Alumni & Friends

Mark Miodownik

1988, Metallurgy

Scientist and Broadcaster

Mark Miodownik is an engineer and materials scientist, and is Professor of Materials and Society at University College London. As Director of the Institute of Making, he leads multidisciplinary research for 'those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to clothes, furniture to cities'.

A broadcaster and writer, he regularly gives talks on engineering and materials science to TV and radio audiences. He gave the 2010 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, and was recently named by The Times as one of the 100 most influential people in science.

Vivienne Cox

1977, Chemistry

Energy expert and former BP Executive

Vivienne Cox (1977, Chemistry) is former CEO and Vice-President of BP Alternative Energy. From 1996, Vivienne managed the development of new business in Central and Eastern Europe, before pulling together all of BP’s trading activities into a single organisation which she led until 2006.

Until recently, she served as Chair of Climate Change Capital, and currently sits on the Board of Rio Tinto plc. She is a non-executive director of the Department for International Development, and sits on the Airports Commission with responsibility for developing ideas to maintain the UK’s status as an international hub for aviation. She is also on the board of BG Group, Pearson and has recently been appointed Chairman of Vallourec SA, a French company in the CAC40.

Jane Platt

1975, Modern Languages

Chief Executive, National Savings & Investments

Businesswoman Jane Platt, CBE, is Chief Executive of the state-owned savings bank, National Savings and Investments (NS&I), one of the country's biggest savings institutions. NS&I is responsible for looking after some £100bn in savings for around 25 million people. 

Jane began her career as a fund manager in the City, most notably investing pension fund portfolios for Mercury Asset Management. She was appointed to run NS&I in 2006, having previously grown Barclays Stockbrokers as Chief Executive. She is now also a non-executive director of the Financial Conduct Authority and an advisory board member of Women in Banking and Finance.

The Year

The Year is our annual College record, but it's more than just an annual review. It's a snapshot of life at St Catz, with contributions from Fellows, students and Alumni. You can read our latest edition of The Year by clicking on the image to the right. Past issues can be found in our archive below.  


Benazir Bhutto

1976, Foreign Service Programme

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto twice served as Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first female leader of an Islamic state and to, date, Pakistan’s only female Prime Minister. Aged just 35, she became one of the youngest leaders in the world, with economic and industrial development at the heart of her programme.

After a brief period of self-imposed exile in London, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 to contest elections which she was widely expected to win. She was sadly assassinated at a campaign rally in December 2007. The following year she was posthumously awarded the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights.

Sir John Walker

1960, Chemistry

Scientist and Nobel Laureate

Former JCR President Sir John Walker is an internationally-renowned chemist and Nobel Laureate, having collected the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on ATP, a high-energy molecule and the 'enzymatic mechanism' on which it relies. He was knighted in 1999 for services to microbiology, and in 2012, collected the Copley Medal - believed to be the world's oldest scientific prize. Predating the Nobel Prize by 170 years, the Copley Medal counts scientific luminaries Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking among its list of winners.

His work has attracted international acclaim, and he holds membership of the Royal Society, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, L'Accademia Nazionale and the American National Academy of Sciences.

Emilia Fox

1993, English

Stage and Screen Actress

Award-winning actress, Emilia Fox, is notable for her portrayal of Dr Nikki Alexander on the BBC’s crime drama, Silent Witness, and on the BBC’s Merlin. Her first major role came in her second year at College, when she appeared as Georgina, the sister of Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, in the BBC’s landmark adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Later roles included Jane Seymour in a two-part biographical film about King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth II in a Channel 4 miniseries charting her fifty-year reign.

Peter Mandelson

1973, PPE


A former JCR President, Peter Mandelson is widely regarded as one of the most astute political operators of his generation. Appointed as Director of Campaigns and Communications to the Labour Party in 1985, he pioneered a radical overhaul of the party’s image, widely credited with returning the party to power in a 1997 landslide victory.

He later served in government, firstly as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and later as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In 2004, he became the EU’s Commissioner for Trade, and returned to British politics in 2008 as one of the most influential members of the Brown government, serving as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; Lord President of the Council and First Secretary of State.

Alex Polizzi

1990, English

Broadcaster and Hotelier

Presenter of the highly-acclaimed The Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi is a renowned hotelier. After graduating from Catz, she trained at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. She has worked for Marco Pierre White’s Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, and at various Rocco Forte hotels around the world.

She took over and ran Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, before launching the highly-praised Hotel Tresanton at St Mawes on the Cornish coast. In 2008, she used her expertise to advise struggling hotels on how to turn around their fortunes, as host of The Hotel Inspector; praised by the Radio Times as ‘the best of the genre in which an expert descends of people who don’t know what they’re doing’.

Andy Triggs Hodge

2004, Geography

Rower and Olympic Gold Medallist

Andy Triggs Hodge MBE collected his second consecutive Olympic Gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, as a member of the men’s coxless fours. In addition to his Olympic medals, he holds three Silver World Championship medals and two Golds.

He took up rowing as an undergraduate at Staffordshire University where he claims the sport gave him the skills and enthusiasm for academic success. He continued rowing at Catz, where he rowed for the successful Oxford team in the 2005 Boat Race.


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