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Leading figures in the control of tropical disease, local government in the city of Chester and a former Bank of England and top -100 company chair who is helping to shape the future of University Centre Shrewsbury will be recognised with honorary degrees during graduation ceremonies on Wednesday, November 2.

  • Ceremony 4 9.30am - Professor Janet Hemingway CBE will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc,) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to biochemistry and molecular biology and in particular for her services to the control of tropical disease vectors. 

Professor Janet Hemingway, CBE, BSc, PhD, DSc, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP,FRES (Hon), FAAM, Foreign Associated National Academy of Sciences USA, HonFFPH initially trained as a geneticist and is currently Professor of Insect Molecular Biology and Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with 450 staff based in Liverpool, Malawi and several other tropical locations. She has 38 years’ experience working on the biochemistry and molecular biology of specific enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic resistance. She has been Principal Investigator on projects well in excess of £60 million including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Innovative Vector Control Consortium.

She was inaugurated as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2006 and as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2008. In 2010, she was elected as a Foreign Associate to the National Academy of Scientists, USA and in 2011 as a Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiology, followed by her inauguration the same year as a Fellow of The Royal Society. She was awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the Control of Tropical Disease Vectors in 2012 and has been conferred as Honorary Fellow by the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians.

  • Ceremony 5 11.45am - Brian Kerr OBE will receive an Honorary Master of Business Administration (MBA,) in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to Local Government and to the city of Chester and county of Cheshire. 

Brian was born in Widnes and raised in Warrington. He joined the Civil Service at 16, before his career was interrupted by National Service. He served in the Royal Artillery, before being promoted to Bombardier (Corporal). After National Service he resumed his career in the Civil Service, before taking an accounting job in engineering.

He joined the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in 1956. He left after 37 years in the nuclear industry as Employee Relations Director of British Nuclear Fuels Limited.

After a sabbatical, he joined Chester Aid to the Homeless as Chief Executive Officer. After four years, he resigned as a paid employee and took up the voluntary position of Deputy Chairman. He left in 2000, to concentrate on other voluntary commitments.

Brian was elected as a Saughall Parish Councillor in 1975 and he served 40 consecutive years, including 12 as Chairman, until standing down in May 2015. He was co-opted back onto the Council in June 2016 to fill a casual vacancy. He also served a 12 year term on Chester City Council as Ward Member for Saughall.

Brian was elected to the Executive Board of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils in 1994. He was the Cheshire Association Council Member of the National Association of Local Councils from 1995 to 2004. He was the Chair of the National Association from 1999 to 2004 and Vice-President from 2004 to present.

He has various voluntary sector involvements including Cheshire Community Council (Chair from 2000 to 2004); Chester Council for Voluntary Services; Saughall Gardening Club; Saughall Youth Club and Saughall Vernon Institute.

Brian was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to local government.

Brian said: “My honorary degree is a recognition of the important role performed by Parish Councils in creating vibrant communities.”

  • Ceremony 6 3.00pm - Sir David Lees will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration, in recognition of his outstanding as Chair of the University Centre Shrewsbury Advisory Board and former Chairman of the Bank of England’s Court.

Sir David Lees was educated at Charterhouse, Godalming, Surrey. He was an Articled Clerk with Binder Hamlyn & Co, becoming Senior Audit Clerk in 1962-63. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA) in 1962.

Prior to joining Binder Hamlyn he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery from 1955-57. From 1964-68 Sir David was Chief Accountant at Handley Page Limited, becoming Finance Director in 1969 for a reconstructed company (Handley Page Aircraft Limited,) which was sold to an American investor.

Sir David joined the GKN Group in 1970 as Group Finance Executive in 1976, becoming General Manager – Finance in 1977 and Finance Director in 1982. He became Group Managing Director and Chairman Designate in 1987, becoming Chairman and Chief Executive in May 1988. He retired as Chief Executive at the end of 1996, but continued as Chairman until May 2004.

He became Chairman of Tate and Lyle PLC in October 1998 and retired in July 2009. In August 2005, he was appointed Non-Executive Director of QinetiQ Group plc and was appointed Deputy Chairman in September 2005. He retired in January 2012. In July 2009, Sir David was appointed Chairman of the Court of the Bank of England. He retired in June 2014. From March 1991 to May 1999, he was a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England.

In August 2001 he became Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of Brambles Industries Ltd and Brambles Industries plc, retiring in December 2006. Sir David was Chairman of Courtaulds plc from mid-July 1996 to September 1998, having been a Non-Executive Director since 1991.

From 1983 to 1990, Sir David was a member of the Audit Commission. In March 1998, he was appointed to the Board of the Royal Opera House and as Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee, retiring in August 2008. In May 2008, he was appointed as a Governor of the Royal Ballet School retiring in July 2013. In June 2001, he was appointed to the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers.

He was President of the Society of Business Economists from December 1994 to January 1999.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) and an Honorary Fellow of Wolverhampton University. He was a member of the National Defence Industries Council from 1995 to 2004. He became a Governor of Shrewsbury School in 1986 and Chairman of the Governing Body in 2004, retiring in 2007. He was a Governor of Suttons Hospital in Charterhouse from 1995 to 2005.

Sir David was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in July 1991.

In July 1996, he received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 1999 received the ICAEW Award for Outstanding Achievement.

In November 2007, he was commissioned to be a Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire. He became the Honorary Patron of Shrewsbury Town FC in January 2010 and was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University Centre Shrewsbury, a partner institution between the University of Chester with Shropshire Council in March 2014.

He is married to Mary and has two sons, a daughter and nine grandchildren. His interests include football, golf, music, opera and walking.

Sir David said: “I feel very privileged to have been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Chester. It is indeed an honour in every sense.”

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