Alumni Services

Edinburgh's great and good in Birthday Honours

A leading physicist, a generous philanthropist, and the Scottish Parliament's broadcasting expert are among the University of Edinburgh graduates named in The Queen's 2014 Birthday Honours List.

Professor Sir Tom Kibble (1955 Mathematics & Natural Philosophy, 1956 Physics, 2013 Honorary Degree) is renowned for his co-discovery of the Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson with Gerald Guralnik and C. R. Hagen, a milestone in the history of the study of Physics. For this discovery Professor Kibble was awarded The American Physical Society's 2010 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics.

He is also known for introducing the phenomenon of cosmic strings into modern cosmology and is currently Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College, London.

He receives a Knighhood for services to Physics.

Philanthropic services

walter nimmo

Professor Walter Nimmo (1968 Medical Sciences, 1971 MBChB, 1982 MD, 2007 Honorary MD) is awarded the CBE for charitable and philanthropic services to Higher Education and the community in Scotland.

Professor Nimmo, who is a University of Edinburgh Benefactor and was named Alumnus of the Year in 2004, founded Inveresk Research in 1988, which provides high quality preclinical and clinical drug development services to the pharmaceutical industry and safety studies to other industries worldwide.


fiona ballantyne

Meanwhile, a trio of eminent female graduates have been awarded the OBE.

Ruth Connelly (1975 Arts), who is currently Head of Broadcasting at the Scottish Parliament, receives hers for parliamentary service, while Rosemary French (1977 Sociology) joins the list for services to women in business. Ms French has had a distinguished career in the business and public sectors and currently holds the position of Executive Director of Gatwick Diamond Initiative.

Fiona Ballantyne (1971 Arts, pictured right) also receives the OBE for services to culture in Scotland. She is the managing director of Ballantyne Mackay Consultants, and chairs the board of the Museums Galleries Scotland. She is also a member of the Communications Consumer Panel and a trustee of Music at the Brewhouse.

Full list of honoured alumni

Civil Division List

Knights Bachelor


Professor Sir Thomas Kibble CBE FRS 1955 MA (Mathematics & Natural Philosophy), 1956 BSc (Physics), 2013 Hon DSc, Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College, London For services to Physics


Order of the British Empire (Civil Division)

CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Mr Alistair Bruce Dodds CBE 1975 MA (Economics) Lately Chief Executive, Highland Council For services to Local Government

The Reverend Norman Walker Drummond CBE 1976 BD (Divinity) Founder and Chairman, Columba 1400 For public and voluntary service, particularly to Young People

Professor James Mackenzie Fraser CBE 1971 MA (Mental Philosophy) Lately Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of the Highlands and Islands For services to Higher Education in Scotland and to the Free Church of Scotland

Mr David James Gow CBE 1979 BSc (Mechanical Engineering) Inventor, I-Limb Hand For services to Upper Limb Prosthetics

Dr Nosheena Mobarik CBE 2013 Dr hc Lately Chair, CBI Scotland For services to Business and public service in Scotland

Professor Walter Nimmo CBE FRSE 1968 BSc (Medical Sciences), 1971 MBChB, 1982 MD, 2007 Hon MD Philanthropist For charitable and philanthropic services to Higher Education and the community in Scotland

Professor Michael John Worton CBE 1973 MA (French), Lately Vice-Provost and Fielden Professor of French Language and Literature, University College London For services to Higher Education


OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Mrs Fiona Ballantyne OBE 1971 MA (Arts) For services to Culture in Scotland

Mrs Ruth Connelly OBE 1975 BA (Arts), Head of Broadcasting, Scottish Parliament For parliamentary service

Ms Rosemary French OBE 1977 MA (Sociology) Executive Director, Gatwick Diamond Initiative For services to Women in Business

Mr Andrew Thin OBE 1982 BSc (Agricultural Science), 1988 MBA Lately Chair, Scottish Natural Heritage For services to the Environment and Rural Affairs in Scotland


MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire

Mr Stephen Alexander Bunyan MBE TD DL 1957 MA (History), 1958 DipEd For voluntary service in East Lothian

Dr Diana Mary Leitch MBE 1969 BSc (Chemistry), 1972 PhD (Science & Engineering) Trustee, Catalyst Science Discovery Centre For services to Chemistry

Mr John Campbell Nelson MBE 1970 MA (Social Anthropology & Sociology), 1971 Dip (Community Development) Secretary, Action for Southern Africa Scotland For voluntary service to South Africa

Mr Robert Rattray MBE 1972 MA (German) Lately Joint Chief Executive, Askonas Holt For services to the Music Industry

Mr William Alister Steele MBE 1983 MA (Geography) Managing Director, Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association For services to Social Housing and Regeneration in Edinburgh

Ms Moira Thomson MBE 1964 BCom Committee Member, Dyslexia Scotland South East For Services to children with Dyslexia


BEM - Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

Mrs Hester Mary Campbell Martineau BEM 1945 BMus (Music), For services to Music in Scotland


Diplomatic Service and Overseas List

Order of the British Empire (Diplomatic Service and Overseas List)

OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Mr John Patrick Gildea OBE 1990 MSc (Applied Linguistics) Head, International English Language Testing Service, British Council For services to the development of English Language Testing overseas


MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire

Mr Martin Robert Oxley MBE 1985 MA (German) Director, Trade and Investment, British Embassy, Warsaw, Poland For services to British trade and investment in Poland and Central Europe