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Honorary degrees awarded at the University today

Press release issued: 9 July 2004

Bristol University is awarding Honorary degrees to two prominent people, Professor Patrick Godfrey and Mr Jerry Hicks, at today's [July 9] degree ceremonies in the Wills Memorial Building.

Bristol University is awarding Honorary degrees to two prominent people at today's degree ceremonies in the Wills Memorial Building.

Patrick Godfrey, civil engineer; Director of Halcrow and Visiting Industrial Professor at the University will be honoured with the degree of Doctor of Engineering at the 11.15 am ceremony.

Patrick Godfrey is an engineer who is at the forefront of managing innovative change in industry. He has pioneered new systems in managing large projects for the construction, water, oil and gas industries. He is a member of numerous boards including the Halcrow Group Development Board, the Engineering Council Working Party, the Offshore Safety and Technology Board of the Health and Safety Executive and the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

After studying civil engineering at Imperial College he worked for Halcrow, quickly moving up the ranks. Patrick worked with clients and designers to understand their needs and establishing ways of creating projects that satisfy them. He has worked worldwide on a number of offshore projects in the North Sea, the Gulf, Brazil, Seychelles and New Zealand to name but a few. Some of his clients include British Airports Authority (BAA), British Airways, Wembley plc, Hong Kong Airport Authority and the Environment Agency.

In recent years he was asked by Halcrow's Chief Executive Officer to transfer his knowledge to risk management. He helped produce the Engineering Council Code of Practice and Guidelines on Risk Issues, a groundbreaking document that emphasises the human element in risk management. He then applied these ideas to lead the team that reduced the risks of ship collisions at the Second Severn Crossing, saving £8 million. Following this he was appointed as a consultant to the BAA on Terminal 5 for risk management.

Jerry Hicks, MBE, artist; retired schoolmaster and former Chairman of the Bristol Civic Society will be honoured with the degree of Master of Arts at the 2.30 pm ceremony.

Educated at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, it was as an artist that Jerry intended to devote his life. He settled in Bristol in 1951 and has exhibited his prize-winning designs and paintings every year but one at the Royal West of England Academy Exhibition.

He taught art at Cotham Grammar School and created a strong and free-thinking Art Department. He also encouraged at the school his great love of judo, becoming a black belt himself. He took early retirement from teaching in order to concentrate on art and has painted distinguished portraits of three University Professors, Sir Charles Frank, Sir Neville Mott and Roy Severn.

He has been a member of the Central Council of Physical Education and the South West Sports Council, becoming involved in many battles over recreational land. As a result of his persistence, Planning Policy guideline no 17 was invoked ensuring special protection for greenfield sites. His most recent success, after lobbying at No 10, has been to ensure all children at Key Stage 2 are able to swim 25 metres; this is now part of the National Curriculum.

In 1994, in recognition of his services to Sports and the South West, he was awarded the MBE and in 1997 he received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Award for Painting of great British Achievement.


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