Alumni and friends

The Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Awards honour former students who have made an outstanding contribution in their field or to society.

To mark our 50th anniversary year, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Lu, introduced new awards to further recognise the tremendous impact our alumni have around the world.

The categories are:

  • Alumni Achievement Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Young Achiever Award
  • Volunteer of the Year

The overall Vice-Chancellor’s Alumnus/Alumna of the Year is chosen from the Alumni Achievement Award category.

Winners will be invited to a celebratory dinner to receive their award and their success shared on our website and in our annual alumni magazine, Forever Surrey.

Nominate yourself or another Surrey graduate

Nominations for the 2018 awards are open!

Graduates are welcome to nominate themselves or others for the awards and all Battersea alumni are also eligble.

To enter, please complete our short application form - we look forward to receiving your nominations.


Alumni Achievement Award

Nominees should have made a significant impact in their field or to society within the last three years and received formal recognition from their peers and/or the community.

Successes may include research excellence and impact; leadership and innovation in industry or enterprise; achievements in the arts and humanities, charitable or humanitarian acts; and public service at national or international level. The overall Alumnus of the Year will be chosen from this category.

Young Achiever Award

Nominees should be aged 35 or younger (at the time of nomination) and have demonstrated early career or community service achievements or displayed innovative practices in their field in the last three years and are an inspiring role model for students and young graduates.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominees should have accomplished a lifetime of outstanding contributions and achievement in one or more fields of endeavour, is recognised within her/his community or field as a strong leader and is an exemplary role model.

Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year will be chosen by the Vice-Chancellor to celebrate a graduate or nonalumnus who has made an ongoing commitment to the University of Surrey in pro bono capacity, and has shown commitment and enthusiasm for the University’s mission; acts as an ambassador to promote the institution; and inspires students, staff or other alumni.

Last year's winners

Odaline de la Martinez, MMus Music 1977

Conductor, Composer and Artistic Director, Lontano

"I chose Surrey because of Reginald Smith Brindle, who was a professor, a composer and a well-known writer about contemporary music across the world."

Read more.

Dr Lina Fahmi Hammad, MSc Medical Physics 1993

Dean at Princess Nourah University

"Being awarded the Alumna of the Year by the University of Surrey is definitely a career highlight."

Read more.

Y Gavriel Ansara, PhD Psychology 2014, MSc Psychology 2009


"At Surrey, I had the freedom to conduct innovative research for which I received the Transgender Research Award from the American Psychological Association."

Read more.

Dr Kathleen McGuire, MMus Music 1995

Conductor and composer

"The best things about the course were the many opportunities I was afforded, which enabled me to grow as a conductor."

Read more.

Polly Risbridger, BA Dance and Culture 2002

Director, East London Dance

"I chose Surrey for the breadth of skills it offered beyond performance, such as project management, marketing and fundraising, and the second was the professional training year."

Read more.

Kanayo Dike-Oduah, BSc Psychology 2015

Deputy Head of Sixth Form at Edenham High School

"The best part of my programme was being able to conduct my own research and the placement year was amazing and extended my university experience."

Read more.

Lee Reynolds, BMus Music 2007


"The input from staff who were actually out there performing and conducting meant I could absorb that way of working and the standards expected at the professional level."

Read more.

Dr Tao Wang, PhD Physics 2009

Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology

"I had the opportunity to meet many peers from around the world, communicate with them and discuss scientific questions, and, working together, we moved forward."

Read more.

Janet Preston, BSc Physics 1978, MSc Physics 2015

Director of Cold Fuzion

"I would encourage everyone to get involved with the Young Enterprise Start-up programme during which students are supported to run a company for a year."

Read more.

Lewis Young, LLB Law 2012

Trainee Solicitor, The Partnership

"Surrey has great commercial links to my chosen career; the course itself gave me a good insight into the legal career and allowed me to get involved in the local area both professionally and socially."

Read more.

Jincheng (Jaycee) Feng, MSc Tourism Management 2013

Project Director, MOSH!

"The lecturers were truly superb and I felt that the classes, besides being highly academic in nature, were also very practical and applicable to the industry."

Read more.

Lynal Low, BSc Tourism Management 2013

Regional Manager Asia for Professional Incentives Ltd

"I thoroughly enjoyed the international exposure the course offered; I attended an exchange programme in Melbourne, a summer school in Seoul, a work placement in London and a field trip to Nairob."

Read more.