Honorary Awards 2015

Raj Aggarwal

Raj Aggarwal OBE DL BPharm FRPharmS

President of the Consular Association in Wales, Honorary Consul for India in Wales

Raj Aggarwal was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of his contribution to civic life in Wales, and to his profession.

Born in 1949, Raj is a pharmacist, public health expert, businessman and the first ever Honorary Consul for India with jurisdiction for Wales. In this role, he is responsible for helping to further links between Welsh and Indian business, educational establishments and cultural organisations, as well as looking after the needs of Indian nationals living and working in Wales. In March 2015, he was appointed president of the Consular Association of Wales.

In June 2007, Raj was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of his contribution to the pharmaceutical industry and the life of the Asian community in Wales. In October 2011, he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for South Glamorgan. As well as English, he speaks Swahili, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati and Urdu.

Adrian Button

Adrian Button

Former Vice President, GE Oil & Gas Middle East and North Africa

Adrian Button was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of his contribution to global technology industries.

Adrian graduated from the University in 1995 with a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering. His career at GE started at the British Airways Aviation Centre in Wales, where he worked as a Quality Engineer on the GE 90 engine used on the Boeing 777. After gaining a further six years of experience he moved into 6 Sigma and then into the Operations and to the Materials side of the GE business. 

His career took him and his family around the globe with a move to Jacksonville, Florida and subsequently relocated to GE Headquarters in Cincinnati to manage ignition systems. After five successful years in the US, Adrian returned home to become the first Welsh Managing Director of the GE facility in Wales.

Professor Marcus du Sautoy

Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE

Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford

Professor du Sautoy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his contribution to increasing the public understanding of science.

Born in 1965, Marcus is mathematician, author, and populariser of science and mathematics. In 1996 he was awarded the Title of Distinction of Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and in 2008, he was appointed to the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science and a fellowship at New College.

Formerly a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and Wadham College, Oxford, Marcus was also a former President of the Mathematical Association and a Royal Society University Research Fellow.

Professor Sir Martin Evans

Professor Sir Martin Evans FRS

Former Chancellor, Cardiff University and Winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007

Professor Sir Martin Evans was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his contribution to medical science and education.

Born in 1941, Martin is a biologist who, with Matthew Kaufman, was the first to culture mice embryonic stem cells and cultivate them in a laboratory in 1981. He is also known, along with Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies, for his work in the development of the knockout mouse and the related technology of gene targeting, a method of using embryonic stem cells to create specific gene modifications in mice.

In 2007, the three shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition of their discovery and contribution to the efforts to develop new treatments for illnesses in humans.

Eurfyl ap Gwilym

Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym BSc PhD AKC

Economics Expert, Deputy Chairman of Principality Building Society

Dr ap Gwilym was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in recognition of his contribution to economics, and to Welsh civic life.

Born in Ceredigion in 1944, Eurfyl was educated at Ardwyn Grammar School and at King's College London.

Having been a member of Plaid Cymru since 1963, Eurfyl is a longstanding economic adviser to the party and was one of its first prospective candidates for the House of Lords.

For many years he has advocated a revision of the Barnett formula, which determines how much money Wales receives from the Treasury. He argues that if a new formula based on need was introduced, Wales would be entitled to hundreds of millions of pounds extra a year.

Gerald Holtham

Gerald Holtham FLSW BA (Oxon) MPhil (Oxon)

Managing Partner, Cadwyn Capital LLP

Gerald Holtham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in recognition of his contribution to public policy and civic society in Wales.

In his role as Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and Partner at Cadwyn Capital LLP, Gerald is responsible for investment management in the firm, and is also responsible for investment management at PCE Investors Limited.

From 2000 to 2004, he was the Chief Investment Officer at Morley Fund Management and was a Global Strategist at Norwich Union Investment Management and a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, Europe. From 1976 to 1985, Gerald worked at Lehman Brothers for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, heading the General Economics Division from 1982 to 1985. 

Claire Hudson honoraries 2015

Clare Hudson

Former Head of BBC Cymru Wales Productions

Claire Hudson was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of her contribution to broadcasting and journalism in Wales.

During her role as Head of English language programmes at BBC Cymru Wales, Clare was responsible for editorial strategy for English language content broadcasting in Wales, as well as overseeing the delivery of network production.

Her broadcasting career has seen her holding senior roles at ITV Wales, Channel 4 and Channel 5. She now works as a freelance executive producer.

Helen Molyneux

Helen Molyneux LLB

Chief Executive, NewLaw Solicitors

Helen Molyneux was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in recognition of her contribution to the law, and to the economy in Wales.

Born in Caerphilly in 1965, Helen studied Law at Cardiff University and qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She is the founder and CEO of personal injury law firms NewLaw Solicitors. In April 2012, it became the first Welsh and fourth overall practice to be licensed as an ABM by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The idea was born after Helen met a man on a train from London who owned an insurance brokers. They came up with the idea of creating a law firm to manage personal injury claims from insurance companies and brokers. In 2013, Helen was named Law Society Business Women of the year for employing over 470 people in the UK, turning over £35m annually in work with leading consumer brands.

Professor Richard Parry-Jones

Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE FREng FMIMechE FRSS

Former Group Vice-President, Ford Motor Company

Professor Parry-Jones was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of his contribution to engineering science.

