Belfast Telegraph

Physicist Bell Burnell among Ulster University honorary degree recipients

Lurgan-born astrophysicist Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Lurgan-born astrophysicist Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

An astrophysicist from Co Armagh who missed out on a Nobel prize for a world changing scientific discovery is set to be honoured by Ulster University during this summer's graduation season.

Lurgan-born astrophysicist Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell is to be recognised for her contribution to science.

In 1967 she was credited with discovering the first radio pulsars while still a postgraduate student, heralded as the greatest scientific breakthrough of the time.

In 1974 the discovery won a Nobel Prize in Physics, but she received no recognition for her involvement.

She will receive an honorary degree during this summer's graduation season alongside a television executive involved in bringing Game of Thrones to Northern Ireland.

HBO Senior Vice President Jay Roewe will be honoured for his career in film and TV, including his bid to ensure Northern Ireland enjoys a long-lasting legacy from the hit fantasy drama.

On the sporting front, they will be joined by the most successful captain in Irish sport, Coleraine hockey star Katie Mullan, who led Ireland to a silver medal in last year's World Cup.

Having played for and captained UCD in Dublin for several years, she moved to German champions Club an de Alser in 2018 to continue her glittering career.

Community worker Eamon Baker from Londonderry, who continues to make a major contribution in his home city after overcoming a cancer scare several years ago, and fellow Derryman Michael Hutton, another prominent community figure and instrumental in organising the Foyle Cup youth football tournament, will also receive honorary degrees.

US diplomat Martha Pope, Senator George Mitchell's Chief of Staff during the talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement, will be honoured.

From the business world, Suren Gupta will be recognised for his service to Northern Ireland in his role with US insurance giant Allstate.

Belfast-born Tony Macaulay is being honoured for his work as an author, peacebuilder, leadership consultant and suicide prevention advocate while Richard Parkes is being recognised for his contribution to music through his work with pipe bands both nationally and internationally.

Alan Logan, who retired last year as principal at Boys Model, is being recognised for services to education along with John Hunter for his services to Ulster University as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council and his successful career in the civil service.

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