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OBE for York Chemistry Honorary Fellow

Posted on 19 January 2018

Alumnus and Honorary Fellow of the University of York, Dr Stan Higgins, was recognised in the New Year’s Honours with an OBE for services to the Chemical Process industrial sector.

Stan with some children from the Children Challenging Industry Programme

Stan, who recently retired as Chief Executive of North East Process Industries Cluster, NEPIC, studied Chemistry, Economics and Technology as an undergraduate and Process, Understanding and Development for his PhD. He continues to be associated with the University, contributing occasional lectures and acting as a key member of the advisory committee to the award-winning Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC) part of the Department of Chemistry.

The staff of CIEC were thrilled to hear of this richly deserved award. Joy Parvin, Director of CIEC, commented “Stan has been a loyal friend to CIEC.  In particular, we have appreciated his unwavering support for our Children Challenging Industry (CCI) initiative over many years”. Stan explained that CCI is very dear to his heart as the scheme targets primary school children early enough to influence the attitudes they form towards STEM subjects and industry. As research shows, CCI has a demonstrable effect on children’s aspirations and is an efficient way for companies to invest in their future workforce. The scheme is supported by specialist teachers that deliver engaging and effective lessons, whilst helping school teachers understand the potential of STEM subjects in ensuring children’s long-term success.

Over the years, Stan has been impressed by the excellent behaviour of the school children that he has met through CCI. “I was not that well behaved when I was at school,” he said. In particular, he has been impressed by the attitudes of disadvantaged children who are clearly excited by science, and persist when faced with challenges. Going forward, he would like to see CCI delivered to as many primary school children as possible.  As he explained, CCI not only puts STEM subjects into context for primary school children, but it lets them know that there is a place for everyone in the industry.

To find out more about the work of the Centre for Industry and Education Collaboration and the CCI initiative, visit the CIEC website