge at various industry events such as the Biddable Media Awards 2017.
You can see further details about her career on her LinkedIn page.
James Berresford gained a degree in Performing Arts at the University of Huddersfield in 1978. He is quoted as saying that he acquired an early taste for the tourism industry during his stint as an ice cream van driver in the early 70s.
His career in tourism started in arts administration and theatre marketing before moving to countryside recreation. He then went on to become Nottinghamshire County Council’s first Tourism Officer before taking up the post of Assistant Director of Leisure responsible for the management of various tourist attractions including Sherwood Forest. He was appointed to the Heart of England Tourist Board as Regional Director before joining the Northwest Development Agency as Director of Tourism.
In 2009 James was appointed to the post of Chief Executive of VisitEngland, the official tourism body for England. During his tenure, he oversaw the publication and implementation of the country’s first ever strategy for tourism and initiated several high profile, award winning tourism campaigns.
James now lives in the Peak District where he pursues several tourism related interests. He chairs the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, a major Heritage Lottery backed regeneration scheme, is a non-exec Board Member of leisure firm, Pinelog Limited and is a Secretary of State appointment to the Peak District National Park Authority.
You can see his career on LinkedIn here.
John Bernard graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a BA (Hons) Marketing in 1995. He is now the EMEA Marketing Director for Dexcom, the medical devices manufacturer, setting up the international marketing team and leading Dexcom Brand recognition.
His career has taken in some high-flying positions, including his last role, as the Global Marketing Director at Mozilla, leading strategy, marketing execution and launching Firefox mobile phones in over 50 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia. Prior to this, he was in senior global marketing roles with Sony Ericsson, Siemens and LG Mobile, where he was instrumental in creating the LG Brand in the UK with the iconic ‘Chocolate’ phone.
In 2013, John achieved the 'Marketer of the Year' award and in 2014, was shortlisted for the ‘Digital Marketer of the Year’ award. John serves on the Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is a spokesperson within both the mobile and marketing industry. In 2018, the University awarded John an Honorary Doctorate for Excellence in Marketing, which you can read about here.In 2019, John won 'Inspirational Leader of the Year' awarded by The Marketing Society, you can watch the video testimonial here.
You can follow John's career on LinkedIn here.
Dapinder Singh QC studied law at Huddersfield and became a barrister whose reputation for the mastery of complex briefs has meant he is much in demand for cases of fraud and serious crime. Associated with leading chambers in London and in Leeds, he took silk in 2017, meaning that he is now offered cases of still greater complexity.
In 2016, he was appointed a recorder, meaning that he spends around 30 days a year as a judge, presiding over Crown Court trials. And in 2017, he was made Queen’s Counsel, which raises him into the top echelon of barristers, taking charge of legal teams in major, complex cases and his reputation is such that his comments make front page headlines in The Times.
He has expertise and experience in dealing with cases of complex fraud and serious crimes, including drugs, money laundering and murder. Every case needs meticulous preparation so that the content of every reply from every witness can be anticipated, but Dapinder Singh relishes the courtroom contest. Read more about his career here.
Joseph and Edward Tetley were tea merchants who founded Joseph Tetley & Co. in Huddersfield in 1837, holding premises on King Street. The Tetley brothers were subscribers to the Huddersfield Mechanics’ Institute, one of the University’s predecessor institutions, between the years of 1849 and 1856.
By 1856, the brothers had relocated their business to London and it would become one of the most famous and successful tea merchants in the world, still a household name, not least for high-profile advertising campaigns featuring the animated ‘Tetley Tea Folk’.
However, before they moved south, the Tetleys made a contribution to the development of education in Huddersfield. Records show that between the years of 1849-1856 they were subscribers to the town’s Mechanics’ Institution, which would evolve into the modern University of Huddersfield. Their annual subscription enabled the Tetleys to use the Institution’s library, stocked with the latest newspapers and periodicals and this connection helped them to develop their enterprise.
Katie Mallinson is an entrepreneur who started her own business in 2013. Scriba PR is a technical public relations consultancy providing copywriting and PR support to niche and complex organisations within the engineering, digital, recycling, manufacturing and construction sectors, to name just a few.
