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Notable Alumni

Many graduates of Northumbria University, and its predecessor colleges, have since become well known and highly regarded in their chosen fields. Here are just a few of our notable alumni, but if you know of others, do let us know.

Northumbria alumni are making a very distinctive mark on the world, from famous personalities to high flying business people.

Some of the best known brands around the world are powered by Northumbria University alumni. Working for a range of organisations, across a range of different sectors in a wide variety of roles, our graduates are really making an impact and transforming their lives and those of others.

Below are some of our most notable alumni and some of our rising stars:

Bibiana Aido (BA (Hons) International Business Administration, 2000)

Bibiana Aido is Spain’s youngest ever Minister appointed to Government at the age of 31. She served as Minister for Equality from 2008 and was awarded a Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Civil Law) from Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University in 2011.

Dame Vera Baird DBE QC (LLB (Hons) Law, 1974)

Dame Vera Baird is currently the Police and Crime Commissioner at Northumbria Police having been elected to the post in 2012, and then re-elected in 2016 with a majority of more than 120,000. She also serves in several voluntary roles as an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law at Northumbria University, Visiting Professor of Legal Practice at Newcastle University, Visiting Law Professor at London South Bank University, Visiting Law Lecturer at Teesside University and as an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Dame Vera was previously a Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Redcar from 2001 - 2010, UK Government Minister from 2006 - 2010 and the UK Government's Solicitor General for England and Wales from 2007 - 2010. In 2017 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to women and equality. She is also the only honorary woman member of the Durham Miners Association as well as a Patron of the charities RESPECT and Operation Encompass.

 

Tunde Baiyewu (BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance, 1992)

Tunde Baiyewu is best known as the vocalist in the group Lighthouse Family, in 2004 he embarked on a solo career, releasing the album Tunde, and in 2013 released his second album, Diamond in a Rock. He has since made several appearances on UK television with him appearing on the BBC's one-off special, Strictly African Dancing in 2005 and in an ITV documentary called Faith in Music in 2006.

Amanda Berry OBE (HND Business with Graphic Design, 1982)

Amanda Berry joined the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in October 1998 as Director of Development and Events and became its Chief Executive in December 2000. She is widely acknowledged to have transformed the fortunes of the Academy in 2001 by bringing the date of its annual Film Awards ceremony ahead of the American Academy’s Oscars - a move that boosted BAFTA’s international profile. She was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the Film Industry in 2009.

 

Tim Brown (BA (Hons) Design for Industry, 1985)

Tim Brown is Chief Executive of IDEO USA, one of the world’s leading design consultancies. Tim has earned numerous design awards and has exhibited work at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo, the Design Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He also advises senior executives and boards of global Fortune 100 companies and writes for the Harvard Business Review.

Martin Corry MBE (BA (Hons) Sports Studies, 1997)

Martin Corry played has played over 30 caps for England, three for British Lions and had nearly 200 appearances for Leicester Tigers which he captained up until his retirement in 2009. He is famous for his ability to play either at lock, blindside or number 8 and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2004.

Steve Cram CBE (BA Sports Studies, 1983)

Steve Cram is a British retired track and field athlete who dominated the middle distance runners during the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Jarrow Arrow", Cram set world records in the 1500 metres, 2000 metres and the mile during a 19-day period in 1985. He was the first man to run 1500 metres under 3 minutes and 30 seconds and won the 1500 metres gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and the 1500 metres silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. In 2015 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his recent work as chairman of the English Institute of Sport.

Scott Henshall (BA (Hons) Fashion, 1997)

Scott Henshall is a British fashion designer who is notable for designing a £5 million diamond-encrusted dress worn by singer Samantha Mumba at the 2004 premiere of Spider-Man 2. He has since appeared on ITV's 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here' show in 2006.

