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.”
Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience acted as chair of the cross-University award selection panel for this year’s awards. Speaking about the winners, she said: “Our Award Winners are pioneers, visionaries, and leaders in their field, and they make an extraordinary impact across the globe.”
“We’re so proud of the 2022 Alumni Award winners – they’re an absolute credit to the University and a true inspiration to our student community.”
2022 Alumni Award winners
Lifetime Achievement: Professor Dame Julia Slingo FRS OBE (BSc 1973, PhD 1989, Hon DSc 2010)
The UK’s first female Professor of Meteorology, Professor Dame Julia Slingo FRS OBE has undertaken pioneering work in climate science. Dame Julia served as the Chief Scientist of the Met Office and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. She is currently the chair of the University’s Cabot Institute for the Environment.
Achievement in Sport: Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012)
At Tokyo 2021, Hannah Mills OBE became the most successful female sailor in Olympic history. She is now an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sustainability Ambassador and in 2019 she launched the Big Plastic Pledge, a global campaign aimed at eradicating plastic pollution in sport.
Arts and Media: Dr Katya Adler (BA 1995, Hon LLD 2017)
Katya Adler is an award-winning journalist with over 25 years of broadcasting experience. She has served as the BBC’s Europe Editor since 2014 and became a household name thanks to her coverage of the Brexit referendum. She studied German and Italian at the University and is fluent in five languages.
Business and Industry: Eldar Tuvey (BSc 1992) & Roy Tuvey (BSc 1996)
Eldar Tuvey and Roy Tuvey both studied Economics at the University and have since gone on to co-found hugely successful cybersecurity companies, including Wandera and Scansafe. They are currently co-founders and CEOs of Vertice, a SaaS purchasing platform.
Community Engagement and Impact: Ben England BEM (BA 1998)
When in-person choirs were cancelled in the first COVID-19 lockdown, Ben sprang into action. He created Homechoir and Choir of the Earth, two online global choirs which continue to connect music lovers to this day. Homechoir has just had its second anniversary and has over 3000 subscribers.
Innovation and Enterprise: Dr Neciah Dorh (BEng 2012, PhD 2016) & Josephine Dorh (BEng 2012)
Co-Founders Dr Neciah Dorh and Josephine Dorh are the chief executive officer and chief technology officer of FluoretiQ. Their Bristol-based company is developing rapid diagnostic tools which are crucial in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Global Impact: Dr Sarah Fane OBE (MBChB 1989, Hon 2022)
Since graduating from Bristol, Dr Sarah Fane has changed the lives of thousands of Afghans through her work as a doctor and through her charity, Afghan Connection. Between 2002 and 2020, Afghan Connection built 47 schools, refurbished a further 90 and constructed 110 cricket pitches in schools across Afghanistan.
Transformative Philanthropy: James Alexandroff (LLB 1979)
Investment fund manager and entrepreneur James Alexandroff has helped to train thousands of nursery school teachers in sub-Saharan Africa through his work with the Perivoli Schools Trust. His incredible generosity enabled the University to establish the Perivoli Africa Research Centre (PARC). PARC represents the University of Bristol’s cross-disciplinary commitment to championing transformation in research and partnership to advance Africa’s achievement of its own aspirations.
Vice-Chancellor’s Award: Sophie Pender (BA 2017)
Sophie Pender is the founder and chief executive of The 93% Club, which aims to close the social mobility gap in universities by addressing the inequalities state school students face. She is also a corporate lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills.