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New Year Honours

9 January 2020

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray and Professor Ian Weeks
Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray and Professor Ian Weeks

The outstanding achievements of University experts have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2020.

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, receives an OBE for services to Education and Muslim Communities in Britain.

Professor Gilliat-Ray’s work focuses on the social scientific and anthropological study of religion in public life in Britain, and especially in public institutions.

She has conducted extensive research on chaplaincy, especially in prisons and hospitals, since 1994. The founding director of the University’s Islam-UK Centre, Professor Gilliat-Ray is committed to research that promotes understanding of Islam and the life of Muslim communities in Britain.

I feel very honoured to have received this recognition. I would like to thank those who nominated me, and the many colleagues and friends who have supported my work over the years. I am especially indebted to those British Muslim communities which have been so generous in their encouragement and support and have been a continual source of inspiration.

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray Professor in Religious and Theological Studies, Head of Islam UK Centre

Professor Ian Weeks, Dean of Clinical Innovation for the University’s College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, is made an OBE, for services to knowledge transfer and medical innovation.

For more than 30 years, Professor Weeks has undertaken research and innovation in the development and manufacture of novel diagnostic tests for human disease.

As a result of collaboration with colleagues from academia, health services and industry, rapid and accurate tests are now routinely available to many millions of patients worldwide including diagnostic tests for cancer, infection, diabetes and many other illnesses, as well as blood bank tests that screen donated blood for pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis.

Professor Weeks’ current interests are directed towards the development of “precision medicine” in which information from several diagnostic methods is simultaneously analysed by artificial intelligence to assist healthcare professionals to more quickly and precisely define the patient’s disease and therefore determine the most appropriate treatment at an early stage.

Professor Weeks said: "I am delighted to receive this honour and it is testimony to the skills, expertise and commitment of numerous colleagues across a range of different public and private sector organisations with whom I have been fortunate enough to work over the years."

Such collaborations have given me the opportunity to work in various diverse technology fields during my career and it is clear that the scope of medical innovation requires the input of a huge number of people with different skill sets in order to develop healthcare technologies that deliver life-changing benefits to patient.

Professor Ian Weeks Pro-Vice Chancellor, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

Also recognised is Professor Phillip Jones of the Welsh School of Architecture who becomes an OBE for services to architecture and decarbonisation.

Chair of Architectural Science and the Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI), and co-director of the University Energy Systems Research Institute, Professor Jones's research focuses on low energy, low carbon, and sustainable design in the built environment.

In 2015, Professor Jones and a team from the School developed the first low-cost energy positive house.

Designed and constructed as part of the LCRI SOLCER project, the house is the first to combine reduced energy demand, building integrated renewable energy supply and energy storage.

Professor Jones has also provided environmental consultancy for projects including an energy analysis of the Pearl Island development in Qatar (2007), building physics for the Atkins designed Lighthouse low energy tower in Dubai (2008) and environmental analysis of the extension to the Kunsthaus Museum in Zurich (2011).

He is Chair of the Board of Warm Wales LTD, a community interest programme which focuses on reducing fuel poverty and is also Chair of the Welsh Government’s Building Regulation Advisory Committee.

Professor Jones said: “I am delighted to receive the OBE for services to Architecture and Decarbonisation. I would like to thank all those I have worked with over the years for their support. This is a positive acknowledgement of our progress towards a more sustainable zero carbon built environment.”

Professor Timothy Walsh, School of Medicine, received an OBE for services to Microbiology and International Development.

For more than 20 years, Professor Walsh has been studying antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

He is a lead microbiologist to the Fleming Fund Expert Advisory Panel – a £265M antimicrobial resistance capacity building program with special interest in Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh – and an advisor to the World Health Organisation, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Médecins Sans Frontières.

He is also leading a project examining the burden of neonatal sepsis in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia which has so far enrolled 36,000 mothers and analysed 2600 sepsis cases.

He has recently been awarded an MRC grant to establish an AMR surveillance system throughout Vietnam in collaboration with Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust Center in Hanoi. He also has clinical studies examining the burden of AMR in the community and hospitals in San Paolo (Brazil), Phitsanulok (Thailand) and Tanta (Egypt).

Ali Abdi
Ali Abdi

Community Gateway Partnerships Manager, Ali Abdi, is made an BEM for voluntary service to the BAME community in Cardiff.

Ali joined the University’s Community Gateway team in October 2015. His work focuses on building a successful partnership between Cardiff University and the community of Grangetown and managing community events in the Grange Bowls Pavilion.

Ali said: “I was really surprised to learn I was to be included in the Queens New Years Honours List but of course absolutely delighted and honoured too. Helping my Grangetown community is something that I have always done, its second nature and all about striving to make a difference and not for recognition although this is indeed a pleasant surprise."

I take great pride in leading on a number of diversity and inclusion interventions that make projects, activities and programmes more accessible to BAME communities. I have worked with and learnt from some fantastic people over the years and I would like to thank them all for their support.

Ali Abdi Community Gateway Partnerships Manager

Alumni recognised are:

  • Brian Wilson LVO (PGDip 1971) – CBE
  • Martin Semple (PGCert 1991) - MBE
  • Richard Tuffrey (BSc 1980, PGDip 1983) - MBE
  • Professor Dr Jane Melton (BSc 1987) - MBE
  • Cerian Angharad (BSc 1992) - MBE
  • Professor Elizabeth Hughes (BSc 1979) - MBE
  • Sir Thomas Hughes (MSc 2000) - OBE
  • Javad Marandian (BEng 1988) - OBE
  • Brian Ellam (BMus 1985) - BEM
  • Sir Keith Thomas FBA (Hon 1995) - CH

The full list of New Year’s Honours 2020 can be found here.

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