Honorands 2020 – present

All UON Honorands from 2020 – present

This page displays all of the University of Northampton Honorands from the years 2020 – present. For Honorands from other years, please check the Honorary and Notable Alumni page.

  • Peter SmalleyHonorand Peter Smalley

    Peter Smalley is the Chief Executive Officer of the Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT), an independent charitable company which fulfils the functions of the former Local Authority Music Service and leads the Northamptonshire Music Education Hub and Rutland Music Education Hub.

    Peter trained at the University of Birmingham and Newton Park College.  He has had a lifetime of experience in music education, initially in the classroom and then as an instrumental teacher for Staffordshire, before moving to Northamptonshire in 1993.  He was Head of Brass and Percussion at NMPAT for 19 years, before becoming Chief Executive in September 2012.

    NMPAT is a charity which employs over 300 staff, with a turnover of £5.5m.  The Trust delivers over 3,000 hours of tuition per week, as well as an extensive programme of regional music centres, ensembles, events and concerts. In Northamptonshire last year, NMPAT enabled over 20,000 children to engage in playing a musical instrument and there are currently over 1,000 members of auditioned county music groups. The senior music groups are highly regarded nationally and are among the most successful in the country.

    Originally a trumpet player, Peter has had an extensive career as a player, teacher, composer, arranger and conductor, working with some of the very best musicians and educators in the country and beyond. He has worked with leading publishers and examination boards on the development of teaching resources and examination syllabi.

    Peter has been the conductor of Northamptonshire’s County Youth Concert Band since 2000, giving the World and British premieres of many major works for wind orchestra, and award-winning performances at the National Festival of Music for Youth and National Concert Band Festival. He has appeared with the Concert Band at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham, and in some of the major cultural centres of Europe: Salzburg, Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Leipzig, Verona, Venice, Krakow and Warsaw.

    He is a passionate believer in the transformative power of music and the arts and in the right of all children to benefit from exposure to them. He is also a trustee of Music Mark, the national subject association, through which he has worked with the Department for Education and Arts Council England, to steer national policy for the benefit of all children and young people in the country.

  • February 2022

    Federico Brugnoli

    Honorand Federico BrugnoliFederico Brugnoli is one of the most distinguished consultants to the global fashion industry in the field of sustainability in the value chain. In this, he reflects the ethos of the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies and the wider University of Northampton: sustainability, international/global issues, innovation and strategic thinking.

    A graduate of the University of Milan (MSc Environmental Sciences and Technologies, 1997), Federico has spent his career involved in projects focussing on sustainability, primarily in the leather sector: in particular he has engaged in European projects with multinational partnerships in the fields of product and process innovation, international cooperation, development of export markets and energy efficiency of industrial production.  He has also worked with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as a consultant, culminating in 2012 with the presentation in of the seminal paper entitled ‘Life Cycle Assessment, Carbon Footprint in Leather Processing”.  Federico is currently working across the Fashion and luxury goods fields with a range of well-known, high-end brands worldwide.

    Sylvia Hughes

    Honorand Sylvia HughesSylvia Hughes came to the University of Northampton as a Governor in 2010, subsequently becoming Deputy Chair and Chair of the Board of Governors. She retired in 2019. The Board of Governors are a vital support to the University Executive for developing this community of learning from which you are about to graduate.

    During her professional career, Sylvia held senior and board level positions at leading organisations such as Siemens, Cable and Wireless and the Halifax. She has worked across financial services, telecommunications, hi-tech, the service industry and fashion retail.

    Particularly relevant to her role as governor, Sylvia pioneered the design and implementation of groundbreaking change management, organisational development and leadership programmes at national and global levels.

    She is the author of the highly regarded report ‘Through the looking Glass, Leadership Today, Leadership Tomorrow’ which examines how strategic resourcing and leadership fit with organisational development and how it is managed in more than 40 major companies.

    Sylvia’s public service achievements and qualifications include her role as a Northamptonshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, Chair of the County Health and Wellbeing Board, Chair of East Northamptonshire Council as well as being a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

    As the Board level sponsor in the University’s successful application to be the first Changemaker Campus in the UK, Sylvia was passionate about promoting this opportunity to embed Changemaker values into every aspect of university life.