Graduating in 2008 from Huddersfield with a degree in Business Management, Katie returned to the PR agency she worked for during her university placement year. With a total of six years’ industry experience under her belt and having reached the position of account director, she then decided to strike out on her own in 2013. Recognising the challenge of setting up a new business, she sought support and advice from the University’s Enterprise Team, and was even based on campus during her first 12 months as a start-up.
She now maintains links with the University, providing expert advice, guidance, workshops and guest lectures to current students and graduates looking to start their own businesses. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee in the University’s Department of Management.
Now employing a team of seven, still based in Huddersfield, Scriba has more than 30 clients both in the UK and overseas. Accolades for Katie and the team include the Duke of York ‘Young Entrepreneur’ Winner (2015), the Chartered Institute of Public Relations ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’ PRide Winner (2015), the Thrombosis UK Corporate Supporter Award (2016), Yorkshire Business Insider’s 42 under 42 (2017) and the Forward Ladies Start-Up of the Year (Yorkshire, the North East & Scotland – 2017). In late 2016, Scriba was also listed in Feedspot’s Top 100 PR blogs in the world.
See her career on LinkedIn.
Daniel is a creative designer and podcast host. He is also the founder of May-Contain, an allergy blog and podcast that aims to make allergies more relatable and gives young people the confidence to speak up about their allergy.
After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design in 2015, he got offered an internship at the prestige publishing house Conde Nast for Vogue magazine. Shortly after, he was scouted at the London Design 'D&AD New Blood Festival' and offered a freelance contract working for Sony PlayStation. After building up his experience, he landed a job working for advertising giants, adamandeveDDB-the most awarded advertising agency in the world! During this time his work appeared on 50 digital billboards around the UK to raise awareness for Breast Cancer which reached an audience of over 6 million people.
In March 2018, after Dan was offered a job as a creative for well-known fashion brand Ted Baker, he set up the May Contain allergy blog to raise awareness of the seriousness of allergies. Not long after starting May Contain, he decided to launch the podcast to interview different guests and share their stories. He has interviewed some high-profile guests on the podcast such as Natasha Coates, the No1 Disability Gymnast in the UK and 8-time world record holder and 5-time Olympian swimmer Mark Foster.
In April 2020, Dan became the first-ever Youth Ambassador for the Anaphylaxis Campaign Charity, to empower young people living with allergies. Dan continues to break the stigma of allergies and work closely with the Anaphylaxis Campaign and different organisations doing talks, workshops and events across the UK.
Kavita Oberoi OBE graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 1991 with a first class degree in Applied Chemistry. Following a successful placement year, she joined Bayer Pharmaceuticals as a medical representative after graduation, before founding her own business healthcare consultancy, Oberoi Consulting, in 2001. The consultancy provides clinical audits, business advice and IT training to GP practices, primary care trusts and the pharmaceutical industry.
In 2010, she became co-owner of security company Octavian, which at the time employed over 700 personnel, and the following year she set up Virtual Office providing business locations for meetings, postal addresses or temporary accommodation on a global level. Only last year, she launched Oberoi Business Hub in Derby to support new and growing businesses with prestigious office space and a support network.
Kavita has appeared in many TV programmes, including The Secret Millionaire and Apprentice Your Fired and on BBC Breakfast, Sky News and Working Lunch. Kavita is highly sought after as a motivational speaker at corporate events and is a leading figure in several organisations designed to inspire young people to achieve their potential. She has been named in an HBOS survey as one Britain’s 100 most entrepreneurial women.
In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Huddersfield. As a self-made millionaire, Kavita Oberoi is one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs. She was awarded an OBE for services to Entrepreneurship and Start-up Businesses in 2014.
Captain Lisa Head was the first female bomb disposal officer to be killed on operations. She died on 19 April 2011 at the age of 29, having sustained serious injuries on active service.
Captain Lisa Head was deployed to Afghanistan on 27 March 2011 as an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEED) (Neutralise) Operator with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force. She was based in Patrol Base 4 in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province, Afghanistan. On 18 April 2011, Captain Head deployed with her team to dispose of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) found by B Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), in an alleyway frequently used by Afghans and International Security Assistance Force troops alike. After rendering safe the initially identified IED, Captain Head was severely injured while dealing with a second IED.
She studied Human Biology at the University of Huddersfield before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from 2004 – 2005.
The Ministry of Defense said; 'Captain Head had a bright future ahead of her – her professionalism, leadership and unswerving sense of duty would have carried her far. She will, justly, be remembered among the ranks of the bravest of the brave.'
