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All the people in Cambridgeshire receiving New Year honours in 2019

A host of Cambridgeshire’s finest in their fields have been awarded New Year honours by the Queen - from designers to academics and charity workers to civil servants.

The Honours list, which dates back to around 1890, recognises notable services and contributions to Britain.

Cambridge designer Tom Karen

Tom Karen designer of the Chopper bike amongst other things at home in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6297170)
Tom Karen designer of the Chopper bike amongst other things at home in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6297170)

Inventor of the Chopper bike and the Marble Run, Cambridge designer Tom Karen has been recognised for his services to design with an OBE

The 92 year old was chief designer at Ogle Design, the UK firm responsible for the Raleigh Chopper, the children’s game Marble Run, as well as cars, lorry cabs, crash test dummies, radios and washing machines. He also oversaw the design of Luke Skywalker's landspeeder from Star Wars.

Mr Karen, whose family fled their native Czechoslovakia when the Nazis invaded in 1939, finally landed in England to meet up with their father three years later. After doing numerous jobs in the design industry, he was invited to run Ogle Design in the early 1960s when founder David Ogle was killed in a car accident.

Twenty years after he retired, Mr Karen is still designing for his own pleasure and creating toys for his grandchildren.

He said: "It's very nice to receive this award. I don't know who will be presenting my award but I hope it will be Prince Philip. He owned a car we had designed, a Scimitar GTE, and I have met him three or four times. Princess Anne also had one of our cars.

"People tend to know me for the Chopper bike and the Marble Run, which millions of children have played with around the world and I'm very proud of that. I have spent a lot of my time designing for children.

"When I retired I ran children's workshops for a while through Kettles Yard and the Sainsbury's centre. I can't do that any more, but I can make things that people will buy. As a hobby I now make beautiful birds, which are all over my house, that take a long time to make and are very precious. I have decided to make some to raise money for a children's charity because I adore children."

Professor Madeleine Atkins

One of the highest honours has gone to the president of Lucy Cavendish College, Professor Madeleine Atkins, who has been has been awarded a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in the New Year’s Honours List 2019 for her outstanding contribution to the field of higher education.

Professor Atkins has also been a Trustee and Board member for Nesta, and was until recently a Deputy Lieutenant in the West Midlands. She has been a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University, is a former Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, and is now President of Lucy Cavendish College here at Cambridge University. She studied for a degree in law and history at Girton College and has a PhD from the University of Nottingham.

Lately Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Dame Madeleine has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, most recently providing outstanding leadership in ensuring a smooth transition between HEFCE and the new Office for Students and Research England.

She said: “I am honoured to receive this award, which recognises the contribution of my former colleagues at HEFCE who worked so hard to make the transition to OfS and Research England both smooth and successful. I am delighted now to be bringing some of my experience in the higher education sector to support the students and Fellowship of Lucy Cavendish College."

Professor David Klenerman

Prof David Klenerman. Picture: Evonetix
Prof David Klenerman. Picture: Evonetix

Receiving a Knighthood was Professor David Klenerman, Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge for services to Science and the Development of High Speed DNA Sequencing Technology.

Professor Klenerman said: “I feel very humbled to be recognised in this way.”

Sir David is a professor of biophysical chemistry at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow

of Christ's College. He is best known for his contribution in the field of next-generation sequencing of DNA, which subsequently resulted in Solexa, a high-speed DNA sequencing company that he co-founded.

“I also want to acknowledge and sincerely thank the highly talented people who have worked with me over the years and without whom my research would simply not have been possible. In particular the development of Solexa sequencing was the result of a massive team effort.”

Klenerman was educated at the University of Cambridge where he was an undergraduate student of Christ's College and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in chemistry in 1986 as a postgraduate student of Churchill College.

Sir David has received a string of honours for his work, including a 2018 Royal Medal from the Royal Society for his outstanding contribution to applied sciences. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015 and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012.

Lucy Lake, of Camfed

Lucy Lake, Chief Executive Officer of Camfed International was awarded an OBE for services to Young People in Africa.

Camfed is an international non-profit organization tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.

Lucy joined Camfed in 1994, shortly after it was founded, becoming CEO in 2012. Its innovative education programs in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi have directly supported more than 2.6 million students to attend primary and secondary school, and more than 5 million children have benefited from an improved learning environment.

Ewan Birney of EMBL

Ewan Birney, Director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (6297212)
Ewan Birney, Director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (6297212)

Ewan Birney, Director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. Birney was recognised for his services to computational genomics and leadership across the life sciences.

The Commander of the British Empire is an honour awarded to an individual by the Queen, for distinguished or notable contributions in a specific area of activity.

“I feel incredibly privileged to be honoured in this way,” says Birney. “This is a recognition of how bioinformatics and genomics are changing our understanding of life, including human health and disease. Because this shift relies on collaboration, this honour is also an acknowledgement of the work of my own institute, EMBL-EBI and many different organisations and individuals that are working towards the common goal of responsible genomic data sharing.”

Birney completed his PhD at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, after which he moved to EMBL-EBI, where he became Associate Director in 2012. Since 2015, he has been a Joint Director of the institute, alongside Rolf Apweiler. Birney’s research focuses on functional genomics, DNA algorithms and statistical methods to analyse genomic information.

Cambridgeshire fire officer Farsh Raoufi

Cambridgeshire fire officer Farsh Raoufi has been awarded an MBE for services to the community, especially in relation to equality and inclusion, both in his role with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and as a volunteer.