    Sylvia genuinely embodies these values and her contribution to the development of Northampton as a world-leading Changemaker University is why we are honouring her today with a Fellowship.

    Naz Islam

    Naz Islam is a born and bred Northamptonian whose family hails from Bangladesh. He has lived in Northampton all his life and attended Northampton School for Boys.

    With a strong local connection and support for charities and third sector organisations, Naz exemplifies the values of the University. He is a keen community champion and a passionate supporter of local charities and was the proud winner of the 2013 Northampton ‘Heart of the Community’ award, presented by the Mayor of Northampton.

    Naz’s charitable and community work also reaches far beyond Northamptonshire boundaries. Naz is a co-director of the Government-funded charity, The Centre for Policy Promotion and Prevention, an NGO, which works on projects across the UK promoting community cooperation between marginal communities and the wider society. Naz has also helped fund and manage a family-run international orphanage and school in one of the poorest areas of Sylhet in Bangladesh, making a huge difference to peoples’ lives and helping 150 children, many of whom live with disabilities.

    Andrew Scarborough

    Honorand Andrew ScarboroughAndrew Scarborough was Chair of the Board of Governors from 2014-2018, a period which included the construction and occupation of the Waterside Campus.  Andrew was previously Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors and had served as a University Governor from 2009.

    Andrew has lived in Northamptonshire since 1987. After many years working as a senior manager in the Post Office he moved into non-executive roles in 2000 serving for eight years as Chairman of Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust and works as a Mental Health Act manager to protect the rights of patients with mental illness detained in local hospitals. Andrew was a long-standing member of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, latterly serving as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition on the Shadow North Northamptonshire Council. He is a Justice of the Peace and is Chairman of the Northamptonshire Bench. He was also a member of the Board of the East Midlands Development Agency from 2000 to 2004.

    Andrew is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust. Andrew is also a school governor at Rowan Gate Primary School in Wellingborough where he was Chairman for seven years.

    Outside of work and his voluntary activities, Andrew is a season ticket holder at Northampton Saints Rugby Club and is a keen follower of horseracing and an avid birdwatcher.

    May 2022

    Rufia Ashraf

    Rufia Ashraf was born and bred in Northampton.  She has been an activist and local councillor in the St James of the town for some time before being installed as the 781st Mayor of Northampton and first Northampton Town Council Mayor in 2021.  Rufia is very proud of her Bangladeshi heritage and trained as a social worker at the University of Northampton. She has also worked as a domestic abuse and women’s officer.

    Alongside her political life, she is a patron of Cycle4Health, committee member of the Northampton Inter Faith Forum, Director of Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire and the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service and established the Fibromyalgia Northampton group.

    Watch Rufia’s Honorand 2022 video.

    Robert Griggs

    Following a distinguished career working in finance, Robert was recruited to the University of Northampton as Waterside Project Director.  Working for the Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chancellor, Robert led the co-ordination of a team of experts which planned, designed and costed Waterside Campus and following approval of the project by the Board of Governors, Robert’s role was extended to the appointment of specialist contractors which supported the construction and fit out of the Campus.

    On leaving the University, Robert became a consultant for Savills, the international real estate services company.

    Watch Robert’s Honorand 2022 video.

    Neil Patterson

    Neil Patterson took up the position of Principal of the University Technical College (UTC) at Silverstone in March 2013 and worked with the UTC’s partners (which includes the University of Northampton) and governors to develop the curriculum and oversaw the construction of the £10million campus at the Silverstone circuit in south Northamptonshire.  Prior to joining Silverstone UTC, he worked for some time as a Design Engineer, including times working for NedCar and Daewoo before being appointed as Chief Engineer at McLaren Automotive, where he worked for nearly 14 years.

    At McLaren he played a key part in the company’s transition from a motorsports-based engineering company to a fully-fledged automotive manufacturer. Earlier this year, it was announced that Neil would be stepping down as Principal of Silverstone UTC in the summer of 2022.

    Watch Neil’s Honorand 2022 video.

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