University members recognised in 2024 New Year Honours

Three University of Manchester Professors are among those recognised in the King’s 2024 New Year Honours List. 

Professor Danielle George has been made a CBE for her services to Engineering, Professor Joyce Ann Tyldesley has been made OBE for her services to Egyptology and Heritage and Professor Philip Diamond has been awarded CBE for his services to Global Radio Astronomy.

They are among 1,227 people across the country, in all fields of work, who have been handed honours to celebrate their contributions to society, community or their area of employment.  

Professor Danielle George

Danielle is a Professor Radio Frequency Engineering and Associate Vice President at the University. She was President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in 2020/21 and currently a Vice President of the British Computer Society, Chartered Institute for IT. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s honours list for services to engineering through public engagement. 

As the Associate Vice President for Blended and Flexible Learning Danielle has responsibility to design, develop and deliver the University’s Flexible Learning agenda. 

Danielle’s research is dedicated to solving one the 14 world engineering grand challenges of the 21st century; engineering the tools for scientific discovery. Her research is delivering class-leading ultra-low noise receivers for space and aerospace applications. 

Her passion for raising public awareness of the positive impact engineering and science has on all aspects of our everyday lives, as well as highlighting to young people the immense depth and breadth of opportunities a career in science and engineering can offer. She presented the 2014 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

“I am so proud to receive this honour. It is incredibly important that people see the variety of careers that are possible within engineering and I hope that this helps to show where studying this amazing subject can lead. Let’s celebrate engineering and all its ingeniousness!” 

Professor Danielle George MBE
Joyce Tyldesley profile pic

Joyce is Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Egyptology at the University, where she teaches students worldwide on an innovative suite of online courses ranging from Certificate (level 1) to Masters.

She is a teaching-focused Egyptologist and her research interests include the development of distance-learning Egyptology, Egyptian historiography, and the role of women in ancient Egypt. 

Joyce studied the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean at Liverpool University, then obtained a D.Phil in prehistoric archaeology from Oxford University. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton and is a Research Associate of the Manchester Museum. Joyce is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Reflecting her interest in outreach, Joyce has published a series of books and articles on ancient Egypt, including three television tie-in books and Cleopatra, Last Queen of Egypt, which was a Radio 4 "Book of the Week". Her book Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King, won the Felicia A Holton Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America.

“The University of Manchester has given  me the opportunity to share my love of ancient Egypt by allowing me to  develop a range of online Egyptology courses which make ancient Egypt available to students worldwide. I am both proud and humbled by this award, and wish to say thank you to the many colleagues and students who have supported me over the years, and who have made this possible.” 

Professor Joyce Ann Tyldesley
Prof Philip Diamond

Philip is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University and the Director-General of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), where he is responsible for the team designing and ultimately constructing the SKA, which, when completed, will be the largest scientific facility on the planet.

Professor Diamond’s research interests include studies of star birth and death; exploring both through the use of radio interferometers such as MERLIN. He is also interested in high resolution studies of supernovae, both in our own Galaxy and in others. He is also involved in studies of discs of molecular gas rotating around super-massive black-holes at the centres of other galaxies. 

Philip completed his PhD at the University of Manchester in 1982 before going on to fulfil many impressive roles within the field across the globe, including Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden (1982-84), the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany (1984-86), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the USA  (1987-99) and CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) in Australia (2010-2012).

He became Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester in 2006. The University owns and operates the giant Lovell Telescope and, on behalf of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, the e-MERLIN/VLBI National Facility, where Prof Diamond was responsible for the operation of both facilities. He is still a Professor at the University.

Throughout his career, Philip has published more than 300 research papers in astronomy.

"I am so very humbled to have been awarded the CBE for "services to global radio astronomy". This has only been possible with the support of the many colleagues with whom I have worked over the years from across the world, including those at The University of Manchester. It is by working together that we can achieve great things in both science and society."

Professor Philip Diamond

Alumni have also been recognised in the honours: 

Margaret Beckett (HND Metallurgy 1964), the former Foreign Secretary and former Deputy and Acting Leader of the Leader Party, is made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire for parliamentary, political and public service, having become a Dame Commander in 2013. Margaret is currently the MP with the longest overall service, having first entered the House of Commons in 1974, she will step down as an MP at the next general election. 

Cristina Taylor (BA (Hons) Hispanic Studies 1979), the co-founder of the Taylor Family Foundation, becomes a Dame for her charitable services to children and young people. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2007, it has given more than 450 grants totalling £24m to numerous UK charities, with 101 grants of £7.8m to the arts.

Neil Dickson(BA (Econ)(Hons) 1972) and his wife Angela, the co-founders of The Brain Tumour Charity, have been awarded OBEs for services to people with brain tumours. Through Neil and Angela, whose only daughter Samantha died with a brain tumour in 1996, the Charity donated £1.35 million to the University in 2018 to fund a Chair in Translational Neuro-Oncology. The couple were made MBEs in 2015. 

Eamonn Boylan (BA (Hons) English and American Literature 1982), Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), is made an OBE for services to local government. 

Antony Lockley (BA (Hons) History 2002; MA Modern History 2014), Director of Strategy and Assistant Chief Executive at Blackpool Council, receives an OBE for services to local government.

Geraldine Hills (BA Learning Disability Studies 2005) receives an MBE for services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Geraldine founded Manchester Parent Champions, an association led by parents of children with special needs to ensure that other parents are made fully aware of the range of support available to them.

Stephen Sorrell (LLB (Hons) 1981), lawyer and Chair of Manchester live music venue Band on the Wall and a director of Small Things Creative Projects Community Interest Company, is made an MBE for services to arts and culture in Greater Manchester.

Danny Herman (BCom 1956), a tireless fundraiser for charitable causes including youth athletics and swimming, who also works to promote awareness of the Holocaust, receives the British Empire Medal (BEM).  Mr Herman and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and settled in Manchester. Later, Mr Herman represented the UK as an amateur athlete and introduced pioneering training methods which were adopted by Manchester City FC in the 1970s.

Bernard Vause (BSc (Hons) Physics 1963), a former Deputy Headmaster at Central Lancaster High School, receives the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music and the community in Morecambe.  Mr Vause is President of the Morecambe Brass Band Association, having joined the band 50 years ago in 1974. 

Charlotte Taylor (BA (Hons) Medieval Studies 1999, MA European Languages and Culture 2000), who is Director, Strategic Engagement and Sponsorship, Policy and Funding in the Department of Health and Social Care, is made a CBE for services to health and social care, especially during Covid-19. During the pandemic, Charlotte was Director, Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce at the DHSC.

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