Three Alumni Receive Queen’s New Year Honours

We are delighted to extend our congratulations to three of our alumni for receiving recognition for their work in this year’s New Year Honours.

Marking the culmination of an outstanding career in Materials Chemistry, Professor Tony Cheetham FRS (1965, Chemistry) has been appointed a Knight Batchelor for “Services to Material Chemistry, UK Science and Global Outreach”.

Tony said: “The knighthood is very special in a number of ways. It was awarded not only for my scientific achievements, but also in recognition of my international outreach efforts, especially to developing countries. In addition, the award recognizes the outstanding support from my wife, Janet, who now bears the title Lady Janet Cheetham.”

He read Chemistry at St Catherine’s College, graduating in 1968 with a first class honours degree. After St Catz, he moved to Wadham College for his postgraduate studies, exploring the properties of non-stoichiometric compounds. After completing his DPhil, he became an E.P. Abraham Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellow at Lincoln College.

In 1974, he was appointed University Lecturer in the Chemical Crystallography Laboratory and Student in Inorganic Chemistry at Christ Church, a position which he held until 1991. He then moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara to take up an appointment as Professor of Materials and the first Director of its NSF-funded Material Research Laboratory.

Tony returned to the UK in 2007 as Goldsmith’s Professor of Materials Science, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Trinity College. Following his retirement from Cambridge in 2017, he returned to UCSB as a Research Professor and also took up a position as a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the National University of Singapore.  He is also an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and an Emeritus Student of Christ Church, Oxford.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994 and served as its Treasurer and Vice-President from 2012 to 2017. He became a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was also elected a Foreign Fellow of several other national academies. In addition, Tony holds Honorary Doctorates from Versailles, St. Andrews, Tumkur and Warwick.


Brigadier Richard Clements (1990, Biological Sciences) has been awarded a CBE for services to the Army as part of the Military Division of the New Year Honours. Richard joined the Army in 1995 and is currently the Commander of the British Forces Germany.


Alumnus James Sherr (1974, BPhil Social Sciences) has been awarded an OBE for services to British interests overseas as part of the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List of the New Year Honours. James is currently an Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. He was a member of the Social Studies Faculty of Oxford University from 1993 to 2012; a fellow of the Conflict Studies Research Centre of the UK Ministry of Defence from 1995 to 2008; and director of studies of the Royal United Services Institute (1983-85).


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