Professor Bill Wakeham.

Knighthood for Exeter alumnus

University of Exeter alumnus Professor Bill Wakeham has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Bill Wakeham is a graduate of the University of Exeter, where he studied for his first and higher degrees in physics.

The Exeter alumnus has received the honour for services to chemical engineering and higher education. Professor Bill Wakeham, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton since 2001, has spent much of his career as a specialist in chemical engineering. Before joining Southampton he had a career spanning three decades at Imperial College, where he was Deputy Rector from 1997.

"I'm delighted and very honoured by this award," said Sir William. "It has been made possible, though, by the colleagues with whom I have worked over the years and by the support of my family. I would like to share this honour with them."

Sir William’s academic speciality is thermodynamics, particularly the thermophysical properties of fluids and intermolecular forces. A chartered engineer and a chartered physicist, his scholarship has been recognised by many awards from overseas and by honorary degrees from universities in the UK and China.

During his career, he has authored, co-authored or edited seven books and published over 350 papers in the open scientific and engineering literature in the research fields of thermophysical properties of fluids, intermolecular forces and thermodynamics.

Sir William recently chaired the 2008 Review of Physics in the UK at the request of the then Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and the Institute of Physics. For more alumni news and events, see our Alumni and supporters web pages.

Date: 22 June 2009

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