Peter Horbury (BA (Hons) Design for Industry, 1972)

Peter Horbury is car designer and Vice President of Design at Volvo. He is widely known for his design work for Volvo and has worked in a variety of roles in the automotive industry, including as Executive Design Director of Americas for Ford between 2004 and 2009. He was named UK magazine Autocar’s Designer of the Year in 1998 and during his career has been actively involved in the design of more than fifty vehicles.

Sir Jonathan Ive (BA (Hons) Design for Industry, 1989)

Sir Jonathan Ive is an English designer and the Senior Vice President of Design at Apple overseeing the Apple Industrial Design Group and also providing leadership and direction for the Human Interface software teams. He is credited as being the designer of the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple Watch and iOS 7. In 2006 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the design industry and in 2012 this was elevated to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to design and enterprise.

 

Dr Tshering Lama (PhD Philosophy, 2012)

Dr Tshering Lama is Young Global Leader at the world Economic Forum. He has previously worked as the Country Director of Childreach International in Nepal, with a particular focus on remote and rural communities. In 2006 whilst studying at Northumbria he also won the British Council's International Student of the Year Award, leading to the establishment of a scholarship scheme in his name for Nepalese students at Northumbria University.

Rob Law MBE (BA (Hons) Design for Industry, 2000)

Rob Law is founder and director of Magmatic, the company best known for creating the innovative Trunki suitcase which has gone on to sell in more than 1,564 stores in 62 countries. Rob came to public attention in 2006 following an appearance on BBC2's Dragons' Den programme in which he introduced the innovatively designed suitcase. In 2011 he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to business.

Neil Marshall (BA (Hons) Media, Culture & Society, 1992)

Neil Marshall works as a film director and writer, he made his directing debut in 2004 with his first feature film Dog Soldiers. This was followed up with the critically acclaimed film, The Descent, in 2005 and Doomsday in 2008. In 2010 he wrote and directed Centurion. More recently he has directed two episodes of Game of Thrones for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.

Stephen Miller MBE (BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems, 2002)

Stephen Miller is a professional paralympic athlete, competing primarily in field athletics and the Club Throw. He has represented Great Britain for over 15 years having competed in 5 Paralympic Games, 5 World Championships and 4 European Championships and won 26 international medals. Stephen is a World Record Holder in the Club Throw and is currently in training for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Victoria Pendleton CBE (BSc Sport & Exercise Science, 2002)

Victoria Gardner, better known as Victoria Pendleton, is one of Britain’s most successful female track cyclists and Olympic gold medallists. She represented Great Britain and England in several international competitions, winning nine world titles including a record six in the individual sprint competition between 2005 and 2012. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2013 for services to cycling.

Gordon Sumner (Sting) CBE (HCES Teaching Studies, 1973)

Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting, is famous for being principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for the new wave rock band The Police from 1977 to 1983. He then went on to launch a solo career in music as well as working as an activist, actor and philanthropist. In 2003 Gordon received a CBE for services to music and was made a Kennedy Center Honoree at the White House in 2014.

Kevin Whately (BA Accounting & Finance, 1969)

Kevin Whately is a television actor whose appearances include roles in episodes of Shoestring, Angels, Juliet Bravo, Strangers, Coronation Street, Shackleton, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Alas Smith and Jones, Look and Read, You Must Be The Husband, B&B, Peak Practice, Skallagrigg, The Broker's Man, Murder in Mind,  Pet, Lewis, New Tricks, Who Gets the Dog?, The Children and Silent Cry. he also appeared in a three-part Miss Marple adaptation, 'A Murder Is Announced', for the BBC in 1985 with him then taking a starring role opposite John Thaw as Detective Sergeant Lewis in Inspector Morse.

 

Stewart Wingate (BEng Electrical & Electronic Engineering, 1994)

Stewart became the Chief Executive Officer at Gatwick Airport in December 2009. He began his career at Black and Decker, where he worked for 15 years as an Electrical Engineer, before transferring to airport management. Before joining Gatwick, he was the CEO of Budapest Airport and the Managing Director of London Stansted Airport.


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