Queen’s was ‘doubly’ represented at Buckingham Palace last month (June 16) when two of the University’s leading academics – Professor Sir John McCanny and Professor Sally Wheeler OBE – formally received their Honours medals.
Professor Sir John McCanny was awarded a Knighthood and Professor Sally Wheeler an OBE in the New Year Honours in January 2017. They were presented with their insignia by HRH Prince Charles at an investiture ceremony last month.
The Director of the University’s Institute for Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and the visionary behind the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and the NI Science Park, Professor McCanny was recognised for services to higher education and economic development.
Commenting earlier in the year on the honour Professor McCanny said: “I am obviously personally delighted to receive this award. However, I must strongly thank and acknowledge the fantastic team of people we have at ECIT for their wonderful achievements which this strongly reflects on. I also have to thank the University and successive Vice-Chancellors for the support they have given, over many years, as well as the senior staff at Northern Ireland Science Park (now Catalyst Inc).
“The general public does not seem to be as aware as it might be of the all the great things that are happening these days in Titanic Quarter. If this helps to shine a light on this and the advanced technology research and entrepreneurial environment that has been created, then this is very positive.”
And Sir John is no stranger to Royal seals of approval. In 2016, CSIT received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for strengthening global cybersecurity and protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world.
In June 2016, Professor McCanny received Northern Ireland’s first Regius Professorship, a rare and prestigious award bestowed by the Sovereign to recognise exceptionally high-quality research.
Professor Sally Wheeler, meanwhile, who is the Interim Head of the School of Arts, English and Languages and also Head of the School of Law, was among those appointed OBE, being honoured for services to higher education.
An international expert on corporate governance and contract law, she has delivered keynote speeches around the world and is Adjunct Professor at Waikato University in New Zealand and Jilin University in China.
Elected to the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Irish Academy in 2011 and 2013, respectively, Professor Wheeler was elected to the position of Senior Vice-president of the Royal Irish Academy in March 2017. She is the author or co-author of several books on corporate governance, over 70 articles or book chapters, and she has edited or co-edited nine other books. She has also been cited as "one of the world’s leading experts" on the governance of pensions.
In 2013, she became the first lay member to join Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice's sentencing group. She is also a governor of Corpus Christi College secondary school in Belfast and, since 2004, has edited the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.
The 2017 New Year's Honours List has been billed as the most diverse and inclusive so far, with more than half of the honours going to women and more ethnic minority appointees than ever before.
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