Gavin is a globally respected conductor, composer/arranger and pianist, with more than 100 recordings to his name – from heavyweight work by Elgar to bestselling CDs of music from the Carry On movies. He is currently Music Director for English National Ballet.
Gavin was appointed as pianist and staff conductor for Northern Ballet Theatre from 1992 – 98. On the basis of his first CD, British Light Music Discoveries on ASV, Gavin began working with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia on the concert platform and as the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet (involving both national and international tours). He has featured as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and has also guest conducted for New National Ballet of Japan, Norwegian National Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, New Adventures and South African Ballet Theatre.
After many years as a guest conductor, in June 2008 he was appointed Music Director of English National Ballet, becoming Principal Conductor in 2010. He has conducted the company on both national and international tours, and has also contributed orchestrations to the company for their productions of Akram Khan’s Giselle (Vincenzo Lamagna after Adam), Le Corsaire (Adam et al), Men Y Men (Rachmaninoff), No Man’s Land (Liszt), and the ENB2 productions of Angelina Ballerina’s Big Audition, Angelina’s Star Performance and the My First Ballet series, alongside many classic pas de deuxs for galas and competitions. In 2016 Sutherland orchestrated Vincenzo Lamagna's score for the Olivier Award-winning Akram Khan's Giselle for the company, and in 2018 he worked with ballet musicologist Lars Payne on reconstructing the complete original score of La Bayadere for the Berliner Staatsballet production by Alexei Ratmansky.
In 2017 Gavin made his debut at the Royal Opera House, guest conducting Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde as part of the celebration of the life and work of Sir Kenneth Macmillan.
In addition to his work as a conductor, Gavin works as a composer/arranger. He regularly supplies arrangements and orchestrations performed by all of the major BBC orchestras, the Australian Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Opera House, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Hallé Orchestras amongst others, and his new arrangement of Giselle for the Norwegian National Ballet was revived by Milwaukee Ballet in 2004 and 2014. Other notable compositions include a musical, Little Women, which premiered in London in summer 2000 and received two West End revivals, a clarinet concerto, several chamber works and a one-act ballet, Revolting Rhymes.
In 2019 he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from the University, for distinguished services to music. He was also nominated for the inaugural Critics' Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Creative Contribution, and won it the following year.
Paula qualified as a midwife in 2013, after achieving a first in her midwifery degree she immediately began her midwifery career at Barnsley Hospital where she still works as a Shift Leader on the antenatal/postnatal ward.
Alongside her career, Paula also do a lot of charity work. She won an Institute of Fundraising award in 2015 alongside her husband and became the Pride of Britain ITV Fundraiser of the Year in 2015 as a result of helping to raise over £7 million for the MND Association after bringing The Ice Bucket Challenge to the UK (that went viral in 2014.) In 2016 she was given a British Citizen Award for volunteering.
Paula has thrown herself out of planes, abseiled down cathedrals and viaducts, completed numerous 10ks, half marathons, marathons and even a 100k and has also wing walked to help raise money not only for MND but also for the Barnsley Hospital Charity too.
Matt Roberts is a television presenter, best known for his work in the MotoGP and Superbike World Championships on BBC and Eurosport.
Having graduated from his hometown university with a degree in Spanish & Communication Arts in 2000, Matt moved to Barcelona to work as a Mulitmedia Journalist for Dorna Sports, the rights holders to the MotoGP World Championship.
In 2006 he was hired by the BBC as their MotoGP pit-lane reporter, before taking over from Suzi Perry as the show's main anchor in 2011. During his time at the BBC Matt also reported for Football Focus and Match of the Day, and co-presented live coverage of the NFL Superbowl in Miami. In 2014, Matt switched to Eurosport to anchor their coverage of the World Superbike Championship and the British Superbike Championship, and was part of the Discovery group's presentation team at the the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Matt, who now lives back in Huddersfield, is also a British Sports Book Award-nominated writer, translator and bilingual event MC.
Matthew Stiff is an opera singer and former radio presenter, best known as the former bass singer with classical boyband G4. He studied Music at the University of Huddersfield where he gained his BMus (Hons) and MA in Musical Performance.
In 2004 G4 auditioned for the first series of The X Factor and despite placing second, signed a £1.5 million record deal with Sony-BMG. Their first album, titled G4 was released in February 2005 and achieved double-platinum status. They went on to produce two more albums: G4 and Friends and G4 Act Three with combined sales in excess of 1.5 million copies. In 2007, after three years and three albums, G4 announced their split on GMTV due to disagreements within the band.
In 2008, following a schedule overhaul at Classic FM, Matthew re-joined the station as a weekend presenter (he had previously hosted another show with the other members of G4). He has since joined a number of opera companies including the British Youth Opera where he played Kecal in The Bartered Bride to rave reviews.
Engagements in 2017 include Sacristan TOSCA and cover Colonel Calverley PATIENCE for English Touring Opera and Samuel UN BALLO IN MASCHERA at West Green House. Further performances include his debut at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Natalie Gavin is an actress who has starred in several British television dramas and comedies. These including BBC dramas Prisoners’ Wives’ and ‘The Syndicate’, as well as the Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless. She also appeared in the 2014 The Old Vic production of ‘The Crucible’.
Having started to land acting roles while still studying for her drama degree, she was determined to finish her BA (Hons) Drama, graduating in 2011. She played the role of Alma Capstick in ‘Jericho’ is a period drama series created and written by Steve Thompson and directed by Paul Whittington. The eight-part series premiered on ITV on 7 January 2016. It is set in the fictional town of Jericho, a shanty town in the Yorkshire Dales that springs up around the construction of a railway viaduct in the 1870s. The series re-imagines the story of the building of the Ribblehead Viaduct, which is renamed the Culverdale Viaduct in the show.
Natalie is the youngest patron of arts venue Square Chapel Centre for the Arts and Orangebox in Halifax.
Nicholas Fluck is a former President of the Law Society of England and Wales and partner and co-owner in private practice Stapleton and Son Solicitors in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Nicholas gained a BA (Hons) in Humanities from Huddersfield in 1979.
After obtaining his degree, including a year teaching as a language assistant in Provence, he was determined on a career in the law and demonstrated that determination by working for a year on a farm to raise enough money to fund himself through his further studies. He undertook both the Common Professional Examination and the Law Society finals before becoming an articled clerk at Stapleton and Son. He has remained at that firm throughout his career and is at present a partner in the firm.
Interested in serving the profession in a wider capacity, he became a member of the Law Society Council in 2005. This is a voluntary elected and unpaid post, which requires considerable personal and professional sacrifice. His election was an indication of the high regard his professional peers had and still have for his personal and professional qualities. Fluck has served on several Law Society committees, including the Management Board, the Conveyancing Landlord Committee and as Chair of the Technology and Law Reference Group. Nicholas became Deputy Vice President in July 2011 followed by Vice-President in 2012 leading to his appointment as President in 2013. This is recognition by the Council of those qualities which had made him such a success in practice and had led to his election to the council in the first place.
In 2014, The University awarded Nick the honorary award of Honorary Doctorate of the University.
Paul Grimwood is former Chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, one of the largest food companies in the USA with annual sales of $26 billion. His strategic focus on nutrition and new product development drove significant growth, in 2018 Paul was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the food and drinks industry both in the UK and overseas. Paul stood down as CEO and is now Non-Executive Chairman of Nestle.
Paul has demonstrated his commitment to creating shared value by leading a transformation of Nestlé’s product portfolio to deliver nutrition and health benefits, reducing the company’s environmental impact, and investing in efforts to help communities thrive. From 2009 to 2012, Paul was CEO of Nestlé UK & Ireland and was head of Nestlé UK Confectionery in the three years prior to that. During his tenure in the UK and Ireland Nestlé's business grew overall market share, consistently delivering growth in sales and profitability. He is also credited with having led a major investment programme to create Nestlé's next generation world-class manufacturing operations in the UK. Like many people brought up in York, Paul Grimwood had connections to its biggest business, Rowntree’s. So when he was appointed head of Nestlé’s UK Confectionery division in 2006 he found himself in charge of the chocolate factory in his home city.
Paul gained a BA (Hons) Business Studies degree at the University of Huddersfield in 1985, during his degree he spent a placement year at the Mars Group. At Mars he impressed his bosses to the point where they offered him a job. He stayed at Mars for 10 years before becoming a managing director at Highland Distilleries and then Ralston Purina pet care before it was acquired by Nestlé.
