Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

Graduation 2013 marks achievements of students and honorary graduates

Published: 16 July 2013
Graduates at ceremony 2013
Graduation ceremony 2013

Around 5,000 students will attend Graduation at the University of Southampton this year, alongside six leading figures from the fields of astronautics, education, electrochemistry, law and social science who will receive honorary degrees.

John Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth; Director of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Professor Richard Holdaway CBE; Crossbench peer and Reform rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE; Stuart Popham, Chair of Chatham House; Dame Valerie Strachan, former Chair of the University of Southampton’s Council; and pioneering electrochemist Professor Zhong-Qun Tian will join this year’s graduates at ceremonies at the University’s Highfield Campus.

The University will also be awarding Fellowships to petroleum geologist, John Brooks CBE; Michael Erben, who led a number of degree programmes at the University; and Patrick Sandford, former Artistic Director of the Nuffield Theatre.

The Graduation ceremonies will take place daily in the Turner Sims and the Nuffield Theatre from Wednesday 17 July to Thursday 25 July.

Notes for editors

About the honorary graduands:

John Craven
John Craven retires as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth in August 2013 after 16 years in the post. He was the founding chair of the University Alliance and Board member of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

John is a member of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, and of the Board of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Before Portsmouth he was at the University of Kent as Professor of Economics, specialising in social choice, regulation and other aspects of economic theory. His introductory economics text was used in schools and universities in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Professor Richard Holdaway CBE
Professor Richard Holdaway graduated from the University of Southampton in 1970 with a 2:1 in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Following a year in industry working on the Harrier VTOL airplane he was awarded an RJ Mitchell Memorial PhD Scholarship at Southampton. He has worked at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) since 1974 on numerous space programmes with NASA and ESA. He is currently Director of RAL Space, one of the largest Space research and development organisations in Europe.

Richard is a visiting Professor at Southampton and Beijing universities, former member of University Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list for services to science and technology.

Rabbi Baroness Neuberger DBE
Rabbi Baroness Neuberger DBE was educated at Cambridge and Leo Baeck College, London. She served the South London Liberal Synagogue (1977-1989), chaired Camden and Islington Community Health Services NHS Trust (1993-1997), was Chief Executive of the King’s Fund until 2004, Chancellor of the University of Ulster(1994-2000) and Bloomberg Professor of Divinity at Harvard University in 2006.

Baroness Neuberger is a Trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation and founding Trustee of the Schwab Charitable Trust, in memory of her parents. A life peer in 2004 (Liberal Democrat, but now a Cross- Bencher) she was Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Champion for Volunteering (2007-2009). She chaired One Housing Group and the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity for the Lord Chancellor (2009-2010). She is Senior Rabbi at West London Synagogue, Trustee of Van Leer Group Foundation and Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, is a Trustee of Social Market Foundation, the Halo Initiative and is a member of the Religions for Peace coalition.

Baroness Neuberger has been appointed by the Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb to chair a Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway for Dying Patients.

She is the author of several books including Not Dead Yet – A Manifesto for Old Age (2008, Harper Collins) and Is that all there is? (2011, Rider).

Stuart Popham
Stuart Popham graduated LLB from the University of Southampton and joined Clifford Chance, qualifying as a solicitor in 1978. He became a partner in 1984 and senior partner in 2003, a role he held until retirement in 2011. He was awarded Queen’s Council (honoris causa) in 2011. He served in various roles for the CBI including Chair of the London Council. He was the founder Chair of ThisCity UK.

He is Chair of Chatham House and sits on the Boards of Legal and General Group, Birkbeck University of London, Barbican Trust, RNLI and the Advisory Boards of Said Business School, Oxford, University of Southampton Business School and the Queen’s Award for Industry. Presently, he is European Vice-Chair of Citibank.

Dame Valerie Strachan
Dame Valerie Strachan was Chair of the Council of the University of Southampton from 2006 to 2013. Born in Edgeware, she went to Newland High School, Hull and to Manchester University. She spent most of her career in HM Customs and Excise, and was Chairman of the department from 1993 to 2000. Valerie also worked in the Department of Economic Affairs, the Home Office, the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. In 1992, she was named UK Woman of Europe for her work on the Single Market negotiations. Since retiring, Valerie has been – among other things – Lay Assessor to the Review of Tribunals, Vice-Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, Chair of James Allen’s School for Girls, and a member of the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry. She is currently a Judicial Appointments Commissioner.

Professor Zhong-Qun Tian
Professor Zhong-Qun Tian received his BSc in chemistry from Xiamen University, China in 1982, and his PhD in electrochemistry from the University of Southampton in 1987. He then returned to Xiamen University and has worked there ever since.

He was appointed as full professor in 1992. He has made several original contributions to his fields of research including surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), spectro-electrochemistry and nano-chemistry, especially the development of electrochemical Raman spectroscopic methods in conducting fundamental molecular-level studies of metal-solution interfaces.

He is the author or co-author of more than 340 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has served as a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2005-), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2005-) and International Society of Electrochemistry (2010-), and a Member of Standing Committee of the Chinese Chemical Society (2008-). He is associate editor of Chemistry Society Reviews and Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, and a member of the advisory board for 10 international journals.

Privacy Settings