Development & Alumni Relations Office 


22 February 2018

Queen’s University has today (22 February) published details of 15 local, national and international individuals who are to be formally acknowledged during 2018 with the award of an honorary degree.

Distinguished names from the field of academia receiving honorary degrees from Queen’s include:

  • Professor Dame Janet Beer, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool;
  • Professor Dame Vicki Bruce, Professor of Psychology at Newcastle University;
  • Professor Shuji Nakamura, Professor at the Materials Department of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara;
  • Professor Dr Gulsun Saglamer, Professor of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and President of the European Women Rectors Association (EWORA);
  • Professor Catriona Seth, who holds the Marshal Foch Chair of French Literature at Oxford University and is a Fellow at All Souls College.

The list includes world-renowned cancer researcher, Professor Charles Sawyers, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who holds the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.


Professor Martin Meehan, President of the University of Massachusetts and a former congressman who represented the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Michael J. Dowling, President and Chief Executive of Northwell Health New York are also among the recipients.


The Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer, Steve Rowe and Rory Best OBE, Irish Rugby Union player and Captain of Ireland’s international rugby team also feature in the 15 people from the world of business, science, sport, academia and the arts being honoured by Queen’s in 2018. Siobhan Fitzpatrick OBE, Chief Executive of Early Years, will also be honoured for distinction in public service.

Other leading figures from the world of business and commerce, including Roy Adair CBE, Chief Executive of Belfast Harbour Commissioners; Dr Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group; Dr Shahidah Bt M Shariff, Chief Executive of Petronas Research Group in Malaysia and Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman of Devenish Nutrition will each receive an honorary doctorate for their services to business and commerce.

Queen's awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.

The full list of honorary degrees to be awarded is as follows:

  • Roy Adair CBE, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Dr Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Professor Dame Janet Beer, DSSc for distinction in education
  • Rory Best OBE, DUniv for distinction in sport
  • Owen Brennan, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Dame Vicki Bruce, DSSc for distinction in education
  • Michael J. Dowling, DSc Econ for distinction in business and commerce
  • Siobhan Fitzpatrick CBE, LLD for distinction in public service
  • Professor Martin Meehan, DSSc for distinction in education
  • Shuji Nakamura, DSc Eng for distinction in engineering
  • Steve Rowe, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Professor Dr Gulsun Saglamer, DSSc for distinction in education
  • Professor Charles Sawyers, DMedSc for distinction in medicine
  • Professor Catriona Seth, DSSc for distinction in education
  • Dr Shahidah Bt M Shariff, DSc Eng for distinction in engineering

Honorary degrees are presented during Summer and Winter Graduation Weeks in July and December.

Media inquiries to Communications Office, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3091.

Photo credits: (Top row, L-R) Roy Adair (Belfast Harbour); Dr Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg (Al Gurg Foundation); Professor Dame Janet Beer (University of Liverpool); Rory Best (Ulster Rugby); Owen Brennan (Devenish); (Middle row, L-R) Professor Vicki Bruce (Newcastle University); Michael J Dowling (Northwell Health); Siobhan Fitzpatrick (agendaNi); Professor Martin T Meehan (University of Massachusetts); Shuji Nakamura (University of California Santa Barbara); (Bottom row, L-R) Steve Rowe (Drapers); Professor Dr Gulsun Saglamer (European Women Rectors Association); Professor Charles Sawyers (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre); Professor Catriona Seth (University of Oxford); Dr Shahidah Bt M Shariff (ARTC)

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