New Year’s Honours for remarkable Loughborough alumni

Barry Eccleston

Six Loughborough University alumni have been recognised for their outstanding achievements and service in the 2019 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Kenneth Allison, Barry Eccleston, Dr Tom Karen, Professor Mary Nevill, Nicola Thomas and Dr Bob Chappell have all received acclaimed awards for their hard work and dedication.

Alumnus Kenneth Allison has been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to the environment.

Kenneth is the Director of Allocation and Asset Management for the Environment Agency, where he is responsible for flood and coastal risk management.

He has over 25 years of experience in environmental roles and graduated from Loughborough University in 1982 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Former President and CEO of Airbus America, Barry Eccleston, has been rewarded with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to the United Kingdom aerospace and aviation industry.

Based in the USA, Barry gained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1969. He retired from his role at Airbus America in 2017.

Alumnus Dr Tom Karen, who graduated in 1945 with a diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, has also been recognised with an OBE for his services to design.

He was the Chief Designer and Managing Director of Ogle Design from 1962 to 1999 and many of his works are internationally recognisable.

Pieces such as the Raleigh Chopper bicycle, the Marble Run and Reliant Scimitar GTE car are all famous design works of Tom Karen.

Professor Mary Nevill has been awarded an OBE for her services to sport and sports science.

The alumna has a BSc in Geography and PE from Loughborough, as well as a PGCE. She became a Doctor in 1987 after studying for a PhD in Physical Education.

In 2011, Mary was inducted into the Loughborough Sport Hall of Fame for her performance as a hockey player, and particularly for her contribution to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, where the team picked up a Bronze medal under her captaincy.

Professor Nevill is currently the Head of Sports Science at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology.

Group Captain Nicola Thomas, who studied Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough, graduating in 1999, has also received an OBE for her services to the military.

She was the RAF’s first ever female commander of a Tornado bomber squadron, taking command of over 250 RAF staffers.

She has served in Iraq and in Afghanistan, where she completed 35 missions within three months.
Group Captain Nicola Thomas. Image courtesy of the Ministry of Defence and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright 2009.

Alumnus Dr Bob Chappell has also been recognised for his services to Basketball with a BEM (British Empire Medal).

Most recently, Bob was the team manager for the England Senior Men’s Basketball team.

He is currently the Chair and administrator of Surrey Schools Basketball, organising competitions for schools in the county. He graduated from Loughborough with BEd degree in Physical Education in 1970.

Loughborough University Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison commented: “We would like to congratulate all of Loughborough’s New Year’s Honours recipients. We are incredibly proud of their achievements and delighted that they have been recognised.”