High Profile graduates celebrated by aston university

15 July 2008 – for immediate release

Aston University will recognise key players in British industry next week, with a series of honorary degrees presented at their annual graduation ceremonies.

These high profile people will be accompanied by 1,650 successful graduands,at the events based at Birmingham Town Hall.

The following people will receive honorary degrees:

Paul Sabapathy CBE, Friday 18th July @ 11am

Paul Sabapathy CBE was appointed Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands last year (2007) and is Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Birmingham City University. He was awarded an OBE in 1995 for his contribution to urban regeneration and a CBE in 2004 for services to education and business in the West Midlands.

Paul’s other positions include Chairman for Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust and for the Investment Advisory Committee of Advantage West Midlands Venture Capital Trust. He is a former board member of the National Blood Authority and the Standards Board for England, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a former Trustee of both New Walsall Art Gallery and the Refugee Council, a past President of Walsall Chamber of Industry and Commerce and former Chairman of the West Midlands Industrial Development Board.

Malcolm Harbour MEP, Friday 18th July 2008 @ 3pm

Malcolm Harbour has been Conservative MEP for the West Midlands since 1999. He leads for the European Centre Right (EPP-ED) on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, is Vice-Chairman of the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) and a member of the Delegation to Japan. His portfolio includes the EU single market, industry, science and information technology and he is active in European forums including the Automobile and Society, the Ceramics Industry and the Internet Foundation.

In 2006, Malcolm was named as top 50 European for his work on the Services Directive and voted most Small Business Friendly UK Parliamentarian by the Forum of Private Business.

Before his election to Parliament, Malcolm spent 32 years in the motor industry – starting off as an apprentice at the Longbridge plant – and gained his Diploma in Management Studies at Aston University in 1970.

Gisela Stuart MP, Friday 18th July 2008 @ 11am

Gisela Stuart has been the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston since 1997; the seat had been previously held by the Conservative Party for over 70 years. Prior to becoming MP, Gisela was a Junior Minister in the Department of Health (1999-2001) and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State, Home Office (1998-1999). She sat on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee between 2001 and 2005 and gained a Bachelor of Law from London University in 1991.

Professor Malcolm Stevens, Tuesday 15th July at 3pm:

Malcolm Stevens was Director of the Cancer Research Campaign Laboratories (Experimental Cancer Chemotherapy Research Group) until his retirement in 2006, where he discovered six novel compounds that progressed to clinical trials – two of which are now on the market as cancer treatments. 1n 1972, Malcolm became at Reader at Aston University where he established an anti-cancer drug discovery group which became recognised word-wide for its innovative approaches.

His other successes include receiving an OBE in 1999 for achievements in anticancer drug discovery and receiving an Honorary DSc by the University of London in 2005, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Harrison Memorial Medal (1994), the Tom Connors Award of the British Association of Cancer Research (2002) and the American Association of Cancer Research Bruce Cain Award (2003).

Ravi Kant, Friday 18th July at 3pm

Ravi Kant, who holds an Aston University Masters in Management and Industry, is Managing Director of Tata Motors Ltd. He is also on the Board of Jaguar Landrover UK Ltd after the take-over of the Jaguar and Landrover brands by Tata Motors.

Mr Kant has had extensive experience in consumer durables and the automotive industry. He has been associated with the turning around of Tata Motors (India’s largest automotive manufacturing company), sustained growth in the business and profits and introduction of several new products, including the Tata Nano.

Ravi Kant is the Chairman of M/s. Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles, S.Korea, M/s. Hispano-Carrocera, Spain and Tata Motors Thailand. He is also Chairman of Tata Cummins Limited, a joint venture with Cummins in the USA, Tata Marcopolo Motors Ltd, TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd, Fiat India Automobiles Pvt. Ltd and sits on numerous boards for divisions of Tata worldwide.

Lord Browne of Madingley, Thursday 17th July 2008 @ 11am

Lord Edmund John Philip Browne is President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is well known for the work he did as Group Chief Executive of BP (1995-1997) to reposition the company as a ‘green’ supplier of energy. He was knighted in 1998 and made a life peer in 2001, taking the title of Baron Browne of Madingley.

Voted the Most Admired CEO by Management Today (1999-2002), Lord Browne is also Managing Director and Managing Partner (Europe) of Riverstone Holdings LLC, a Fellow of the Royal Society and Trustee of the Tate Gallery. He’s also a graduate of Cambridge University (MA) and Stanford University (MS Business), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds numerous other fellowships and honorary degrees.

Former positions also include Chairman of the Advisory Board of Apex Partners LLC (2006-2007), Non-Executive Director of Goldman Sachs (1999-2007), Intel Corporation (1997-2006) and SmithKline Beecham (1996-1999), Trustee of the British Museum (1995-2005) and a member if the Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler AG (1998-2001).

Dame Lynne Brindley, Friday 18th July 2008 @ 11am

Dame Lynne Brindley has been the Chief Executive of the British Library since July 2000; she is the first woman and the first information professional to hold the position. Since her appointment, Lynne has led a major strategic development and modernisation programme to ensure that the British Library remains relevant, innovative and accessible and continues to underpin UK competitiveness in research.

Lynne was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds (1997-2000) and between 1985-1990 held the position of Director of Library and Information Services at Aston University.

In 2008, Lynne was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours List for her services to education. Lynne speaks and writes on a range of issues including digital society, knowledge management and innovation and leadership. She has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Leeds and Sheffield and the University College London, is a Companion of the Institute of Management and a member of the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP). As part of this role she gives Ministers strategic advice on intellectual property issues.

Professor Kevin Warwick, Tuesday 15th July at 11am:

Kevin Warwick is a Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading and has carried out extensive research in information technology, artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedical engineering. He is best known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system and completed his BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Aston University in 1976.

Kevin’s most recent research involves the invention of an intelligent deep brain stimulator to counteract the effects of Parkinson Disease tremors. His findings will shortly be trialled in human subjects.

He obtained his PhD from Imperial College, London and has been awarded higher doctorates (DSc) by Imperial College and the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. Kevin was also presented with The Future of Health Technology Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was made an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences in St Petersberg. In 2000 he presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.


For more information contact Laura Plotnek, University Communications Team, Aston University on 0121 204 4549 or prtemp@aston.ac.uk.