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From left: Professor Andrew Chesher, Marilyn Comrie, Professor Sir Peter Knight, Jeffrey Skidmore

A former BBC TV producer and one of the country’s leading conductors are among those receiving honorary degrees from the University of Birmingham this week.

Award-winning entrepreneur Marilyn Comrie OBE joins Lichfield-based choral conductor Jeffrey Skidmore as four honorary graduates and more than 3,000 students collect their degrees at a series of 13 ceremonies in the University’s iconic Great Hall.

The honorary graduands are:

Marilyn Comrie OBE is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, former BBC TV series producer, international leadership coach and STEM ambassador. She is working with leading industry and academic partners to develop a trailblazer qualification for additive manufacturing (AM), and create a showcase £15 million AM Centre of Excellence and demonstrator equipped with the latest technologies to increase adoption by SMEs and train apprentices. She is a vice president of Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce.

Jeffrey Skidmore is one of the country’s foremost choral conductors and is highly regarded by instrumentalists, singers and audiences for the high quality of his performances. Jeffrey was born in Birmingham and has lived in Lichfield for the last 43 years with his wife Janet. They have three children and two grandchildren. He founded Ex Cathedra almost 50 years ago in 1969 and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to choral music.

Sir Peter Knight FRS is Senior Fellow in Residence of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Chair of the Quantum Metrology Institute at NPL, Past-President of the Institute of Physics, Emeritus Professor of Quantum Optics and former Deputy Rector (Research) at Imperial College, London. Sir Peter is a past chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council at the Ministry of Defence and continues to advise on science within government.

Andrew Chesher graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1970 with a Bachelor of Social Science in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics. He was a lecturer at Birmingham until 1983 before becoming Professor of Econometrics at the University of Bristol. He is now Jevons Professor of Economics at University College London, and recently President of the Royal Economic Society. In 2000, he founded the ESRC Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice. Professor Chesher develops methods to deliver knowledge of human behaviour and motivation using observational data.

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