Click here to see his career on LinkedIn.
Philip Darnell gained his degree in Engineering and Marketing from the University of Huddersfield in 1975. Today Philip is Vice-President Marketing Operations at Hewlett Packard and he works out of its Palo Alto headquarters as one of the $125 billion firm’s senior leaders.
Philip has spent his entire career with HP – covering sales, marketing and operations at the highest level of one of the world’s most innovative technology companies – but he never forgot his roots. Over the years, he has drafted many students from Huddersfield into the firm. “I trust Huddersfield,” he says. “I’d be so confident that I could fly over to interview students for internships and say beforehand: ‘I’ll be taking four people this afternoon’.” Philip was delighted to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in 2014.
See his career on LinkedIn.
Robbie Hunter-Paul is a former New Zealand international rugby league player who retired at the end of the 2011 season.
He began his rugby career by joining Bradford Bulls in July 1994, and captained Bradford at scrum half back in the 1996 Challenge Cup final, becoming only the fourth player to ever achieve a final record of three tries for which he was awarded the Lance Todd Trophy. He was the 1996 Bradford Bulls season's top try scorer and still holds the record for most tries scored for the Bulls. At the beginning of the 2006 Super League XI, he moved from Bradford Bulls to Huddersfield Giants, and thereafter to Salford City Reds.
In 2011 he graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Sports Marketing and Public Relations. Robbie's first job following his professional rugby league career was working as Business Development Manager for Huddersfield Giants before becoming CEO at Bradford Bulls. He's had experience in TV and radio presenting and also public speaking.
Robbie now works as the Managing Director for Xtra Mile Marketing, a Sports marketing company specialising in sponsorship and content creation. He's also a Sports Pundit on the BBC as well as radio presenter on Pulse 1 and a motivational speaker.
See his career on LinkedIn here.
Rob James-Collier is an actor and model. He is known for his roles as Thomas Barrow in ‘Downton Abbey’ and Liam Connor in ‘Coronation Street’. He studied Business at the University of Huddersfield.
In 2006 he joined Coronation Street as one of the brothers buying a share of the local underwear factory. He left the show in October 2008 'brutally' killed off as part of a murder-mystery plotline.Since leaving Coronation Street, Rob has had a leading role as under butler (formerly first footman) Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey, featuring from the first episode in 2010 onwards, and has appeared in the West End stage version of Calendar Girls.
Rob played Kevin O'Dowd in ITV's 2016 crime drama, The Level. In 2017, James-Collier starred in British horror film, The Ritual, in which The Guardian described his performance as "a fierce screen presence".
Rob modelled for Argos, where he appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2007 and Spring/Summer 2008 catalogues. He won the Sexiest Male award at the 2007 and 2008 British Soap Awards in addition to "Best Exit" at the 2009 British Soap Awards. He also won Sexiest Male and Best Newcomer at the 2007 Inside Soap Awards.
In 2019, it was announced that Rob had been cast in the third series of Channel 4 school-drama Ackley Bridge as Martin Evershed.
Dr Rob Perks leads the oral history team at the British Library, as well as being Secretary and Trustee of the Oral History Society; Director, Trustee and Company Secretary of National Life Stories; an Editor of Oral History: The Journal of the Oral History Society; Series Editor of the Oxford University Press Oral History Series; an advisor to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Centre for Life History Research at the University of Sussex, and the Canadian Oral History Centre at the University of Winnipeg.
He graduated from the Polytechnic of Huddersfield with first class honours in Humanities (History with English) in 1979, and a PhD focussing on social and political change in late-Victorian and Edwardian Yorkshire in 1982. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of Huddersfield in recognition of his work in the field of oral history.
Between 1983 and 1988, Rob worked for Bradford Museums, setting up a major community oral history project, before a brief period in television resulting in A Century Of Childhood (1988). Since 1988, Rob has been Curator of Oral History at the British Library Sound Archive, and in 1996 became Director of National Life Stories, the UK’s leading oral history centre, gathering a wide range of recorded interviews from oil workers to Holocaust survivors, artists to athletes. Between 1998 and 2000, Rob co-ordinated the BBC/BL Millennium Oral History Project which resulted in the award-winning radio series, The Century Speaks. He was a founding Board Member of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council South East. He was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 1992 to research nationalism and memory in Eastern Europe, which led to Ukraine’s Forbidden History (1998), and has acted as a special historical adviser for the Council of Europe in Romania; and for UNESCO in Paris.
