Honorary Awards at the November 2016 Graduation Ceremonies

Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Professor at the awards Pictured is the University's Chancellor, HRH The Duke of York, KG, (centre) presiding at the July Awards Ceremonies

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 12:25:00 BST

The recipients will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of the University

A HOLOCAUST survivor, leading experts from the fields of engineering, medicine and finance, a Scandinavian design visionary plus the man who really put Yorkshire on the map of Europe are among the prominent figures who will receive honorary doctorates of the University of Huddersfield during its awards ceremonies in November.

The recipients, who will receive the award of honorary Doctorate of the University, are:

  • Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green – a specialist in children’s health care
  • Dame Ann Dowling – President of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Kigge Mai Hvid – a leading global voice in sustainable design
  • Iby Knill – survivor of the Holocaust
  • Jenny Molloy – Patron of British Association of Social Workers England, author, trainer and speaker
  • Jane Platt CBE – former Chief Executive of National Savings and Investments
  • Sir Gary Verity – the Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire


Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green ◄ Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green

– a specialist in children’s health care, knighted in 2006 for his services to children and young people

Sir Al trained in medicine at Guy’s Hospital in London and as a specialist in paediatric endocrinology in the University Children’s Hospital, Zurich.  His career as a lecturer led to prominent posts that included Nuffield Professor of Child Health and Director of Clinical Research at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.  He was the first National Clinical Director for Children in Government 2000-5, and then the first Children’s Commissioner for England, 2005-10.  He is now Professor Emeritus of Child Health at University College London.  When installed as 2015-16 President of the British Medical Association, he was only the second children’s physician to hold the post in 184 years.

Dame Ann Dowling ► Dame Ann Dowling

– President of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Dame Ann is also Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where she was Head of the Department of Engineering and ran the University Gas Turbine Partnership with Rolls-Royce.  Her research is on efficient, low emission combustion for aero and industrial gas turbines and low noise vehicles, especially aircraft and cars.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Institution of Engineering Designers.  Other posts include a non-executive directorship at BP and she is also a non-executive member of the Board of the UK Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.  She was appointed CBE for services to Mechanical Engineering in 2002, DBE for services to Science in 2007 and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 2015.

Kigge Mai Hvid ◄ Kigge Mai Hvid

– a leading global voice in the area of sustainable design

Kigge has led INDEX: Design to Improve Life since its foundation in 2001.  It is a Danish non-profit organisation with global reach, and aims to inspire, educates and engage in the design of sustainable solutions to global challenges.  Among the programmes are the INDEX: Awards, which is the biggest design award in the world.  In 2012, its travelling exhibition made its first UK visit when it was installed at the campus of the University of Huddersfield.  Prior to establishing INDEX: Design to Improve Life, Kigge was involved in several major art and cultural initiatives among them the establishment of a large art and cultural venue in the meat-packing district of Copenhagen.  Originally a visual artist, Kigge lives in Copenhagen with her family.

Iby Knill ► Iby Knill

– survivor of the Holocaust

Born in 1923 in Czechoslovakia, during the Second World War, in February 1942, Iby escaped to Hungary.  After a period in hiding and resistance work, she was caught and eventually taken to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Then as a slave labour to an armament factory in Lippstadt, she was liberated by American forces while on a forced march to Bergen-Belsen.  Iby then worked as interpreter with the British in Germany came to England in 1947 after marrying a British officer.  During a varied life and career she remained silent for many years about her WWII experiences until 2003, but since then has written books, made TV appearances and given many public addresses, including the 2015 Holocaust Memorial Lecture at the University of Huddersfield.  The University is due to become the home for the Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North.

Jenny Molloy ◄ Jenny Molloy

– Patron of British Association of Social Workers England and an author, trainer and a motivational speaker (photo courtesy of Scott Akoz)

As well as the above, Jenny is also the bestselling author of Hackney Child and Tainted Love under the pen name Hope Daniels.  She spent most of her childhood under the Care of Hackney Social Services, and was known as a “Hackney Child”.  Her latest book, written under her real name, is Neglected, a collection of stories concentrated on the narrative of love within the care system.  Jenny is a strong advocate for the life-changing impact social workers can make on vulnerable children.

Jane Platt CBE ► Jane Platt CBE

– former Chief Executive of National Savings and Investments

When Jane joined, National Savings and Investments looked after £74 billion of deposits, it is now responsible for over £135 billion on behalf of some 25 million customers.  It is best known for Premium Bonds and in 2015 successfully sold over £13bn of new ‘pensioner’ bonds for those aged 65 and over.  Jane also expanded NS&I’s role to start providing services to other parts of government.  She became a non-executive director of the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2013 and now also chairs their External Risk and Strategy Committee.  Trained as an investment manager, Jane has held key posts with several major financial services firms and banks and has acted as a non-executive director of Royal London Group.

Sir Gary Verity ◄ Sir Gary Verity

– the Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire

Gary led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France – the world’s largest annual sporting event – to Yorkshire in 2014,  and then played a central role in the entire process of an event since hailed as the grandest ever Grand Départ.  It generated £102 million for the Yorkshire economy, has now been followed up with the county’s own international stage race, the Tour de Yorkshire.  Sir Gary was knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to tourism.  Since his appointment as Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in October 2008, he has successfully raised the profile of Yorkshire at a regional, national and international level.  In his spare time, Sir Gary is also a successful Dales sheep farmer.

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