Graduation review: Tuesday 12 July 2016

Image of two female and one male graduates running along Hope Street

Students from Liverpool Business School celebrated their graduation at Liverpool Cathedral on the morning of Tuesday 12 July, while graduands from the School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations, the General Engineering Research Institute and the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences processed in the afternoon. 

Morning ceremony: Liverpool Business School

Image of Leanne Ellis in cap and gownLeanne Ellis graduated with a first class Business Studies degree, a remarkable result for anyone but even more considering she suffered a stroke during her final year and had to learn to walk again. Leanne said:

"Lecturers and staff at LJMU are some of the best, most supportive people. From a personal point of view, being taken unwell whilst on placement and fighting to recover from a stroke during my final year, I could not have asked for better. Staff and lecturers worked alongside occupational therapists and the brain injury team to ensure they did everything in their power to help me. 

"Lecturers show a real passion for their subjects which makes lectures interesting and easier to understand. They make an effort to get to know students on a personal level, making them very approachable. I truly believe that, without the support of staff and the passion of lecturers I would not be graduating with first class honours."

Image of Jayne Dickson and Hayley McCluskie in caps and gownsFriends Jayne Dickson and Hayley McCluskie both graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance. Hayley had a baby girl during her degree programme and, after successfully completing an internship at KPMG, has a secured a place at the world-renowned professional services firm. Jayne also had a baby girl in her second year at LJMU, and graduates with first class honours. 

Hayley commented that their shared experiences have brought the graduates closer together: "Highlights of my course would have to be the friends I have met along the way in the form of fellow students and staff. They have really helped me throughout the last three years."

Image of Michelle Laing in red PhD robe and hatSenior Lecturer Michelle Laing (School of Nursing and Allied Health) received her Doctorate in Business Administration, with her thesis entitled 'Extending the reach of policy and strategy research using political discourse analysis: The development of the Health and Social Care Act'. 

"I chose to study at LJMU because the reputation and the calibre of teaching is excellent," explained Michelle. "The Business School staff are incredibly helpful and supportive providing a challenging, engaging environment to develop my research skills. I now feel better equipped to begin new research projects and support students in their work. The highlights of the programme were meeting other students who had incredible backgrounds and came from all over the world, developing friendships and networks that will last into the future. I have also developed my conference and publication skills with the support of my supervisor, Dr Aileen Lawless."

A Teaching and Learning Award was presented to Liverpool Business School’s Human Resource Management (HRM) programme team, led by Maureen Royce. The HRM programme team manage a portfolio of five programmes, and the award recognises their hard work to maintain and further enhance their exceptionally high student satisfaction rates. 

Honorary Fellowship

The University also conferred an Honorary Fellowship on the Rt Hon Frank Field MP in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Liverpool city region and its constituents during the morning ceremony. Frank has over 30 years’ service as Labour MP for the Birkenhead constituency, being first elected in 1979. During his career, he has actively campaigned against poverty and for income redistribution. 

Image of Frank Field MP in Honorary Fellow robe and hatOn receiving his Honorary Fellowship, he spoke about the huge hope he has for the country, touching on the current political climate, and using Liverpool as an example of a great city and a port which has historically attempted to look outwards to the world for its living and not just its neighbours. 

He said: “As we fashion a new future for us while keeping our bonds, we now must look to make new bonds with the world. If there’s any city that can do this, it’s Liverpool. I’d like to thank the University for bestowing this great privilege on me. It is a reward which I thank the University for, and want to acknowledge the role LJMU plays in the region and the strategic place it has to educate.” 

You can read the full oration for Frank Field here. 

Afternoon ceremony: School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations, the General Engineering Research Institute and the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

Jennifer RyanJennifer Ryan, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Broadcast and Media Production, now hopes to open her own business. “Gaining a degree has been a life goal since I was 11 years old. To finally be here at graduation is incredibly exciting," she explained. "My time at LJMU has been a life changing one and it has helped me develop who I am. It's helped me realised my other goals and dreams and what I want to do with my life and future career.”

Janne Bornhoeft received a First Class BSc (Hons) in Maritime Business and Management, and was commended by her course leader Pauline Floode for her consistently outstanding performance throughout her studies. 

Janne BornhoeftJanne also gained the highest mark out of all students on LJMU's maritime and transport logistics degrees for her final year research project in which she investigated the feasibility of using the Northern Sea Route as an alternative for dry bulk shipping traffic between the Western Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. This innovative study was well supported within the maritime industry and she was able to access a commercial sector that is traditionally difficult to penetrate, producing an original piece of research.

Course Leader Pauline described Janne as an "exceptional student, with exemplary attendance and engagement, astute in her studies and a pleasure to teach". She was also described as an "inspiration" to other female students pursuing careers in the highly competitive global maritime industry.