Farsh’s passion for serving the community stems from his treatment by the community when he arrived in the UK at the age of 14. Having fled Iran after the revolution, he journeyed alone via Russia to the UK. He was welcomed and was supported through school, despite speaking limited English, by a Polish family. He then spent time as a youth worker before joining CFRS in 1991.

Farsh has played a key role in promoting the understanding of Islam to staff as well as being an active member of the Service’s Equality and Inclusion Network. This has involved ensuring proper evaluation of fire risk in the communities and securing appropriate personal protective equipment and uniform for female operational staff. He has supported pride and LGBT groups within the Service and advocated transparency of promotion and transfer processes, including mixed recruitment and selection panels, which has helped to build an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Mr Raoufi said: “I am someone that is rarely lost for words, but to be recognised by Her Majesty for something I consider to be nothing more than my duty to the community, has me utterly speechless."

Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard

Andrew Nairne. Picture: Josh Murfitt. (6297260)
Andrew Nairne. Picture: Josh Murfitt. (6297260)

Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettle’s Yard, was awarded an OBE for Services to Museums and the Arts. Kettle’s Yard is the University of Cambridge’s modern and contemporary art gallery.

Mr Nairne said: “I am delighted to receive this recognition following the hugely successful reopening of Kettle’s Yard in 2018: a magnificent team effort.”

“As Director of one of the eight University of Cambridge Museums, I believe museums have a vital role to play in the life of both the University and the community.”

Jean Elsie Pierson was awarded a BEM for services to the community in Romsey Town, Cambridge.

Jean Pierson has been honoured with a BEM in the 2019 New Year Honours (6297317)
Jean Pierson has been honoured with a BEM in the 2019 New Year Honours (6297317)

Jean, 87, said: “It was a huge shock to me when I discovered I was being given this award, but I must admit I’m pleased now. I had no idea I had been nominated by my daughter, Cheryl Lowe, until I received a letter that said On Her Majesty’s Service. It turns out Cheryl had collected letters of recommendation about me from everywhere that I have done community work. I felt completely overwhelmed. I’ve been doing voluntary work in Romsey for 60 years for different organisations in the community, but I did this work because I believed it was just what you should do.”

Jean volunteered at St Philip’s School on Mill Road for many years - doing everything from being PTA treasurer, to reading with children, helping in the kitchen and the playground and baking every week for staff. She also volunteers at Romsey Mill, ‘stuffing envelopes’, teaching cooking and working in the charity shop. For 23 years she ran a lunch club at St Stephen’s Church, and is an active member of St Philip’s Church.

Eva Clarke

Eva Clarke (6297335)
Eva Clarke (6297335)

Eva Clarke has been awarded the BEM for her work educating people about the Holocaust, working with the Educational Trust (HET), The Anne Frank Trust and the National Holocaust Centre.

Eva was born in Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, in April 1945. She and her mother are the only survivors of her family, 15 members of whom were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau - including her father, grandparents and cousin.

Professor Tony Young

Professor Tony Young (6301360)
Professor Tony Young (6301360)

Professor Tony Young, Director of Medical Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University, has been made an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to clinical leadership.

Professor Young, who is also a consultant urological surgeon at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, joined Anglia Ruskin in 2010. He was appointed as the first ever National Clinical Director for Innovation for the NHS in England in 2014 and went on to found the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme in 2015.

During his time at Anglia Ruskin, Professor Young has been instrumental in driving support for the creation of the MedBic Business Innovation Centre on Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus, and a new innovation centre in Harlow.

Professor Young said: “When I started at Anglia Ruskin University I never imagined that my country would recognise the work I do as notable with such an award. I feel very honoured and humbled. These things are a recognition of the great teams I work with as much as a recognition of any individual.

“Anglia Ruskin University has not only supported me to grow and develop as a professional, but have driven the healthcare innovation and enterprise agenda nationally. They are founding partners of the NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur programme, which has grown to become the world’s largest entrepreneurial training programme in health and we should be very proud of that.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Acting Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin, said: “We are very proud to have Tony here at Anglia Ruskin. He is absolutely dedicated to improving the lives of patients through the use of pioneering medical technology, and his determination and leadership are having a significant impact across the NHS and beyond.

“His OBE is a reflection of his success as both a leader and a clinician and it is fantastic opportunity for our medical students to be able to work with him and be inspired to become the medical entrepreneurs of the future.”

Other people in Cambridgeshire receiving New Year honours


Jonathan Michael Thompson, Chief Executive, HM Revenue and Customs. For public service.


Professor Geoffrey Colin Maitland - Professor of Energy Engineering, Imperial College London. For services to Chemical Engineering.


Grenville James Chamberlain - For services to the Caravan Club and to charity.

Alison Denise Fendley - Executive Director, Forensic Archive Limited. For services to Forensic Science.

Dr Jennifer Mary Schooling - Director, Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, University of Cambridge. For services to Engineering and Digital Construction.


Lidwina Anne-Marie Hamilton - For services to the Farming community and to charity.

Pinakin Ishvarlal Patel - Prevent Co-ordinator and Chair, London Prevent Network. For services to Community Cohesion and Preventing Radicalisation.

Farshid Raoufi - Station Commander, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. For services to Equality and Inclusion.

Angela Thompson - Director of Nursing and Deputy Regional Chief Nurse, London, NHS Improvement. For services to Nursing and Healthcare Leadership.

BEM (British Empire Medal)

Bisoye Babalola - Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Nights Global. For services to the Creative Industries.

Anne Patricia Furbank - For services to the Fashion Industry and Charitable Fundraising.

Mollie Rollins - For services to the Church and the community in Tydd St Giles, Cambridgeshire.

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