Senate house

Academics and staff associated with the University of Cambridge feature in the 2024 list, which recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK, from all walks of life.

Professor Dame Carol Black is awarded a Dame Grand Cross (GBE) for public service. Black was Principal of Newnham College from 2012-2019 and formerly a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. GBE is the highest rank in the Order, and rarely awarded, to recognise the most exceptional and sustained service to the UK. Since its creation in 1917, fewer than 80 women have been awarded a GBE.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire. This award comes almost 20 years after I received a DBE for services to medicine and recognises the progress being made to tackle some of the most entrenched and interrelated problems in society – poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and drug dependency. My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has helped and supported me, and to those individuals doing great work on the frontline to change culture and practice.”

Composer Judith Weir, Honorary Fellow and alumna of King’s College, Cambridge, is awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to music. Weir is Master of the King’s Music, having been appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014, and has twice written a specially-commissioned carol for the college’s A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Organist, conductor and broadcaster Anna Lapwood, Janeway Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, is awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to music. Lapwood reaches a huge audience through her concerts and via social media with over 1 million followers across all platforms. Her passion for the organ is matched by her mission to support girls and women in music.

She said: “When you work as a musician, so much of what you do isn't quantifiable or finite - your work on a certain piece is never 'finished', and your playing is always changing and developing. Receiving this award feels like something concrete - a deeply significant moment in my musical journey.” 

Gerard Grech, former CEO and Founder of Tech Nation, is awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the technology sector. He joined Cambridge Enterprise this year to lead a new flagship initiative, 'Founders at the University of Cambridge', that will support University founders to make an even greater impact on the world in the technology and software sectors.

Grech said: “I’m honoured to have been recognised for my contribution to the growing success of the UK’s tech and startup sector which is increasingly creating globally important tech and science-backed companies, from my time at Tech Nation. This honour is also recognition of the founders, ecosystem experts, investors, policy makers, and my colleagues who generously shared their knowledge and insights to support the UK’s most ambitious tech entrepreneurs. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them all for all their hard work.”

Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, Enterprise Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge, and former student in the University’s Department of Engineering, is awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to innovation technology. As Founder & President of PervasID he pioneered the world’s most accurate battery-free, real-time location tracking technology which is now in use by several NHS trusts, the largest aircraft manufacturers, airlines and blue-chip retailers.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted; this is a great honour and testament to the hard work and innovation of the entire team at PervasID. Our products offer a national and international benefit and we will continue to pioneer technology that has a wider value to society as a whole.”

Professor Ann Prentice, Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at the University’s MRC Epidemiology Unit, is awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to British and Global Public Health Nutrition. A former director of the MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory (previously MRC Human Nutrition Research) at Cambridge, and programme leader of the MRC Nutrition and Bone Health Research Group at Cambridge, she was also head of the calcium, vitamin D and bone health research team at MRC Unit The Gambia. Her research is focused on life-course nutritional requirements for population health, with an emphasis on calcium and vitamin D, and encompasses the nutritional problems of both affluent and resource-limited societies.

She said: “I am delighted to receive this honour on behalf of all the people, in this country and worldwide, who have worked with me to improve our understanding of the links between nutrition and health.”

Dr Gillian Tett, Provost at Kings College, Cambridge, is awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Economic Journalism. Tett, a former student at the University, is currently Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America Editor-at-Large of the Financial Times.  She became the 45th Provost at King’s College in October 2023, and is renowned for her warnings ahead of the financial crisis of 2008.

Tett said: “I am deeply honoured to receive an OBE - and hope this helps to champion the importance of British intellectual capital, both in journalism and higher education. Thank you to everyone who has helped me in my career!”

Joan Winterkorn is awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to heritage and culture. She is an expert on archives and literary and historical manuscripts, and was formerly in the antiquarian and rare book trade. In Cambridge she played a vital role in enabling the Churchill Archive Centre to acquire the papers of Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Thatcher and the University Library to gain those of Siegfried Sassoon and Dame Margaret Drabble. In 2019 she received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from the University.

Maxine Purdie, Head of Catering and Conferences at Girton College, University of Cambridge, is awarded an MBE for services to knowledge exchange. Prior to arriving at Girton, she spent two decades at PraxisAuril, a world-leading professional association for knowledge exchange practitioners, where she became CEO and a Board Director.

Dr Rosie Trevelyan, Director of the Tropical Biology Association, is awarded an MBE for her services to environmental science and International conservation. Over the last three decades, Trevelyan developed the Tropical Biology Association into a globally respected organisation that offers an exceptionally high standard of ecology and conservation training to scientists, project managers and educators working to manage and safeguard tropical biodiversity in the long term. This international NGO has offices in the David Attenborough Building, Cambridge, UK and at Nature Kenya in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Professor Elizabeth Robertson, an alumna and Honorary Fellow of Darwin College, has been appointed a CBE. Recognised as a world leader in mammalian developmental genetics, Robertson‘s early work focused on embryonic stem cell gene targeting, a technique that pioneered the ability to genetically alter mice. She initiated this work as a post-doctoral fellow with Sir Martin Evans at the University of Cambridge. “It was a big surprise and extremely gratifying to have received this honour,” Robertson said.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (Alumnus and Honorary Fellow of Trinity College), was appointed GCVO (Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order).

The Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle (Alumnus of Corpus Christi College, Honorary Fellow and former Fellow of Magdalene College) was appointed KCVO (Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order). 

Maxine Ficarra, formerly Chief Executive Officer of PraxisAuril, the UK's professional association for Knowledge Exchange practitioners, has been made an MBE for her services to Knowledge Exchange. She led the not-for-profit, which was co-founded in 2002 by Professor David Secher, Life Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, and former Director of Research Services at the University of Cambridge, for 20 years.

Creative Commons License.
The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ©University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.  All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our main website under its Terms and conditions, and on a range of channels including social media that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.