Honours for University staff and alumni

The Queen’s New Year Honours saw a number of Southampton alumni and staff recognised for their contributions to diverse fields, from education to public arts and maritime safety.


Professor Nick Jennings, Head of Electronics and Computer Science at the University, was made Companion of the Order of the Bath, the third oldest order of chivalry in the British honours system, for his services to computer science and national security science.


Professor Jennings was recognised for his pioneering contributions to the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and agent-based computing. He is also the UK’s only Regius Professor in Computer Science.


A knighthood was conferred on alumnus and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Paul Curran (MBA, 1998), for his services to higher education.


Professor Curran, now Vice-Chancellor at City University London, worked at Southampton from 1993-2005. He held the Chair in Physical Geography upon his arrival in Southampton, progressing to Head of Geography, Dean of Science and Head of Winchester School of Art before being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2004. He continues as a Visiting Professor at Southampton within Geography and the Environment.
Academically, Professor Curran was a pioneer in ecological Earth observation as a NASA research scientist, an academic geographer and an advisor to the European Space Agency.


Other alumni were recognised with the conferment of the ranks of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).


OBEs were presented to Mr Nigel Blackler (MSc Engineering and Applied Science, 1986) for services to transport in Cornwall, and Mr Gerard McQuillan (BSc Geography, 1975) for services to public arts collections.


MBEs were presented to Mr Robert Bass (BA Latin, 1974) for services to education, Mr Peter McQuade (LLB, 1977) for services to charity and sports fundraising and Ms Janet Kelly (Art, 1998) for services to maritime safety.


Congratulations to all the recipients of these prestigious honours.

Signup for content alerts