Published: 06 June 2024

Vice Chancellor's Alumni Awards Announcement

We are excited to announce the 2023 winners of the Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Awards. 

On Monday night, we were delighted to present the 2023 Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Awards. This celebration of Surrey’s alumni community and achievements was hosted in the House of Commons, presented by Max Lu.  

Our four winners were carefully selected from nearly 200 nominations, and are all trailblazers in their fields, bound by their connection to the Surrey community. This event is an inspiring reminder of how Surrey is making a difference in sustainability, civil engineering, animal welfare and more. 

Find out more about the amazing achievements of our winners below.

Professor Anusha Shah is our ‘Alumna of the Year’ award winner. This award honours a highly exceptional graduate who has made extraordinary professional or personal achievement and is recognised within their field as a strong leader, visionary, or pioneer.  

Anusha’s education at Surrey paved the way for significant professional achievements in the field of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. After earning her Master's degree in Water and Environmental Engineering at Surrey in 2000, she has amassed over 23 years of experience in the field. 

Anusha currently serves as the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). She is the third woman to hold this position in ICE's over 200-year history.  

Her presidential theme, “Making Connections for a Nature and People Positive World,” has garnered widespread acclaim within the global built environment industry. 

She has been recognised by Climate Reframe as one of the UK’s leading voices on climate change.  

Anusha is the UK Climate Adaptation Lead and Senior Director of Resilient Cities at Arcadis - a design, engineering and management consultancy - working to improve the quality of life globally through their work in the built environment.   
A non-Executive Director at the Met Office, Trustee at the Green Alliance and a visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh, Anusha is passionate about addressing the climate and nature crisis.  

Our next winner, David Nolan, received the Alumni Achievement Award, presented to a graduate with proven professional achievement in their chosen field. 

David completed a degree in Business Economics in 2012. Following this, he worked for Goldman Sachs as a Sales Trader, before leaving the role to set up a sustainable dog food business, Butternut Box.  

Motivated to solve the health issues of his family’s rescued Staffie, David began cooking fresh meals for dogs. Today, Butternut Box feeds over 250,000 dogs across five European countries, is a certified B Corp, and has donated hundreds of thousands of meals to dogs in need all over Europe.  

David’s work to establish Butternut Box has created a new dog food category in the industry and improved the welfare of dogs worldwide. 

Dr Keyur Gandhi travelled from Dubai to London to receive our Young Achiever Award, to honour a graduate under the age of 35 who has demonstrated significant early-career achievement. 

Following his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University’s Advanced Technology Institute in 2015, Keyur established Apollo Energy Analytics, which combines solar technology with artificial intelligence to deliver predictive analytics in the renewable energy and global asset management sectors. Dr Gandhi also holds an international patent related to employing an electrical digital twin for solar photovoltaic power plant use. 

Having secured a partnership with the world’s largest industrial software company, AVEVA, Apollo Energy is now within reach of becoming a global top ten startup in the field.  

Our final award, Volunteer of the Year, was given to Folarin Oyeleye. 

Folarin completed his BSc in Electronic Engineering in 2005. He chose to stay on at Surrey the following year as President of the Students’ Union. During his year as President he was committed to building a culture of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within the University community. 

He then went on to career success in the financial sector and is now Managing Director at JP Morgan Private Bank. 

In 2022, he joined the University’s ‘The Future Says Surrey’ Campaign Board and has provided valuable support and insight to our highly successful campaign. Folarin is also a trustee of The King’s Foundation which conducts impactful work in education, sustainability, and regeneration.  

You can find out about previous winners of the Vice Chancellor's Alumni Achievment Awards here

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