In 2001, Rob worked with the National Archives of South Africa to rediscover the original recording of Nelson Mandela’s iconic Rivonia Trial speech. His anthology The Oral History Reader (with Al Thomson, 3rd edition 2016), is regarded internationally as a standard work in the field. He co-ordinates the British Library’s partnership with BBC Radio, The Listening Project, and his team won the Royal Historical Society’s Public History Prize for best website for Voices of Science.
Sally Nugent is a journalist who works for BBC News. She graduated from Huddersfield with a BA (Hons) Communications Art with French in 1992.
Her first media role was at BBC Radio Merseyside before moving on to report on and read the sports news on BBC ‘North West Tonight’. She covered many big stories including the Grand National that never was in 1997.
Sally covered the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester - broadcasting live every night. In 2003 she became a sports reporter for BBC News, appearing on national bulletins, before becoming a sports news presenter on the BBC News Channel (known at the time as BBC News 24). In November 2011, Sally began co-presenting BBC Breakfast on a 'relief' basis, filling in when regular hosts were unavailable.
Since April 2012, she has presented sports bulletins alongside Mike Bushell on BBC ‘Breakfast’ and she is now the main relief presenter on the show.
In May 2020, she made a cameo in BBC Two’s new comedy series The First Team.
Sian is founder of celebrity favourite swim and loungewear label sianmarie.com and partner to Lord Sugar after winning his £250,000 investment in 2018 following her success on BBC The Apprentice. Sian survived 10 weeks of challenges to come out on top in The Apprentice to hear the one-off “you’re hired” from Lord Sugar.
After studying Fashion Design with Marketing and Production at the University, Sian went on to set up her online brand via social media. Using a variety of reversible & multi-way styles combined with lush hand-drawn prints all of which are designed by Sian herself sianmarie combines premium quality fabric & craftsmanship with beautifully unique styles to enhance the shape & give the wear a sense of confidence and empowerment.
Sian is bidding to be the most successful and highest-profile winner of The Apprentice since it first aired in the UK in 2005. She models her swimwear range in exotic locations around the world and her Instagram account has 131,000 followers. Her Sian Marie Fashion website has a celebrity section which features a roster of reality TV stars from shows such as Love Island besporting themselves in Sian’s creations. In 2019 Sian launched a podcast titled The Wake Up Call in which she watches the series of The Apprentice and comments on the competition, alongside celebrity guests.
Susan Williams, Baroness Williams of Trafford, is a junior minister in the British Conservative government and a life peer.
She gained a BSc (Hons) in Applied Nutrition from the University of Huddersfield in 1991 and in July 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University.
Susan as a member of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council from 1998 to 2011, representing Altrincham, and the council's leader from 2004-2009. She has also been a member of various public bodies in the North West region.
On 20 September 2013 she was created a life peer as Baroness Williams of Trafford, of Hale in the County of Greater Manchester. In April 2014, Baroness Williams of Trafford succeeded Earl Attlee as Baroness-in-waiting (Government Whip). In 2015, David Cameron appointed Williams to his second government as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Tony Reeves was formerly the Chief Executive at Bradford Council and is now a Government Advisory partner at Deloitte. He spent 25 years in local government prior to joining Deloitte.
He graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 1996 with a Master in Business Administration.
Tracey Kim Haycox MBE is Director of Children and Young People’s Services for children’s charity Safe@Last. She graduated with a MA Leadership from the University of Huddersfield in 2012.
Since joining the charity in 2005 Tracy has managed the expansion and development of SAFE@LAST’s services across South Yorkshire. Tracey has been instrumental in expanding the MISPER Scheme which provides one to one support to young people across Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley. One of her greatest achievements has been the development and opening of the SAFEPLACE refuge which is now the only refuge in England able to provide safe, confidential accommodation to children and young people, 16 years and under, who are at risk of harm.
On a national level she has impacted on the services available for young runaways by sharing her experience and knowledge with other professionals and lobbying government to improve services and provision for young runaways. Having held discussions with MP’s and senior government officials, she was instrumental in the publication of the Department for Education and Schools (as it was known then) Runaways Action Plan. She regularly speaks at national conferences to raise understanding of the issue of running away.
