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New Fellows of Imperial College London announced


For immediate use
Wednesday 27 October 2004

This year's distinguished academics to be elected to the Fellowship of Imperial College London are announced today. They will be formally admitted to the Fellowship by Rector Sir Richard Sykes at the Commemoration Day Ceremony on Wednesday 27 October in the Royal Albert Hall.

Fellows are recognised by the Council as 'persons of distinction and persons who have rendered significant services to the College or to the community'. They are permitted to use the letters FIC after their name.

Newly elected Fellows are:

*Professor Bertil Andersson DSc, President of Linkoping University, Sweden, who has been a Visiting Professor to the Department of Biological Sciences at Imperial for the last 10 years. During this time he has actively encouraged the exchange of students and staff with Stochholm University, where he was Pro Dean of the Science Faculty until 1999.

*Professor John Burland FREng, FRS, FICE, FIStructE, FGS, FCGI, Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics and a Senior Research Investigator at Imperial. A leading figure in civil engineering, Professor Burland's most high profile success was as a member of the International Commission that recommended and implemented measures to stabilise the Tower of Pisa. In recognition of this achievement, the President of Italy appointed him Commendatore of the Ordine della Stella di Solidarieta Italiana.

*Professor Sir Alan Fersht, FRS, Herchel Smith Professor of Organic Chemistry at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Regarded as one of the world's leading scientists, Sir Alan was Professor of Biological Chemistry from 1978 to 1988, during which time he pioneered research in the area of protein engineering, a new area of research that has had an enormous impact in the field of biotechnology.

*Professor Keith Miller, FREng, FIMechE, FIMMM, FCGI, FIEE, FIMfgE, FIMarEST, FRGS, Emeritus Professor at the University of Sheffield. Professor Miller is an alumnus of Imperial's Department of Mechanical Engineering who is now internationally recognised as an authority on the mechanisms of fatigue failure in engineering components. As well as gaining a first class degree he was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Imperial College Exploration Board, which has now assisted hundreds of adventurous and scientific ventures worldwide.

*Professor Robert Williamson FRCP, FRCPath, FRS, Director of the Murdoch Institute, Melbourne. Professor Williamson held the Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at St Mary's Hospital Medical School (later Imperial College School of Medicine) for over 20 years where he was the first to clone the human globin genes known as cDNAs, which led to gene mapping for muscular dystrophies.

Commemoration Day is Imperial's undergraduate graduation ceremony. Congratulating graduates on their success, Sir Richard said:

"The pursuit of quality governs all that we do. We attract the brightest and best students to study here and the most able and talented staff to deliver the highest quality education. We are in constant quest to further the frontiers of knowledge to the benefit of society. And our qualifications, the ones we are here to celebrate today, rank among the most highly regarded in the world.

"You, our graduates, will add value to industry and to society in your chosen careers. I hope, too, that you will add value to Imperial College London, for you are our best ambassadors."

-ends-

For further information contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701
Email: abigail.smith@imperial.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

Full biographical details:

Professor Bertil Andersson BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
Professor Andersson began his career at Lund University, Sweden, before moving to Stockholm University where he was appointed Head of the Department of Biochemistry. In 1996, he became Dean of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences and Pro Dean of the Science Faculty. He remained in this post until 1999.

Professor Andersson is currently the President of Linköping University. He has been Visiting Professor to the Department of Biological Sciences at Imperial College for approximately 10 years. During this time he has actively encouraged the exchange of students and staff with Stockholm University.

He has also served as a member and Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee for Chemistry and at present is Chairman of the Chemistry section of the Royal Swedish Academy and a member of the Nobel Foundation Executive Committee. In 2003 he became Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation.

Professor John Burland BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc (Wits), FREng, FRS, FICE, FIStructE, FGS, FCGI
Professor Burland was Professor of Soil Mechanics at Imperial College London from 1980-2001 and is currently Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics and a Senior Research Investigator here at Imperial. His position at the forefront of civil engineering has been exemplified through his work, teaching and the awards he has received.

Perhaps his most notable achievement was as a member of the International Commission that recommended and implemented measures to stabilise the Tower of Pisa. Indeed, in 2003 the President of Italy appointed him Commendatore of the Ordine della Stella di Solidarieta' Italiana.

He has been awarded a host of honorary degrees and has won many of the profession's most distinguished awards including the Kelvin Gold Medal, the Kevin Nash Medal (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering), and the Gold Medals of the Institution of Structural Engineers and of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He remains much sought after as a consultant to government, industry and for parliamentary enquiries.

Professor Sir Alan Fersht MA, PhD, FRS
Sir Alan Fersht is regarded as being one of the world's leading scientists, and a founding father of protein engineering, a new area of research that has had an enormous impact in the arena of biotechnology. He completed his PhD from the Department of Organic Chemistry at Cambridge in 1968, and in 1978 moved to Imperial College where he was Professor of Biological Chemistry for the next 10 years. It was during this time that he pioneered research in the area of protein engineering. Since leaving Imperial, he has been Herchel Smith Professor of Organic Chemistry at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, as well as founding two highly successful biotechnology companies.

His research is renowned as being of the highest order, which is evidenced by the outstanding level of recognition he has been given by national and international learned bodies. For example, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983 and was awarded the Gabor Medal in 1991 for molecular biology, and the Davy Medal in 1998 for chemistry. He was knighted in 2003.

Professor Keith John Miller, ScD, PhD, MA, BSc, FREng, FIMechE, FIMMM, FCGI, FIEE, FIMfgE, FIMarEST, FRGS.
Professor Miller's links with Imperial began in 1952 when he first arrived as an undergraduate. He went on to achieve a first class degree in mechanical engineering and is now recognised as an international authority on the mechanisms of fatigue failure in engineering components. He has worked principally in the field of structural integrity and metal fracture. His expertise is also much sought after by industry, and he has acted as a consultant to many major UK, USA and Australian companies.

Professor Miller's enthusiasm and dedication was the driving force behind the establishment of the Imperial College Exploration Board, which has now assisted hundreds of planned expeditions in both adventurous and scientific ventures worldwide. His love of exploration and his belief in the empowerment of young people have seen him lead students on ventures to areas such as the high Arctic and the Himalayas. The regard in which he is held in this sphere of life is reflected in his various awards, including that of the most prestigious award of the Royal Geographical Society - the Founders Medal.

Professor Robert Williamson FRCP, FRCPath, FRS
Professor Williamson gained his BSc, MSc and PhD at University College London. He held the Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at St Mary's Hospital Medical School (later Imperial College School of Medicine) for almost 20 years. He was the first to clone the human globin genes known as cDNAs, which led to gene mapping for muscular dystrophies, a major contribution to research on the mutations causing cystic fibrosis and identifying mutations causing Alzheimer's disease and myotonic dystrophy.

Since leaving Imperial he has been Director of the Murdoch Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Here, his interests have expanded into the ethical issues surrounding gene therapy and gene screening. His contributions have been recognised by the award of Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and most recently by the FRS and the award of the Order of Australia.

A full list of living Fellows of Imperial College London is at: www.imperial.ac.uk/P602.htm

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.


Website: www.imperial.ac.uk

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