Richard joined Ford in 1969 as a trainee and earned a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Salford University, before spending nearly 40 years at the carmaker, in a variety of senior R&D and manufacturing posts. Between 1994 and 1998 he was vice-president of the Small Car European product development group, leading development of models including the Focus, Ka, Fiesta and Puma.

From 1998, Richard oversaw product development activities for all Ford vehicles worldwide, as well as the Design, Research and Vehicle Technology functions. As Chief Technical Officer, he headed a technical staff of 30,000 engineers, scientists, designers and business professionals. In early 2005 he was awarded a CBE for services to the automobile industry. 

Dame Julia Slingo honoraries 2015

Professor Dame Julia Slingo DBE FRS

Chief Scientist and Director of Science at the Met Office

Dame Julia Slingo was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her contribution to research into climate change and meteorological science.

Born in 1950, Dame Julia is a British meteorologist and climate scientist. She has been the Chief Scientist at the Met Office since 2009. She is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, where she held, prior to appointment to the Met Office, the positions of Director of Climate Research in the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) National Centre for Atmospheric Science and founding Director of the Walker Institute for Climate System Research.

From 2015 to 2016 Julia was one of the members of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors of the European Commission Scientific Advice Mechanism, part of its Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.

David Stevens

David Stevens CBE

Chief Executive Officer, Admiral Group

David Stevens was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in recognition of his contribution to the Welsh economy.

Born in 1962, he is a founder Director of Admiral and was recruited in 1991 to set up the Admiral business.

Prior to joining Admiral, David worked at McKinsey & Company, in the Financial Interest Group, and Cadbury Schweppes in the UK and the USA.

David graduated from the University of Oxford, and has an MBA from Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD)

He was awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to business and the community in Wales.

Keith Towler

Keith Towler

Children’s Commissioner for Wales 2008-2015

Keith Towler was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of his contribution to safeguarding the rights of children in Wales.

Born in London, Keith was educated at Llanedeyrn High School and then undertook a degree in Fine Arts at Exeter College of Art and Design. He then joined South Glamorgan County Council's social service department, and trained as a social work assistant, working in youth justice.

Keith became head of NACRO Cymru in 1998, and in 2001 was appointed NACRO's Director of Crime Reduction.In 2006 he became the programme director for Save The Children Wales, and chair of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) for Wales.

He was appointed Children's Commissioner for Wales in March 2008, after the death of Peter Clarke. He was succeeded by Dr Sally Holland in 2015.


Peter Vaughan OStJ QPM DL BSc (Hons) DipAppCrim

Former Chief Constable of South Wales Police

Peter Vaughan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in recognition of his contribution to policing and civic society in Wales.

Born in Aberfan in 1962, Peter served as Chief Constable of South Wales Police from 2010 to 2017. He gained a first class degree in Management Science and Operations Research from the University of Wales, Swansea. Joining South Wales Police on graduation, he progressed to Superintendent leading the Community Safety Department. After a period with head office, he became head of the BCU in Merthyr Tydfil, and then Divisional Commander at Rhondda Cynon Taff.

He took up the role of Deputy Chief Constable in April 2007. Appointed Chief Constable from January 2010, he took over from the retiring Barbara Wilding. Peter Vaughan retired as Chief Constable and left South Wales Police in 2017, and was succeeded by Matt Jukes.

Kinglsey Ward

Kingsley Ward

Founder of Rockfield Studios

Kingsley Ward was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of his contribution to the music industry.

Kingsley and his brother Charles founded Rockfield Studios just outside the village of Rockfield, Monmouth, in 1963, by converting an existing farmhouse. RecordProduction.com has called the studios one of the top five recording studios in the world. In 1965, they became the world's first residential studio, set up so that bands could come and stay in the peaceful rural surroundings to record.

The first big hit recorded in the studios was Dave Edmunds' I Hear You Knocking in 1970. Queen first worked on developing their album A Night at the Opera and the song Bohemian Rhapsody for a month at Ridge Farm Studio during the summer of 1975, then moved to Rockfield in August 1975 to begin recording the album, which became the band's first Platinum-selling album in the US.


Professor Julie Williams CBE

Former Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales

Professor Williams was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her contribution to science and education in Wales.

Born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1957, Julie studied Psychology at Cardiff University. She is Professor of Neuropsychological Genetics at Cardiff University, and was Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales from September 2013 to September 2017 - the second person to hold the post. 

In 2012 Julie was appointed a CBE for her contribution to Alzheimer's research. She is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Lord Williams of Baglan

Lord Michael Williams of Baglan BSc MSc SOAS PhD

Diplomat and Parliamentarian (1949 - 2017)

The late Lord Williams was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in recognition of his contribution to diplomacy and human rights across the world.

Lord Williams, born in 1949, attended Sandfields Comprehensive School, Baglan in Port Talbot. He received a bachelors degree from University College London in 1971 and a masters degree in the Politics of Developing Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), in 1973. 

Lord Williams was the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon. He previously served as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, before his appointment as the UK Special Representative for the Middle East and Special Projects. 

Williams was made a life peer in the 2010 Dissolution Honours list. He was created Baron Williams of Baglan in 2010 and, on being introduced into the House of Lords, took his seat on the Labour benches.