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Honorary degrees awarded at the University of Bristol - Friday, 11 July

Dr Julian Hector Ede and Ravenscroft

Roz Savage Ede and Ravenscroft

Professor Sir Mark Welland Ede and Ravenscroft

Press release issued: 10 July 2014

The University of Bristol is awarding honorary degrees to Dr Julian Hector, Roz Savage and Professor Sir Mark Welland at degree ceremonies taking place today [11 July] in the Wills Memorial Building.

Dr Julian Hectorwill be presented with a Doctor of Science in recognition of his achievements to science and the media.

Julian studied Zoology at the University of Bristol and on completing his degree, he travelled to South Georgia as part of a project to study environmental controls of breeding in albatrosses on Bird Island.

This research was pioneering in its field, but also coincided with the Falklands War, leaving the team stranded on Bird Island with a 45 gallon drum of dried cabbage after Argentina occupied South Georgia, until rescued by the Royal Navy.

After time spent working in conservation organisations and universities, Julian moved to the BBC National History Unit as a producer in 1993, where he brought live national history programming to Radio 4. 

He is described by Sir David Attenborough as ‘one of the most inventive producers in radio’.

Roz Savage will be awarded a Doctor of Laws in recognition of her accomplishments in ocean rowing and her activities as an environmental campaigner.

Roz was born in Cheshire in 1967. From humble beginnings Roz challenged herself to excel and studied Law at Oxford University.

After graduation, Roz worked as a project manager in management consultancy, then for an investment bank. After 11 years, aged 32, Roz drafted two versions of her own obituary - one documented the course her life was taking, the other chronicled the story of the woman she aspired to be.

Having decided to dramatically change her lifestyle and priorities, Roz became passionate about environmental issues.  In 2004, she decided to row across the Atlantic to raise awareness of humankind’s role in protecting the earth.

Roz was the only solo female in the 2005 Atlantic rowing race, which she completed in 103 days. She followed up this feat with another challenge, to become the first woman to row singlehandedly across the Pacific. After her eventual success Roz completed the ‘Big Three’ solo in 2001, when she traversed the Indian Ocean alone.  

Professor Sir Mark Welland will be awarded a Doctor of Science in recognition of his achievements in the field of nanoscience.

Sir Mark received a PhD from the University of Bristol, studying in the Microstructures Group of the Physics Department.  On graduation, he joined IBM Research Laboratories in the USA, where he worked as part of the team that developed one of the first scanning tunnelling microscopes.

In 1985, after being appointed to a Lectureship in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, he set up the first tunnelling microscopy group in the UK, and in 1991, began the nanoscience research group.

The EPSRC awarded Sir Mark a prestigious grant in 2001, leading to the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) in Nanotechnology between Bristol, Cambridge and UCL.  This allowed each university to build a highly specialised building to facilitate cutting edge nanoscience research.

From April 2008 to May 2012, he was Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence, providing scientific advice across Defence and working on cross-Government scientific issues.  Sir Mark was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2011.

An honorary degree is a major accolade, awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the University’s mission.

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