Sat Bains among recipients of University of Nottingham Honorary Degrees for 2017

University of Nottingham ©
University of Nottingham ©

Talented University of Nottingham students receiving their degree certificates at this year’s Summer Graduation ceremony  rubbed shoulders with a Hollywood actress and a Michelin Starred chef.


Twelve honorary graduands, all recognised leaders in their respective fields, joined  thousands of students who receive their degrees in a series of ceremonies from Wednesday 12 to Friday 21 July 2017.

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The University’s newly opened David Ross Sports Village on University Park campus will be transformed into the graduation venue to welcome the students and their families, along with the 12 who will be formally celebrated for making an exceptional contribution in their chosen professions.


This year’s graduation will also mark the final time the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway will preside over the ceremonies. Sir David announced earlier this year that he will step down from his post at the end of September 2017 after 30 years’ service at the University.


He said: “It is always a thrill to share the excitement and joy of our graduands and their families. For me graduation has always been one of the most special occasions of the year. This year will be my final programme of presiding and will be extra special”


The ceremonies will be broadcast live on our website.



Some of the names to be recognised include:


Ruth Wilson — Thursday 20 July, 11:45am


Multi-award-winning actress Ruth Wilson has forged an impressive career on stage and screen in the UK and the US. The Hollywood star, who won a Best Actress Golden Globe Award in 2015 for her role in the US television series The Affair, is an alumna of the University’s Department of History, graduating in 2003. She went on to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, but it was as a student at the University of Nottingham, where Ruth first began treading the boards in the University’s very own Nottingham New Theatre.


Ruth is also acclaimed for her appearances as the highly intelligent psychopath in the BBC1 crime series Luther, as Jane Eyre, which first brought her to the public’s attention in 2006, and has just finished a run at the Royal National Theatre in the title role ofHedda Gabler.


Ruth Wilson is to be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Letters.

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Sat Bains — Monday 17 July 2017, 3:15pm


Sat Bains is chef/patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham. He has been recognised by fellow chefs and food writers from all over the world for his innovative style of cuisine, and he has long championed the use of quality local produce and artisan producers.

Since opening his restaurant in 2002 he has garnered two Michelin stars, the ultimate five Rosettes from the AA, 9 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide and three honorary university degrees.


Sat Bains is to be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws.



Professor Edward Cocking FRS — Wednesday 12 July 2017, 11:45am


World-leading agricultural and plant scientist Professor Ted Cocking’s major scientific breakthrough has the power to transform agriculture. The need to feed a continuously growing world population, amid water shortages and insufficient energy resources is a constant challenge.


Nitrogen fixation is vital for plant growth and Professor Cocking’s ground-breaking technology, known as N-Fix, has the potential to enable crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than expensive and environmentally damaging fertilisers.


Professor Ted Cocking is to be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Science.



Sir Fraser Stoddart FRS —Tuesday 18 July 2017, 3:15pm


Sir Fraser Stoddart is internationally renowned for his pioneering work in chemistry and molecular nanotechnology which has earned him many prestigious national and international honours including the Royal Medal in 2010, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Century Prize.


Last year, his life’s work was recognised when he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.


Sir Fraser Stoddart is to be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Science.



Lord Victor Adebowale CBE — Friday 14 July 2017, 11:45am


As a lifelong champion of those affected by poverty, mental health issues, drugs, alcohol, learning disabilities and complex needs, Lord Victor Adebowale has made public service reform his goal. He began his career in local authority estate management moving to be Chief Executive of the Alcohol Recovery Project, the national youth homelessness charity Centre Point and the social enterprise Turning Point in 2001.


Lord Adebowale received a CBE in 2000 for services to the unemployed and to youth homelessness and joined the House of Lords as a cross bench peer in 2001, one of the first people’s peers.

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Lord Victor Adebowale is to be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws.


The full list of honorary graduands for Summer Graduation 2017 is:


  • Professor Edward Cocking — Emeritus Professor, expert in plant science.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Science on Wednesday 12 July 2017 at 11:45am.


  • Dr Sue Archbold — Chief Executive of the Ear Foundation; Alumna of MPhil Education, 1989.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Wednesday 12 July 2017 at 3:15pm.


  • Professor Geoff Kirk FREng — Retired Chief Civil Aerospace Design Engineer, Rolls-Royce.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Engineering on Thursday 13 July 2017 at 11:45am.


  • Cynthia Barlow OBE — Chair of RoadPeace; Alumna of Social Administration, 1965.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Thursday 13 July 2017 at 3:15pm.


  • Lord Victor Adebowale CBE — Chief Executive of Turning Point.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Friday 14 July 2017 at 11:45am.


  • Dr Cecilia Anim — President of the Royal College of Nursing.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Friday 14 July 2017 at 3:15pm.


  • Sat Bains — Chef/Patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Monday 17 July 2017 at 3:15pm.


  • Andy Halford — Group Finance Director and Group Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank; Alumnus of Industrial Economics, 1980.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Tuesday 18 July 2017 at 9:45am.


  • Dr Peter Homa — Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Tuesday 18 July 2017 at 11:45am.


  • Sir Fraser Stoddart FRS — Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Board of Trustees and Professor Chemistry at Northwestern University in US.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Science on Tuesday 18 July 2017at 3:15pm.


  • Daniel Hallgarten — Partner, HGT Management LLP, Trustee and founder of Badur Foundation; Alumnus of Chemistry, 1983.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Laws on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at 9:45am.


  • Ruth Wilson — Actress; Alumna of History, 2003.

Awarded Degree of Doctor of Letters on Thursday 20 July at 11:45am.