The University of Birmingham’s new Chancellor and the founder of Cobra Beer, Lord Bilimoria; Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Professor David Haslam; and the former Brazilian foreign minister, Professor Celso Lafer, are among the leading figures receiving honorary degrees from the University of Birmingham this month.

The honorary graduands will join more than 5,000 students collecting their degrees at 18 graduation ceremonies in the University’s Great Hall between 9 and 17 July.

This year’s honorary graduands include:

Dr Hamid Mughal is an internationally acclaimed manufacturing leader with over 28 years of experience in the automotive and aerospace industries. During this period he has held senior positions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from product engineering to supply chain management. He joined Rolls-Royce in 2001 from BMW Group, where he was Director of New Product Programmes. In his current role as Director of Global Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce plc, Hamid is responsible for leading the manufacturing activities and strategies for the company.

Nazir Afzal is Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England and formerly Legal Director for the Crown Prosecution Service in London. During a 22-year career, Nazir has prosecuted some of the most high-profile cases in the country and leads nationally on topics including violence against women and girls, child sexual abuse and honour-based violence. Nazir gives a considerable amount of time to charitable work, is trustee of several and is Chair of the Prince of Wales’ Mosaic Trust in the North West.

Keith Bradshaw qualified as a chartered accountant and spent much of his early career in Africa, where he travelled extensively. He returned to live in the Midlands, not far from his beloved Birmingham, and began a number of business ventures. He founded a number of companies, notably Takare plc, which revolutionised long-term care. Keith is Non-Executive Chairman of Listers Group and has taken on a number of charitable roles, including the chairmanship of the Trustees of the newly opened Library of Birmingham.

Amanda Beaufoy graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2010 with a Master of Arts Social Work degree. She works for Worcestershire County Council as a Children and Families Social Worker and has done so since graduating. In November 2013 she won the National Children’s Social Worker of the Year award for her work with children and families. The judges particularly commended her on her communication skills as she is profoundly deaf.

Professor Derek Pearsall became Gurney Professor of English at Harvard University in 1985 after teaching for 20 years at the University of York, where he helped found the Centre for Medieval Studies. He retired from Harvard in 2000 and returned to live in York. Published work includes a biography of John Lydgate, Old English and Middle English Poetry, a critical study of the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography, and, most recently, a fully annotated edition, newly revised, of the C-Text of Langland’s Piers Plowman.

John Plant is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of TRW Automotive. He commenced his career at the Birmingham offices of Deloitte & Touche before moving to Lucas Industries in 1978 to begin his career in the automotive industry. John is also a member of the board of directors of Masco Corporation, as well as the Automotive Safety Council, and a Vice-Chairman of the Washington-based Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Before taking up her role at mac Birmingham, Dorothy Wilson spent 14 years at West Midlands Arts, including seven years as Deputy Director, working across a range of art forms. For seven years till late 2009 she chaired the West Midlands regional Arts Council and served on the national board of Arts Council England. She is currently chair of the boards of a number of charitable organisations, including the BBC Performing Arts Fund, Artrix - Bromsgrove’s Arts Centre, Motionhouse Dance Theatre and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry.

Jane Slowey is a passionate campaigner against social injustice and has consistently sought out opportunities to represent and be an advocate for change. Over the last 10 years, as Chief Executive at the Foyer Federation, Jane has helped reposition the organisation as a champion for ‘advantaged thinking’, an approach that focuses on assets rather than deficits and sees young people’s possibilities for investment rather than problems to be solved. Jane received a CBE for services to disadvantaged young people in 2009.

Celso Lafer is Emeritus Professor of the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo. Since 2007, Celso has been President of FAPESP, the São Paulo Research Foundation. The co-operation between FAPESP and the UK is particularly strong, with 19 partnerships including with one with the University of Birmingham. Celso was twice the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, and in 2002 he received the highest award for Science and Technology in Brazil, the National Order of Scientific Merit.

Professor David Haslam is Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and a Fellow of the Royal College of GPs. He has written 13 books, mainly on health topics for the lay public and translated into 13 languages, and well over a thousand articles for the medical and lay press. He was awarded the CBE in 2004 for services to medicine and health care. David graduated from the University of Birmingham Medical School in 1972.

Professor Ian Morris is Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor of Classics and a Fellow of the Archaeology Center at Stanford University. He studied at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1981 with First Class Honours in Ancient History and Archaeology and obtained his PhD from Cambridge University. He moved to Stanford University in 1995 and directed Stanford’s archaeological excavations at Monte Polizzo in Sicily between 2000 and 2007. Ian also won a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford and is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Nick Craddock is recognised as a world leader in the study of psychiatric genetics and a pioneer of genome-wide association studies. After obtaining a first from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences, Nick went on to study medicine and graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1985. Nick’s interest in psychiatry took him to Cardiff on a Wellcome Trust Junior Fellowship, and by 2002 he was heading up a major bipolar research programme with Wellcome Trust and US charity funding, involving around 6000 families.

Baroness Massey became a Labour Peer in 1999 and has been Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children for 10 years. She graduated with an honours degree in French from the University of Birmingham in 1961 and completed a Diploma of Education in 1962 while also serving as Vice-President of the Student Union. She is President of Brook Advisory Centres and Patron of the Human Trafficking Centre at the University of Bedfordshire and an active member of the British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society.

Ian Tyler is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, having received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1982. He was Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty plc from 2005 to 2013 and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Bovis Homes plc, Cairn Energy plc, BAE Systems plc and is a Crown Representative for the Cabinet Office. He is also Chairman of CRASH, the construction and property charity for the homeless, and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of Woldingham School, an independent boarding school for girls.

Graduating from the University of Birmingham in 1980 with an honours degree in Economics, John Horseman has spent his working career in the fund management industry. He worked firstly as an analyst and portfolio manager at the Bank of America and then from 1987 to 2000 as a portfolio manager at Global Asset Management in Hong Kong and London. In 2000, he left to form his own company, Horseman Capital Management. He is a trustee of several charities, including Green Acres School and the John Horseman Trust.

Dr. A. Didar Singh, a former civil servant of the Indian Administrative Service, took over as Secretary General of FICCI in November 2012. He is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Migration of the World Economic Forum and is an international expert in e-commerce, trade and migration and has done several studies in the area of ICT strategy and e-commerce for international agencies, including the International Trade Centre, World Health Organization and South Centre, Geneva, as well as the Commonwealth Secretariat, London.

Professor Michael Clarke retired as Vice-Principal of the University in autumn 2008, a post which he held since 2003, before which he was a Pro Vice-Chancellor. Michael chairs the boards of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the new University of Birmingham School. He is a Chair of the Church of England General Synod and its Dioceses Commission. He was a member of the Worcester Cathedral Chapter for 10 years and is involved in the governance of a number of West Midlands organisations. 

Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL is the founder of Cobra Beer and Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, and Senior Non-Executive Director of the Booker Group plc. In 2004, Lord Bilimoria was appointed a Commander of the British Empire for services to business and entrepreneurship, and in 2006 was appointed the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords.