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Construction research boss honoured at graduations

Posted: 29th June 2017

A Building Research Establishment research scientist who progressed through the organisation to become group chief executive yesterday (Wednesday 28 June) received an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

The award comes as it emerged that Dr Peter Bonfield has also been appointed to a Government fire safety advisory panel set up to implement lessons from the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Dr Bonfield is passionate about the role science and engineering play in finding solutions to the challenges facing the built environment, with sustainability his main focus.

Originally a materials scientist with a PhD in wind energy and the design of turbine blades, he has helped build university centres of excellence which have raised more than £60m in research funding and created a strong BRE research base.

In May 2012 Dr Bonfield received the prestigious Peter Stone Award from the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to building engineering and the built environment.

A passionate cyclist and former national champion, he was also awarded an OBE for services to research and innovation in the construction industry in 2012.

Today he joined hundreds of Edinburgh Napier students at a ceremony in the Usher Hall to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering.

Dr Bonfield said: “I am so pleased and honoured to receive this award from a university that I have long admired for its pioneering, ambitious and impactful research and teaching that is so distinctive.

“It is a great pleasure to have this new association.”

The other Edinburgh Napier University honorary degree recipients at this week’s graduation celebrations are:
• Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute, receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Thursday June 29.
• Josh Littlejohn, social entrepreneur and co-founder of Social Bite, receives an Honorary Doctorate of Enterprise on Friday June 30
Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “It is wonderful to see people who have made such a significant impact in the worlds of business, science and industry joining our celebrations.

“Their drive, talent and enthusiasm will inspire our students as they set out to make their own mark on the world.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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