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Queen’s Honours local Boxing Champion Carl Frampton and leading US academic Professor Julie Chen

Belfast-born boxer, Carl Frampton MBE, and the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (UMass Lowell), Professor Julie Chen, will today (Saturday 29 June) receive honorary degrees from Queen’s University.

Carl Frampton will receive a Doctor of the University (DUni) for Distinction in sport.

Originally from north Belfast, 'the Jackal' as he is known, turned professional in 2009 after winning numerous amateur titles.

Frampton has held the World Boxing Organization interim featherweight title since April 2018. He is a former world champion in two weight classes, having held the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight titles between 2014 and 2016, and the World Boxing Association (Super) featherweight title from 2016 to 2017. He became the first boxer from Northern Ireland and only the second boxer from Ireland to have held world titles in two weight classes, earning him a reputation as one of the top boxers in the world.

In 2016, Frampton received an MBE for services to Boxing.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Frampton said: “I am delighted to accept this honorary degree from Queen’s University in my hometown of Belfast. This award means so much to me, and I am so pleased to be here to share in this day with so many other students graduating from the University.”

Professor Julie Chen will receive a Doctor of Science (DSc Eng) for Distinction in engineering.

Professor Chen is Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of UMass Lowell in the US and one of the leading experts on nanotechnology and innovations in materials processing and manufacturing.

Professor Chen directs UMass Lowell’s $73 million research enterprise, which spans all academic departments, research and engagement centres, and institutes; and is a committed advocate for the advancement of women in STEM.

Professor Chen has served on editorial boards, advisory committees and review panels for several journals and federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, US Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.

Professor Chen commented: “I feel privileged to receive this honorary degree from Queen’s University Belfast. UMass Lowell and Queen’s have enjoyed an excellent relationship for many years and share the same vision. I look forward to continuing this great relationship and working together on future collaborations.”

Carl Frampton and Professor Julie Chen are among fourteen individuals who will receive honorary degrees this summer at Queen’s University Belfast. Other individuals to be awarded include internationally renowned researchers as well as leaders in business and commerce.

Queen's University Belfast awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.