Welcome to your
Virtual Celebration


The Imperial community share their thoughts and messages of congratulations with our graduates.

William Butler-Adams, OBE CEng

Chief Executive Officer, Brompton Bicycle

William Butler-Adams OBE CEng, Chief Executive Officer of Brompton Bicycle, began his career as a Chartered Engineer, working for DuPont, Nissan and ICI. Having joined Brompton in 2002, almost twenty years ago, he became a director in 2006 and has been its Managing Director since 2008.

Brompton Bicycle is an incredible success story of British design, engineering and innovation. As the largest cycle manufacturer in the UK, Brompton produces over 70,000 bikes a year from its factory in Greenford, exporting 80% of these to 47 countries worldwide. 

Under his leadership, Brompton Bicycle has grown from a company with a £2 million turnover in 2008 to a £70 million turnover business with over six hundred staff. Awarded an OBE in 2015, Mr Butler-Adams is a visiting lecturer at Imperial College London and a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Geographical Society, as well as a member of the Vintners company.  

He was Chair of the Vibrant Economy Commission, was a founding trustee of Inspiring the Future charity, and is on the board of Investors in People, supporting its transition out of government into an independent Community Interest Company (CIC). He is married with three daughters and lives near Marlow, where he is keen on his veggie patch. 

Professor Gordon Dougan FMed Sci FRS

Head of Infection Challenge area, Wellcome and Professor, University of Cambridge

Professor Gordon Dougan FRS is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge and Head of the Infection Health Challenge area at Wellcome. He is an internationally recognised expert in vaccinology, global health and infections. He was Head of Pathogens at The Wellcome Sanger Institute (WTSI) for 15 years, building their pathogen genomics programme.

He worked in the pharmaceutical industry at The Wellcome Foundation (now part of GSK) on vaccine development for over a decade. He studies the molecular basis of infection with a strong emphasis on pathogenic mechanisms/immunity, genomics, disease tracking and antibiotic resistance. He has a special interest in the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, the cause of typhoid.

Before moving to the WTSI he was the founding Director of the Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection at Imperial College and a Professor of Biochemistry. He is a member of EMBO, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has received awards nationally and internationally for his work, including the 2020 Albert B Sabin Gold Medal for his work on Affordable Vaccines.

Professor Dougan received his BSc and PhD from the University of Sussex and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington with Lasker Prize winner Stanley Falkow. He was also a lecturer in microbiology at Trinity College Dublin. He is a founder of VHSquared and Microbiotica.

Mr Jonathan Flint, CBE

President of the Institute of Physics

Mr Jonathan Flint is the President of the Institute of Physics, Executive Chairman of Refeyn, and a director of the Marshall Group.

After obtaining a Physics degree from Imperial College London and an MBA from Southampton University Management School, Mr Flint started his career designing scientific and communications satellites. Subsequently, he held various aerospace and managerial roles at Marconi and BAE Systems, and also worked as the Senior Independent Non-Executive Director for Cobham and as Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Instruments.

Mr Flint’s expertise has been sought by numerous businesses, charities and public bodies. He has sat on the ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source facility board at Harwell and on the economic advisory board for the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, which is now part of UK Research and Innovation. He also chairs the QuantIC strategic advisory board for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme and is a Non-Executive Director at Oxford University Innovation. 

Before becoming President, Mr Flint served on the Council of the Institute of Physics from 2009–2012, and he has been a Fellow since 2007. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

Mr Flint is a Trustee of Oxford Trust, a charity that encourages the pursuit of science and enterprise in the region. In 2012, he was awarded a CBE for services to business and science. 

Sir Sam Jonah

Executive Chairman, Jonah Capital

Educated in Ghana, Cornwall and at Imperial, Sir Sam Jonah’s career began in 1969 at the Obuasi gold mine in Ghana. In 1986, he was appointed CEO of Ashanti Goldfields Company, overseeing its growth from a one-mine operation into a multinational. In 1996 it became the first operating African company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

In 2004, he became Executive President of AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s second-largest gold producer. He has also served on the boards of several international public and private companies, as Chairman of Equinox (Australian and Canadian-listed), Moto Gold Mines (Australian and Canadian-listed), and Uramin (London and Canadian-listed). 

He is the current Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, a Visiting Professor of Business at The University of Witwatersrand Business School of Johannesburg and a member of its Governing Council as well as Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust (UK). He has also been an advisor to a number of African Heads of State, including Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Olusengu Obasanjo (Nigeria), Gnassingbe Eyadema (Togo) and John Agyekum Kuffour (Ghana).

His honours include: Honorary Doctor of Science, Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter (1994) and Honorary Doctor of Humanities, Ashesi University College through University of Cape Coast, Ghana (2005). In 2003, he was awarded a Knighthood as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), and in 2006 he was awarded Ghana’s highest national award, The Companion of the Order of the Star. 

Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng FRS, Julia King

Crossbench Peer

Baroness Brown is an engineer who has held senior leadership roles in industry and academia whilst advising the government on climate change. She is a crossbench member of the House of Lords and current Chair of The Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials. Baroness Brown also chairs the STEM Learning Ltd. and The Carbon Trust, and she is a non-executive director of Ørsted. 

She spent sixteen years as a researcher and university lecturer at Cambridge and Nottingham universities before holding numerous senior executive roles at RollsRoyce plc. In 2002, she became Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics before returning to academia as Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College London (20042006). It was at Imperial that she launched the Energy Futures Lab to promote energy innovation. After Imperial she spent ten years as Vice-Chancellor of Aston University. 

