The recipients of this year’s honorary degrees from Manchester Metropolitan University have been announced – recognising the success of leaders and innovators from the world of business, computing, social work and youth engagement.
The ceremonies run from Tuesday, July 18, to Wednesday, July 26, during which honorary degrees will be awarded to five people who have each made their mark in their respective fields.
Lynette Romeo will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree in recognition of her significant contribution to social work and the reputation of the profession through excellent leadership and advocacy.
Lyn took up her post as Chief Social Worker for Adults in September 2013. Previously, she worked as the Assistant Director for Adult Social Care in the London Borough of Camden. Lyn has also worked as an inspector with the Social Services Inspectorate, as well as working in Yorkshire for over 20 years as both a field social worker and in a variety of management roles across children and adults.
Peter Lomas will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree in recognition of his significant contribution to computer science through the development of the Raspberry Pi and dedication to engaging young people in computing.
He is a co-founder and trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK registered charity which promotes awareness of computer science and electronics through digital making. The foundation has a primary focus on engaging children and achieves this via its many outreach programmes, community events and CodeClub a worldwide (9-13) school club.
Many events are based around the credit card sized Raspberry Pi computer which with over 14M sold is now the best-selling UK designed computing platform. For this work, Pete and the other members of the foundation team won the 2017 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award, the UK’s top engineering accolade.
Pete started his career as a lecturer in Computer Engineering and CADCAM systems at Manchester University, moving into industry as a freelance consultant and then a development manager for a scientific computing company. In1986 he founded Mosaic Technology Limited, an electronic design consultancy based in Manchester which over ten year period grew to become a multi-million pound company prior to its sale in 1997.
Today Pete is director of engineering at Norcott Technologies a premier electronic design and contract manufacturing company based in the Northwest Widnes serving start-ups, blue chip multinational companies and academic / research institutions. In a career spanning 40 years he has designed products for a diverse range of industries including industrial monitoring and control; automotive, safety & security; scientific research and multimedia systems.
He passionately believes that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with computer science, coding, electronics and digital making in a fun and supportive environment. For his ongoing educational outreach activities he was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship from The Institution of Engineering Designers.
Ruth Ibegbuna will become an honorary Doctor of Education (DEd) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the North West region through youth engagement projects.
She is the Bradford-born founder and CEO of Manchester’s RECLAIM, an award-winning social action and youth leadership programme with a focus on working-class young people being seen, being heard and leading change. RECLAIM has worked intensively with over 1,000 young people across Greater Manchester from areas of social instability to end leadership inequality. Prior to this, Ruth was a senior teacher in a South Manchester state school and supported young people in obtaining some of the best GCSE results in the country. Ruth has also been a Deputy Lieutenant of Manchester since 2015.
Ruth was named Manchester Peace Activist of the Year 2008 and received the Manchester City Council Women’s award for Outstanding Contribution 2009. She was a member of the HLF North West committee for three years. Ruth was also awarded the 2011 National Business in the Communities Sieff award for best collaboration with business to benefit society. Ruth was listed in The Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK, and in The Debrett’s 500 in 2016. She was also listed by Virgin and Ashoka as one of the top six female change makers internationally. Ruth is currently a UK Fellow for Ashoka, the world’s leading community of social entrepreneurs,and a Fellow of the Clore Social Leadership Programme.
Scott Fletcher MBE will receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and the North West region.
Scott is one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and was awarded an MBE for services to business and the community in the North West of England in 2014.
While he now heads up companies with a total valuation in excess of £150m, he founded what is now his largest business, ANS, when he was just 22 years old. Since its creation in 1996, ANS has grown to become a leading Cloud Services Provider in the UK, with nearly 300 employees and a £60m turnover. Scott is a widely known figure in the Manchester community thanks to his active charitable involvement, passion for apprenticeships and his participation on the Greater Manchester LEP.
Iqbal Ahmet OBE will receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in recognition of his outstanding achievements in business and his significant contribution to the economy and regeneration of Manchester and Bangladesh.
He is the founder of Seamark, one of Europe’s leading processors, exporters and distributors of frozen food products. Iqbal was born in Sylhet in Bangladesh, before coming to the UK at the age of 15. Today, he has built Seamark into a business with a turnover of more than £60 million, supplying seafood to some of Europe’s largest retailers including the supermarkets Metro, Tesco and Asda. With national and international operations in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA, Seamark truly is global in its ambitions and its capabilities. In addition to his success with Seamark, Iqbal owns Manchester restaurant Vermilion and its wedding hall venue, The Vermilion Hall.
Iqbal is actively involved in organisations across Manchester, the North West region and Bangladesh. He is Chairman of the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry (UKBCCI) and is Founder and first Chairman of NRB Bank Limited, a leading financial institution for Non Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) in Bangladesh.
As one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Iqbal received an OBE for services to international trade in recognition of his significant achievements in 2001. He has also been appointed to a number of government committees and advisory bodies over the years including the Southern Asia Advisory Group, the Competitiveness Council, the New Enterprise Council, the Manchester Forum and the New East Manchester Limited, a partnership company tasked with the regeneration of East Manchester.
Iqbal is also involved in many charitable activities supporting institutions such as the Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust charity, the development of Burunga Iqbal Ahmed High School and College in Sylhet, Bangladesh and the formation of The Iqbal Bros Foundation in the UK.