Tracey was nominated to carry the Olympic flame through Rotherham in June 2012 as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games. In June 2013 she was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Dr Fatmah Baothman was awarded a PhD of Modern Artificial Intelligence in 2003. Dr Baothman was the first women in the Middle East with a PhD in AI, her impressive career includes being the founder and the Board President of the AI Society in Saudi Arabia, the first woman internationally awarded the AI prize from VB-San Francisco and AI prize from the UK in CC Blockchain Forum for the research category, the first women president of the Saudi Engineering Society and also created the first women IEEE Chapter at KAU.
Dr Baothman gained several trophies from different ministries and government bodies for her input on various projects. Recently, she established a social channel for AI and innovation with more than 6.5K followers. She currently works as an Assistant Professor at KAU in Saudi Arabia and her previous roles include General Manager in IT Security, Director for KAEC- Educational Sector, Deputy Director of the IT Center at KAU, the Chairwoman of the IEEE Women in Engineering Western Region and the President of Women Engineers Committee at Saudi Council of Engineering. She participated in forming technology strategies with the University, and the National Strategic IT Plan for Information technology with KACST. She taught and introduced workshops in Artificial Intelligence, Emergent Technology, IoT, Data Mining, Blockchain, AI & Entrepreneurship, and IR4.
Dr Baothman is writing several books and translated an AI book into Arabic where she coined several technical terms. Dr Baothman is the first Saudi to join the Artificial Intelligence global educational theater where she led the project successfully in two academic institutes. She also participated in the 20th AI lab anniversary and the 50th AI anniversary among AI global scientists. She has recently been invited to join the G20 task force Connecting the dots (S20) group.
Graduating with a 1st Class Honours in Business Studies in 1999 Zandra followed in her mothers footsteps and went to work in the IT sector, firstly in recruitment, then software sales. After 10 years she moved from field sales to sales director working for a number of different software companies in Yorkshire; Cascade, Simply Personnel and InTechnology.
In 2008, the year of the financial crash, Zandra set-up Salescake a sales consultancy for start-up tech companies. In 5 years she grew a small team and helped 6 software companies expand, one of which was a company called Pancredit. She was hired by Pancredit to help them launch a new product Panintelligence, after 3 years supporting the business the team was offered the opportunity to buy the software from Panitelligence.
In 2014 Panintelligence was launched as an independent business, Zandra and other team members used their savings to buy the IP and the business was supported by seed investors. Zandra became Chief Executive Officer of Panintelligence at the start of 2018, succeeding Panintelligence Founder, Mike Cripps, while still maintaining her duties of her former position of Sales and Marketing Director. Zandra was crowned CEO of the Year in The English Women’s Awards (North) 2018 and Company Leader Award in the inaugural Northern Leadership Awards. In 6 years Panintelligence has grown from 6 to 40 people and they closed their first funding round in 2019 raising £4.5m to grow the business internationally.
Zandra is also the Founder of LeanIn Leeds – a network of over 700 professional women based in Leeds. The network is focused on enabling the next generation of female leaders through monthly free workshops and co-mentoring programmes.
You can see further details about her career on her LinkedIn page.
Megan graduated in 2014 with a degree in Fashion Communication & Promotions. She worked as a stylist at ASOS whilst writing her successful fashion blog meganellaby.com, which she started on her work placement sandwich year at University whilst interning at Alexander McQueen, House of Holland, ASOS and JD Sports.
Megan is an Instagram influencer with 210k followers and 97.6k subscribers on YouTube. She's won 3 awards for her fashion blog including the Cosmopolitan Best Fashion Influencer and the InStyle Project 13 Best Fashion Blogger award. She's worked with the likes of Topshop, H&M, Kate Spade, Converse, Nike, L’Oreal Paris, Chloe, Net-A-Porter, Stella McCartney, Uniqlo, Sezane, Levis, Glossier, Boden plus many more. She's also been featured in Elle Magazine, Company, Cosmo, InStyle, Teen Vogue, Look Magazine and Glamour.
Megan set up her own fashion brand Saturday by Megan Ellaby in October 2018 with a capsule collection of five limited edition knits, made from the finest merino wool. Since then more knitwear, t-shirts, tops, hoodies and accessories have been added.