Four members of staff at the University of Southampton have been recognised in the bi-annual Queen’s Honours List.
Every year, the Queen releases two lists of extraordinary people from around Britain and the Commonwealth to be acknowledged with gallantry awards for their services to the country. These include knighthoods, damehoods, CBEs, OBEs, and MBEs.
The lists are normally released at New Year’s and the Queen’s official birthday in June. This year, Covid-19 meant that the earlier list was postponed until October for the first time since the Queen’s reign began in 1952.
Some of those recognised include Mary Berry who will be receiving a damehood, Marcus Rashford who will receive an MBE for his work campaigning for children to receive free school meals over summer, as well as scores of NHS heroes and keyworkers who have helped the country during the pandemic. Even some of our staff here at the University of Southampton are getting awards:
- Professor Stephen Holgate – Knighthood
Professor Holgate is being recognised for his contribution to the medical field, in which he is considered one of the top specialists in his field, both nationally and internationally. He is now a government advisor based on his work to improve our understanding of allergies and asthma, as well as how air pollution impacts our health in these areas. He is also a co-founder of Synairgen, a University of Southampton spin-out company which has developed inhaled interferon beta to combat various respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus.
- Dr Jackie Wahba – OBE
Dr Wahba is being recognised for her services to Economic Policy. As well as lecturing here, she is a leading voice on the economics of migration, and has published extensively on the topic. She has been a member of the UK Migration Advisory Committee since 2012, and was recently elected a member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society.
- Dr Lucy Yardley – OBE
Dr Yardley is receiving this award for her work in combatting Covid-19 as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – the group providing scientific advice to the government to help them make decisions regarding the coronavirus pandemic. She has been particularly involved in suggesting what measures can be taken to mitigate the impact of the virus on people’s lives. She has also led the development of the ‘Germ Defence’ app which guides people in ensuring people know how to manage the spread of infection in their homes.
- Dr Paul Elkington and Professor John Morgan – MBE
Both are being recognised for their contribution to the development of new reusable PPE during the pandemic. They have helped to design the PeRSo (a type of protective respirator) to be used by frontline healthcare staff while treating Covid patients. They brought together a team that formulated a prototype for the device in a week before it was mass manufactured within a month. The respirator now has HSE approval for use in healthcare during the pandemic.