2022 Alumni Award winner for Achievement in Sport: Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012)

This year’s Alumni Award for Achievement in Sport has been given to Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012) in recognition of her incredible career in sailing and sustainability.

At Tokyo 2020, Hannah became the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, after she won gold with Eilidh McIntyre in the women’s 470 event. Hannah also sailed to a gold medal in Rio in 2016 and a silver medal at the London 2012 games, alongside her then sailing partner Saskia Clark.

Cardiff-born Hannah started sailing at age eight, while on holiday in Cornwall with her family. She went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol, training in her spare time to prepare for the London 2012 Olympic games.

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Alumni, staff and a student celebrated in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List

This year we were delighted to see Bristol alumni, staff and one of our current students recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In these awards, which conincided with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, alumni were honoured for their services to academia, the arts and more. Read on to see if you can spot any of your former classmates below!

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‘We walk together’: sharing city and culture with Bristol Voices

The Bristol Voices programme matches students new to Bristol with members of our alumni community to help them familiarise with their surroundings. Students learn more about the city and their University and our volunteers learn a lot, in turn!

Claire Nuttall (BSc 1983), who was linked with two students from China, shares her experience as a Bristol Voices volunteer.

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2022 Alumni Award winner for Lifetime Achievement: Professor Dame Julia Slingo FRS OBE (BSc 1973, PhD 1989, Hon DSc 2010)

(c) Mary Slingo

The UK’s first female professor of meteorology, Professor Dame Julia Slingo OBE (BSc 1973, PhD 1989, Hon DSc 2010) broke the glass ceiling in the world of climate science and paved the way for more women to enter careers in scientific research. This year she is the recipient of the 2022 Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement. We spoke to her about her time at Bristol, her impressive career as a climate scientist, the gender gap in research and the future of science for a fairer planet. (more…)

2022 Alumni Award winner for Community Engagement and Impact: Ben England BEM (BA 1998)

We spoke to Ben England BEM (BA 1998), recipient of the 2022 Alumni Award for Community Engagement and Impact, to hear about his time at Bristol, his desert island disc and how he used music to keep people connected during the COVID-19 lockdowns. (more…)

2022 Alumni Award winners announced!

Alumni Awards 2022: Climate Scientist, Olympian and Charity Champion among this year’s winners

Each year, the University of Bristol recognises alumni who have made remarkable contributions to society through the Alumni Awards. From highly successful tech entrepreneurs to an award-winning journalist, this year’s winners are all inspirational leaders in their fields.

The winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award is Professor Dame Julia Slingo FRS OBE (BSc 1973, PhD 1989, Hon DSc 2010), who served as Chief Scientist of the UK Met Office from 2009 to 2016.

Speaking about her award, she said: “It is wonderful and rather surprising to receive this recognition. It is up there with the very best of all the special things that have happened in my life, including becoming a Dame and the Chief Scientist at the Met Office – and of course a mother.”

Also recognised in this year’s awards is Ben England BEM (BA 1998), who won the Community Engagement and Impact Award for his work with Homechoir. This global digital choir provided solace and helped thousands of people to stay connected throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Ben said: “It is a huge honour to be the recipient of this year’s Alumni Award for Community Engagement and Impact. Throughout my life I’ve tried to share what I learned in Bristol with the people I teach.”

“Going to Bristol was a hugely significant turning point in my life and this award acknowledges what Bristol has given me more than anything else.” (more…)

Alumni Interview: Paul King (BSc 2008, MSc 2009), Environmental and Social Impact Consultant

Paul King works with start-ups as a chief financial officer, consultant and co-founder, with a focus on environmental and social impact. He is passionate about harnessing the power of technology for the greater good and using responsible and sustainable business practices.

After studying for an undergraduate in Biochemistry, he stayed at the University of Bristol to do an MSc in Management and went on to lead two major technology start-ups, Pentatonic and Masuku. Ahead of joining us for a panel discussion on responsible business, he shares his favourite things about entrepreneurial life and the best advice he’s been given.

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“It really does mean everything to me”: William’s scholarship story

First-year student William Shelley was inspired to study for a degree in law, after working as a Royal Marines Commando and witnessing the importance of humanitarian law.

William is one of the 160 Futures Scholars who have received support through the programme since it began in 2019.

Futures Scholarships provide undergraduate students with a £2,000 bursary, which helps them to buy essential items for their studies and a further £2,500 for employment opportunities.

Speaking about the impact of his scholarship, William said: “The moment that I found out that I received the Futures Scholarship it was life changing. The first person I told was my mum, and she was elated.

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Legator Dr Marett looks back while planning ahead

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Dr Valerie Marett MBE, (BA 1950, Cert Ed 1951) 93, has crystal clear memories of her time at Bristol, where she took up her place to read History in 1947, not long after the end of the second world war.

Resplendent in a bright sweater which was a gift from her late husband (Dr Marett refuses to wear the ‘uniform’ of a white cardigan, which is prevalent in her residential home) she tells us of her time at Bristol.

Dr Marett came to Bristol from a state grammar school in her native Wales and found herself surrounded by ex-service personnel and pupils of independent schools. She liked Bristol because it wasn’t the University of Wales where other members of her family had gone. At that time her halls of residence (Manor Hall) were female-only, headed by the warden Miss Morgan. Because of the austere conditions in post-war UK, she vividly recalls the gasps from her fellow students when one young woman appeared ready for a ball in a Christian Dior New Look dress, glowing from her holiday on a film star’s Caribbean yacht. Dr Marett appreciated the supportive atmosphere at Manor Hall, as at that time only 5% of the student population was female. For her, the drama students and those involved in their productions were the life and soul of the University at that time, in particular a Gerald Lloyd-Williams (Sub Lt), who had served in the navy during the war.

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“When I learned I had been awarded the Futures scholarship, I was overjoyed”

Beth Randell is a first-year Sociology student and a Futures Scholarship recipient. Here, she tells us how her scholarship is opening up career opportunities and supporting her to succeed. 

When I was in sixth form, I was a member of my school’s debate team because I love reflecting on social issues analytically. I also used to write articles on social issues including one which was a runner up in the Guardian’s The Young Hugo Award called “The Impossibility of the Working Mum.” I chose to study sociology because it lends a critical eye to society and allows me the freedom to pursue a wide scope of professions upon graduation including writing, editing, and publishing.

I am particularly interested in publishing because writing is my main strength. It is a competitive sector and there is a lot of pressure to make yourself stand out by doing internships, making connections and networking. In addition, many of these internships are in London, where living and commuting is much more expensive. Without the Futures Scholarship these opportunities would be unattainable for me.

Before I was awarded the Futures Scholarship, I had underlying anxieties about coming to university. I wanted to undertake internships to develop my understanding of different industries and stand out among other degree holders. But, due to financial pressures, I thought I would have to work in retail during the University holidays. Living away from home and studying is expensive, so it is such a relief to have this financial contribution.

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