2018 Alumni Award finalists lined up with their certificates at the UK Ambassador to the US's Residence in Washington DC
Our 2018 Alumni Award finalists, including Dr. R. David Edelman, Katrin Schmidt, Dr. Magundappa Ravi Hadimani, Arjun Nagendran, Alireza Tahmaseb, William Kellibrew and Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh. ©

Susan Green Photography

Celebrating the achievements of alumni in the USA

When outstanding individuals receive a world-class education in the UK, the effects can last a lifetime. The Alumni Awards pay tribute to the impact that alumni of UK higher education institutions have had in their chosen field, and how this was sparked by their studies in the UK.

There are three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial and Social Impact.

  • The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni whose work has created change in their chosen profession.
  • The Entrepreneurial Award recognizes alumni who have developed innovative solutions to problems within their industry.
  • The Social Impact Award recognizes alumni whose work has positively changed their society or community.

The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate the achievements of international students who have studied in the UK and gone on to achieve great things in their home country.  They showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. 

Our US alumni award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities and professions.  

Learn more about our past events

Alumni Awards 2018

The 2018 UK Alumni Awards ceremony took place on March 26, 2018, at the Ambassador's Residence at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. The event included remarks from Michael Tatham (Deputy Head of Mission to the USA, British Embassy), Leigh Gibson (Country Director, British Council USA; Cultural Counsellor, British Embassy), Terence Yeo (2017 Entrepreneurial Award honoree), Richard Burgess (2016 Professional Achievement honoree), and Dr. Vicki Phillips (2017 Social Impact Award honoree). 

Congratulations to our three 2018 Alumni Award honorees:

  • Professional Achievement Award: Srilakshmi Raj, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford
  • Entrepreneurial Award: Alireza Tahmasebzadeh, Imperial College London
  • Social Impact Award: Dr. Jonas Nguh, University of Dundee

Alumni Awards 2017

The 2017 Alumni Awards reception took place on July 15, 2017 at the global headquarters of the Institute of International Education in New York City. The event included remarks from Leigh Gibson (Director USA, British Council), Gretchen Dobson (Vice President, International Alumni & Graduate Services and Managing Director, Australia for Academic Assembly, Inc), Chandler Robinson (2015 Entrepreneurial Award honoree), and Dr. Patricia Mechael (2016 Social Impact Awards honoree). 

Professional Achievement Award

  • Honoree: Oliver Jeffers, Artist and Illustrator (Ulster University)

Oliver Jeffers is a Northern Irish artist, illustrator and writer who now lives and works in Brooklyn. From directing music videos for U2, to illustration and picture-book making, Oliver’s work has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, along with separate exhibitions in Berlin, Sydney and Washington D.C.

  • Steven Barrett - Director, MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment (University of Cambridge)
  • Amy Firth - Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Southern California (University of Bath)

Entrepreneurial Award

  • Honoree: Terence Yeo, Founder, Investor and CEO of Fusion Optix (University of Cambridge and Loughborough University)

Dr. Terence Yeo is a leading expert in the field of optical physics and the Founder and CEO of Fusion Optix, a world leading LED lighting and optical technology company. 

  • Catherine Cuello-Fuente - Founder of GreenHopping (Coventry University)
  • Rahul Vohra - Founder and CEO of Superhuman (University of Cambridge)

Social Impact Award

  • Honoree: Vicki Phillips, Education Strategist and Strategic Advisor (University of Lincoln)

Dr. Vicki Phillips has served as a teacher, school superintendent, state education minister, and director of education for the world’s largest philanthropic organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff - President of People Demand Change LLP (University of Exeter)
  • Sarah Elizabeth Ippel - Founder and Executive Director of the Academy for Global Citizenship (University of Cambridge)
  • Reilly Wilson - Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder, play:groundNYC (University of Leeds)

Alumni Awards 2016

The finalists for the 2016 awards were announced on January 11, 2016, and the honorees were announced at a gala event on March 3, 2016. Distinguished guests at the gala included Matthew Rycroft (Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN), Paul Smith (Director USA, British Council), Gretchen Dobson (Global Strategist, Gretchen Dobson LLC), Mitch Robinson (2015 Professional Achievement Award honoree), Chandler Robinson (2015 Entrepreneurial Award honoree), and Ruthe Farmer (2015 Social Impact Award honoree).

Professional Achievement Award

  • Honoree: Richard Burgess, CEO, American Association of Independent Music (University of South Wales)

Richard Burgess is the CEO of the American Association of Independent Music, which helps to move independent music genres into the global music market. He is the author of two of the most successful music production textbooks to-date, and the former head of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, one of the nation's oldest and most successful independent music labels.

  • Ruth Massingill, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University (Teesside University)
  • Eric Scott Sills, Medical Director at the Center for Advanced Genetics (University of Westminster)

Entrepreneurial Award

  • Honoree: Alison Sawyer, CEO and Co-Founder of Rebellion Photonics (University of Leeds)

Alison Sawyer is the CEO and co-founder of Rebellion Photonics, an advanced optics company focused on oil and gas safety with their Gas Cloud Imaging camera for continuous monitoring. She has been listed on Inc. Magazine's '30 under 30' list in 2012 and Forbes' '30 under 30' in Energy in 2014, and Rebellion Photonics was named Wall Street Journal's 'Start-up of the Year' in 2013.

  • Clifford Gross, CEO of TekCapital (University of Oxford)
  • Rick Ifland, Chair of Econ & Business Department and Director of the Eaton Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Westmont College (University of Oxford)

Social Impact Award

  • Honoree: Patricia Nagi Mechael, Principle and Policy Lead at Health Enabled (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Patricia Nagi Mechael is the principal and policy lead at HealthEnabled, an Africa-based not-for-profit that helps governments integrate life-saving digital health solutions into their health systems. She has a PhD in the field of mHealth, and is on faculty at Johns Hopkins, Princeton and Columbia University.

  • Morgan Davison, External Engagement Adviser for the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign (Keele University)
  • Andrew Shaughnessy, Manager of Public Policy at Promo (University College London)
  • Peter Williams, Founder and Executive Director at ARCHIVE Global (University of Oxford)

Alumni Awards 2015

Professional Achievement Award

  • Honoree: Mitch Robinson, U.S. Department of Defense (Aberystwyth University)

Mitch Robinson is a leading international law expert at the U.S. Department of Defense, specializing in human rights and the Guantanamo Bay cases. He recently published the first installments of his novel series, 22:10.

Entrepreneurial Award

  • Honoree: Chandler Robinson, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Tactic Pharmaceuticals (University of Cambridge)

Chandler Robinson is the co-founder and chief executive of Tactic Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company developing compounds for unmet medical needs. He is currently working towards a treatment for Wilson's disease, a fatal genetic disorder.

Social Impact Award

  • Honoree: Ruthe Farmer, Chief Strategist and Growth Officer for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (University of Oxford)

Ruthe Farmer is the Chief Strategist and Growth Officer for the National Center for Women & Information Technology. She developed NCWIT Aspirations in Computing into the U.S.' largest technology talent program for young women, and is a champion of equality and representation of women in technology.

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