University staff recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Posted on Monday 17th June 2013

Two members of University of Birmingham staff have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.  

Professor Mike Gunn, Professor of Theoretical Physics, has been awarded an MBE for services to Physics and Mrs Wendy Allen, a long-serving secretary and receptionist, has been awarded a BEM for services to the University and to the community in Halesowen. 

As Head of School of Physics and Astronomy in Birmingham from 2005-2010, Professor Gunn led a resurgent School to the prime position in the league tables which it still holds. He instigated the Midlands Physics Alliance with Nottingham and Warwick producing world-class doctoral researchers. He also led the Science and Innovation award which has seen an internationally-leading cold atoms group formed which spans Birmingham and Nottingham. This award also recognises Mike's national leadership in physics through the Institute of Physics where Mike chaired the influential Committee of Heads of Physics Departments across UK Universities. 

Professor Andy Schofield Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy said:  ‘The University of Birmingham is delighted with the news of Professor Mike Gunn's award of an MBE. It recognises his considerable service to physics over many years. In addition to his service both nationally and internationally in physics, Mike is a very popular lecturer at the University as generations of physics graduates will confirm.’

Wendy Allen, who retired from the University in 2012, began her career at the University as a part-time secretary/purchasing assistant in 1989 before moving to the role of Hall Secretary in 1990.  During this time she came into contact with thousands of students who lived in the halls of residence, she was always a great support and helped them adapt to life away from home.  In 2004 she moved to the role of receptionist in the Aston Webb building, the main reception to the University, where she became widely known for her cheery disposition, sense of humour, willingness to help anyone and ability to remain calm and professional. 

Julie Zacaroli, General Manager Conferences and Events at the University added :”Wendy has come into contact with so many people over the years and the majority will have a lasting memory of her because of her sincere desire to help and her unquestionable commitment to the University of Birmingham.”

Notes to editors

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