In 1999, she was awarded a CBE for services to materials engineering and a DBE in 2012 for services to education and technology. Her appointment as a life peer in the House of Lords was announced in 2015. 

Her interests include climate change adaptation and the low carbon economy. For ten years from 2008 – 2018 she was the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador, and was also the vice chair of the Climate Change Committee from 2008- 2021. She now chairs the Adaptation Committee of the Climate Change Committee. In 2007 she led the King Review of low-carbon cars for the Treasury.  

She is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society and holds honorary degrees at nine universities.  

Dervilla Mitchell CBE, FREng FIAE FICE FIEI

Deputy Chair, Arup Group

Dervilla Mitchell CBE is Deputy Chair of the Arup GroupAfter training as a civil engineer, she has spent most of her career in the UK, where she has worked on a wide range of projects, latterly leading the design of major building projects. 

She has been involved with aviation for much of her career. This work encompasses designing terminal buildings including Heathrow T5, Dublin T2 and more recently, Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal. Other notable projects include Portcullis House, Westminster, and the Athletes’ Village for the 2012 London Olympics. Prior to her current role she was Executive Chair of the UK, India, Middle East and Africa Region of Arup 

She is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineersthe Irish Academy of Engineering, Engineers Ireland, and the Royal Academy of EngineeringShe is an active champion of diversity in the construction sector and has supported numerous initiatives to encourage young people to consider engineering as a career.  

She is a member of the Prime Ministers Council for Science and Technology and chairs the National Engineering Policy Centre’s decarbonising UK working groupIn 2014, she was awarded a CBE for services to engineering in 2014 and in 2016, she received an honorary doctorate from University College Dublin. 


Professor Howard R. Morris DSC(Hons), FRSA, FRS

Emeritus Professor of Biological Chemistry and Senior Research Investigator

Born in Lancashire in 1946, Professor Howard Morris FRS gained a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Leeds in 1970. Following postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge, he joined the Staff of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and in 1975 came to Imperial College London as a Lecturer in Biochemistry. He was appointed Professor of Biological Chemistry in 1980.  

Between 1985-1988, Professor Morris was Head of Department of Biochemistry and Joint Head of Life Sciences at Imperial College London. From 2001, he has been Emeritus Professor of Biological Chemistry and a Senior Research Investigator. He has held visiting professorships throughout his career, including in the USA, USSR, Italy and Canada, and is the co-author of some 430 peer-reviewed papers of scientific research. 

In 1979, Professor Morris founded the M-SCAN group of companies across the UK, USA, Switzerland and Germany, a mass spectrometry consultancy that offered specialist analytical services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and petroleum industries. In 2014, he founded BioPharmaSpec (UK/USA), which offers pioneering discovery and pre-clinical biopharmaceutical services. 

Professor Morris’s honours and awards include: the Biochemical Society Gold Medal (1978); Fellow of the Royal Society (1988); University of Naples Gold Medal (1989); Dottore Honoris Causa in Biotechnology, University of Naples (2005); the Blaise Pascale Medal and Prize for Life Sciences and Medicine, European Academy of Sciences (2010); the Institute of Physics Franklin Medal and Prize (2012); the Royal Medal (Queen’s Medal) and Prize for Interdisciplinary Sciences, The Royal Society (2014); and an Honorary D.Sc., University of Leeds (2015). 

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE

Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation

Dr Hayaatun Sillem is Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chief Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation. 

Prior to her current roles, she was Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Academy of Engineering and served as Committee Specialist and later Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. 

Dr Sillem has extensive leadership experience in the UK and internationally working in engineering, innovation, and diversity and inclusion activities. She currently chairs the UK government’s Innovation Expert Group and the St Andrews Prize for the Environment. Alongside Sir Lewis HamiltonDr Sillem also co-chairs the Hamilton Commission, which aims to improve representation of Black people in UK motorsport. 

In her other roles, Dr Sillem is a trustee of both EngineeringUK and the Foundation for Science and Technology. She is a member of the Made Smarter Commission on Industry 4.0 and director of Festival UK* 2022. She is also a member of advisory groups for Lloyd’s Register Foundation and accelerateHER, an organisation that addresses the underrepresentation of women in the technology industry. 

In 2018, Dr Sillem was named as one of the Inspiring 50 Women in Tech by Inspiring Fifty.   

She obtained a Master’s in Biochemistry (MBiochem) from the University of Oxford and completed a PhD funded by Cancer Research UK at University College London. Dr Sillem was awarded a CBE for services to international engineering in 2019 

Sarah Wilkinson

Chief Executive Officer, NHS Digital

Sarah Wilkinson is Chief Executive Officer of NHS Digital, the national information and technology partner to the health and social care system. Prior to joining NHS Digital, she was Chief Information Officer at the Home Office and spent 23 years in financial services, where she held Chief Information Officer roles at Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.  

Ms Wilkinson is a Non-Executive Director of NatWest Markets, a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of King’s College London and a member of the advisory board for the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. She has previously held non-executive roles on the board of the Police Digital Service, the Holmesdale Building Society, and two technology start-ups. 

This year, she was named the most influential person in UK IT by Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 list of influential leaders in the industry. Prior to this, she was included in the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries list by Hot Topic for 2020. In 2017, Ms Wilkinson was named Chief Digital Officer of the Year by the CDO Club, the world’s largest C-Suite community for Chief Digital Officers, and in 2016 she was recognised in CIO magazine’s CIO 100, which showcased the UK’s most transformational Chief Information Officers.  

Ms Wilkinson studied Mathematics at Imperial College London, holds an MBA from London Business School, has obtained a Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma, and is a CEDR-certified mediator. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the British Computer Society.