Three members of The University of Nottingham have been recognised by The Queen in the New Year Honours.
Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Provost and CEO, University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus (UNNC) has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to Higher Education and Sino-British Cooperation.
Martyn Davies, recently retired Professor in Biomedical Surface Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to Higher Education and science.
John Middleton, Technical Manager, School of Physics and Astronomy, has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to Higher Education and science.
Professor Rudd has developed an international reputation as a material scientist and has led UNNC as Provost since 2015.
Alongside his academic success in developing patented lightweight structures and synthetic bone replacements he has played an integral role in furthering both Nottingham and the UK’s relationship with China.
His leadership of UNNC has been recognised through numerous British and international awards and he is a board member of the China-Britain Business Council.
Since becoming Provost at UNNC, the first Sino/foreign university partnership in China, he has led on enhancing the quality of both research performance and student outcomes. He played a pivotal role in securing significant investment from Ningbo Municipal Government, Zhejiang Provincial Government, and business in wide-ranging initiatives driving growth and development of UNNC and the visibility of UK Higher Education in China more broadly.
Outside his leadership role, he has devoted significant time to fundraising both in the UK—where he has been a notable member of a team raising over £2m through cycling challenges for charitable causes and in China - where he has led fundraising initiatives for a new library at UNNC, an innovation fellowship and a scheme to recruit international scholars to the university.
On learning of his award Professor Rudd said: “The Nottingham-China bridge relies on the efforts of many committed individuals on both sides. I feel proud and rather humble to accept this honour on behalf of a highly committed and extraordinarily hard-working transnational team.”
Blockbuster drug discoveries
For more than 30 years at the University of Nottingham Professor Davies has made a significant professional, academic and commercial contribution to Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
He joined the University in 1985 and took on the role of Head of School between 2000 and 2003. In his academic career he has published more than 425 scientific papers, supervised more than 70 PhD students and mentored more than 40 postdoctoral fellows.
At Nottingham he was a co-founder of the Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis, a group that become synonymous with leading innovation in advanced formulation analysis and development.
He has been involved in a number of spin-out companies including as a Co-founder and Chairman of the Molecular Profiles Ltd.
Molecular Profiles grew significantly impacting on the development of a wide range of medicines and was awarded the Queens Award for Industry in Enterprise. It was later sold and became part of Juniper Pharmaceuticals working on more than half of the world’s top 20 blockbuster drugs.
He has founded and chaired a number of international societies and is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry as well numerous national and international scientific institutions.
Professor Clive Roberts, the current Head of School of Pharmacy, said: “I am really delighted that Martyn’s wonderful academic career in Pharmaceutical Sciences and his talent to translate this work to substantial commercial exploitation has been recognised in this way. He has played a very significant role in the success of the School of Pharmacy for three decades and we have a lot to thank him for.”
World-leading experimental physics
In his 40 year career at the University of Nottingham John Middleton has made a pivotal contribution to the development of the School of Physics and Astronomy and championed the next generation of technical apprentices.
The School’s development and international successes would not have been possible without his technical leadership and unyielding dedication to support world-leading experimental physics at Nottingham.
Having joined as a technician in 1976, he played a key role in making the first magnet coils for the prototype magnetic resonance imaging instruments. Nottingham’s research in this field culminated in the award of a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Sir Peter Mansfield in 2003.
His other major contributions include the design, installation and management of the cleanroom laboratories and mechanical engineering, high vacuum and cryogenic facilities which collectively underpin research on nanoscience and experimental condensed matter physics.
Professor Mike Merrifield, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “John has provided outstanding support and guidance to members of academic and research staff; his expertise was regularly sought out by new academic staff when setting up and commissioning experimental equipment in their laboratories and he gives his time generously and selflessly to help others with their own professional development.
“It is remarkable for an individual to become so knowledgeable and proficient in such a diverse set of technical disciplines, gaining professional and personal respect from an eminent and internationally-recognised academic body.
“He has been instrumental in facilitating world-leading research undertaken in the School, taking responsibility for delivery of complex projects over the 40 year period and undertaking engineering challenges not routinely encountered in the University sector. This recognition is richly deserved.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Shearer West said: “I would like to congratulate Chris, Martyn and John and thank them for the huge contribution they have made to the university and beyond.
Chris has been instrumental in building international links to underpin the Nottingham-Ningbo city-to-city partnership, recognised as pioneering by the Embassy in Beijing and Consulate in Shanghai; this partnership is widening to include Nottinghamshire and Zhejiang.
“In his time at the University Martyn has contributed to world-changing research and seen his discoveries in medicines used widely today. Equally, over the last four decades, John has devoted himself to championing technicians and developing the knowledge of those around him. These are things we can all be extremely proud of and I am absolutely delighted they are receiving public recognition in this way.”
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