Alix CrabtreeAlix Crabtree, who graduated with a BSc (Hons) Mathematics, was awarded the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) Award plus Best Poster Prize at the Mathematics Student Conference. 

While at LJMU, she completed an internship as Clatterbridge Cancer Centre where she assisted with audits and statistics. She has now secured a job within the Government Statistical Society. “My time at LJMU has been an unforgettable experience which will help me in the future in many ways," she said. "My experience is down to the friends I have made during my time at LJMU and the lecturers for being friendly yet motivating.”

Mikdam Jamal, a senior research engineer, received his PhD for his research entitled: Characterisation and evaluation of thermally treated recycled glass for mass finishing and superfinishing processes. He has now secured a job in the University's new Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC@LJMU). 

Mikdam Jamal“I feel extremely lucky to have been provided with such a great opportunity to study at LJMU and work alongside world-leading researchers in the field of advanced manufacturing technology," said Mikdam. 

"The supervisory team were really supportive. The University has established an excellent partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre, a world-class manufacturing support unit and I am pleased to secure a job in this excellent centre. I could never thank or express my gratitude enough for the constant encouragement, support and belief provided to me by all the staff.”

Craig LangleyNot only did Craig Langley graduate with First Class Honours in his MEng Mechanical and Marine Engineering degree but he was also the top student on the programme. He has also secured a place on the prestigious graduate scheme with Sellafield UK in York, starting this September, which will help him achieve chartered engineering status over the next four years. 

Craig commented: “I had a great experience at LJMU. I have made friends for life and had the opportunity to study in a vibrant city. I have gained a host of practical and theoretical engineering knowledge. My ability to use CAD software and construct concise technical reports has been enhanced, while my presentation skills have also improved. I have always found lecturers to be extremely helpful and approachable. If you work hard, it is recognised and you will be supported accordingly. The lecturers treat you with respect and it is easy to have a chat on any topic. It’s not all talking ‘shop’.”


Robert Fewtrell also graduated with First Class Honours, this time in Mechanical Engineering, plus he has been nominated for the Frederic Barnes Walden Award presented by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Robert has secured a place on the competitive graduate scheme with Vauxhall Motors as a manufacturing engineer. 

"My time at LJMU was a great experience," he said. "After not achieving quite what I wanted during my years in school I finally excelled at university. I do not believe it would have been to the same extent if I had been to a different university.

"My student experience at LJMU was unique and fulfilling, meeting a wide range of individuals from different backgrounds," he added. "It was also fast-paced. The last four years have flown by, and I feel like I have grown so much as a person within that time, not only academically but also socially.”

Joseph CallaghanJoseph Callaghan completed his degree in Audio and Music Production, balancing his studies and busy family life expertly. He now intends to continue freelancing in sound engineering and recording. 

“The internship at Sound City working as a Sound Recordist was a particular highlight, working with a team that I got to know over the weeks leading up to the weekend of the festival was highly enjoyable and challenging," he said. "My final year project and dissertation, although hard-work and stressful, was amazing to work on. I chose what I wanted to do and was given a lot of encouragement to continue with my idea. The experience challenged me to work beyond what I thought I was capable of. I have left with more than just a degree, I left with something I have created that I can be proud of.”

Joe JeavonsFirst Class Honours were awarded to Joe Jeavons, a Product Design Engineering graduate, who has already started working as a Product Designer at one of the world’s leading and historic manufacturer of luxury bathroom products, Lefroy Brooks. 

During the ceremony Clifford Mayhew received a Teaching and Learning award by Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. Dr Chelsea Dobbins received the Rising Star award while the Programme Team award went to Mathematics.

Honorary Fellowship

Simon Kirby, Chief Executive of HS2 and graduate of LJMU, received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to engineering and to regeneration. 

Simon joined HS2 in May 2014 from Network Rail where he was Managing Director of Infrastructure Projects. This role meant that he was responsible for the delivery of all large enhancement and renewal infrastructure projects, such as the redevelopment of King's Cross station in London, the Forth Bridge overhaul and the Thameslink upgrade. He joined the Network Rail Board in 2008, having been with the Company since 2003.

Simon Kirby and Vice-ChancellorSimon (pictured here with LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill) said it was clear from the number of students graduating that LJMU was as successful as it had been during his time at the University in the 1980s. He added that he never thought that he would be back one day to receive an Honorary Fellowship. "This is simply the best personal recognition I have ever had and it is the greatest honour to accept this Fellowship," he said.

He also asked the graduates to think of all the things they can do now that previously would have been thought impossible. He was confident that over the next 45 years they would achieve great things, and gave them one piece of advice, saying: “Don’t ever limit your ambition".

You can read the full oration for Simon Kirby here.


Graduation review: Friday 25 November 2016


Graduation review: Thursday 24 November 2016


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