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Origins of the universe to the tech in our phones - how this year's honorary graduates have helped shape the world

Ann Wintle

Nikolas Rose

Catherine Hall

Simon Segars

Carlos Frenk

The University of Sussex will award five inspiring individuals with honorary degrees this week as part of the annual Summer Graduation ceremonies (Monday 22 - Friday 26 July).

Four Professors and the CEO of a global tech company are among those being recognised, with talents spanning across the disciplines from science and social science to the humanities.

Those who will be receiving an honorary degree from Chancellor Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE include:

  • Professor Ann Wintle
    Although she studied physics at the University of Sussex in the 1960s, it was Professor Wintle's love of archaeology that led to the major scientific breakthrough of her career. In 1979, she discovered that thermoluminescence, which involves observing how radiation produces a measurable number of electrons in minerals such as quartz and feldspar, could not only date man-made artefacts but also provide timelines for the formation of ancient sand dunes and the sediment of ocean beds. This award-winning research is helping archaeologists and geologists to piece together both human history and that of the planet.  

    Professor Ann Wintle will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science on Monday 22 July at a ceremony beginning at 1.30pm. 
  • Professor Nikolas Rose
    Internationally renowned social scientist Professor Rose explores how scientific developments in psychology, psychiatry and the life sciences have changed our conception of what it is to be human. His most recent work shows the need for a new way of incorporating neuroscience into the understanding and treating of the forms of mental distress that are linked to social adversity. As one of Sussex's first graduates in Biology and Psychology, earning his degree in 1968, he credits his experience at the University for the interdisciplinary focus he's taken throughout his career. 

    Professor Nikolas Rose will be conferred as Honorary Doctor of the University on Tuesday 23 July at a ceremony beginning at 10am.
  • Professor Catherine Hall 
    A leading social and cultural historian, Professor Hall's work on race, gender and empire is seen as inspirational. At the forefront of both feminist historical writing and the 'new imperial history', Professor Hall has led on a project which seeks to put slavery back into the telling of British history, sharing the honest story of the empire. 

    Professor Catherine Hall will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of the University on Wednesday 24 July at a ceremony beginning at 1.30pm. 
  • Simon Segars
    A global tech industry leader, Simon is CEO of Arm Holdings, a microprocessor design company in Cambridge. Since graduating from Sussex in 1990 with a degree in electronic engineering, Simon joined the start-up Arm Holdings just a year later, rising through the ranks of a company which now employs 6,000 people in 45 countries and provides the technology for an estimated 99% of the world's mobile devices. In 2017, he helped to create 2030Vision, a partnership that connects businesses, NGOs and governments with the technology and expertise they need to contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. 

    Simon Segars will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science on Thursday 25 July at a ceremony beginning at 10am. 
  • Professor Carlos Frenk CBE 
    One of the world's most eminent cosmologists, Professor Frenk is among the group of physicists who developed the theory that dark matter, the 85% of the mass of the Universe that we cannot see, is made up of tiny elementary particles created very soon after the Big Bang. The Cold Dark Matter Theory, developed when Professor Frenk was at the University of California and later at Sussex as a post-doctoral research fellow, has remained the leading explanation for the structure and composition of the Universe. 

    Professor Carlos Frenk will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science on Friday 26 July at a ceremony beginning at 10am. 

During Graduation, a focus will be on sharing the story of the University's many students; from accomplishments to overcoming adversity or simply making friends for life. 

Adam Tickell, the University's Vice-Chancellor, said: "The University of Sussex is proud to have a diverse range of passionate and dedicated students; students who will go on to inspire others, challenge injustices and influence change for a better world. 

"Those receiving honorary degrees, many of whom are former Sussex students, show just what incredible things can be achieved by that passion and hard work.

"Each and every graduate will have gone through their own personal journey to get to where they are today and they should feel immensely proud of all they have worked for.

"I wish them every success for their futures as they embark on a new chapter of their story."


By: Stephanie Allen
Last updated: Friday, 19 July 2019

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