University of Surrey 

For Alumni and Supporters

Alumni update

John Nichols FRCGP  (MSc Nutritional Medicine 2005) 

I have served as a Surrey GP for 40 years and I did my Masters degree at the University of Surrey during that time. Now, I am moving towards retirement from the NHS. However, I have recently secured a contract as an honorary visiting research fellow at the University. I will be working with colleagues and students in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) on diverticulitis; a condition that is commonly seen in general practice and affects the intestine.

We are interested in the potential role of probiotics in the management of this condition but the role of other factors, such as dietary fibre and obesity will also be scrutinized. Lastly, there is a possibility that diverticulitis is more frequent and more severe in diabetes and pre-diabetes and we plan to look for evidence for this. Apart from the pleasure of working with my university colleagues, I look forward to working alongside some old friends in the four local GP practices that are participating in this research.

Vlad Pasca (MSc Water and Environmental Engineering 2006) 

My story is not an uncommon one, but it is a real one. I graduated from the University in 2005, and was awarded a MSc in ‘Water and Environmental Engineering’ in January 2006. A very helpful support was the scholarship I got from The World Bank - Joint Japan/World Bank Scholarship Program; I thank to the Japanese Government and to World Bank!

The time I spent in the UK and at Surrey was very successful. I gained a lot of knowledge, both in the science field and in the social aspect. I am grateful to the all staff in the Centre for Environmental and Health Engineering, especially to Professor Barry Lloyd, Mr Brian Clarke, Mrs Olive.

The news in my life: Since November 2012 I have been Manager of The Romanian National Agency of Land Reclamation, Maramures County Branch. I am glad for that. One of my dreams is fulfilled now. I hope all students Surrey fulfil their dreams too. Good luck!


Dr Mukhles Al-Ababneh (PhD Hospitality Management 2011) 

As an Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management, I am grateful to the University of Surrey for providing me with an outstanding educational experience.After graduating from  Surrey, I returned to Jordan and worked as an assistant professor  for the Tourism and Hotel Management Programme in the Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Ma’an.

Surrey helped my education and professional development and is still helping me today. It gives me the support and encouragement I now need to teach my own students in a professional and academic way. My experience at the University of Surrey provided me with a lot of important information and educational experience that has helped me succeed in my job as a teacher. I am grateful to Surrey for providing me with an outstanding educational experience. Also, I would like to thank the University faculty and staff who were all there to support me and helped me to get to my current position.

Elisavet Kriezi-Apostoli (BSc Economics 2000) 

I got married in 2009 and I have a new baby boy. We live in Athens, Greece, struggling with the economic crisis. Fortunately, I still have my work with Euler Hermes credit insurance, although at the moment I am on maternity leave. The unemployment rate has increased substantially in Greece lately and all young people find it difficult to find a job. Hope things will improve soon.




Yasser Behbehani (PG Cert Applied Professional Studies in Education and Training 2000)

I now hold a PhD degree in Engineering, and as a former graduate, the feeling of love and gratitude for all my teachers at the University has never been stopped. I am now self-employed; I left my work as a technical teacher in 2011 after 20 years of hard work at the College of Technological Studies at Kuwait after inventing a new automotive fuel injectors cleaner set (called Hippo) and it has been registered as a patent under my name! After that, I started my own business without paying attention to any financial risk that might happen and I have succeeded. I still miss the teaching/learning sessions and the students. I do have one piece of advice for new students:  believe in yourself and never ever stop loving learning no matter what!

Nigel Hemmington (BSc Hotel and Catering management 1979) 

I am now Pro Vice-Chancellor International and Dean of Faculty of Culture and Society at AUT University in Auckland






Allan Stewart (PG Cert Business Administration 2000) 

After graduation I moved into the world of management but in 2009 I was made redundant and, again gaining a similar position, was made redundant in 2011. I then had to work as a security guard for two years and just this month have again been employed in the security industry as area manager so I hope this one works through until my retirement as it is such a hard pill to swallow when you get made redundant twice in a short spell.

While I was working as a guard I continued to seek qualifications to improve my situation and took a Security Management Diploma with Stonebridge College and received a Distinction Diploma. I am sure that continuing to feed my mind helped in my getting back into the management world which has always been my goal and ambition. I hope this passes on that hope is eternal if you work at it. I enjoy reading the news when I receive it as it gives lots of info on how others are getting on and also how the University is developing. If any of my fellow graduates would like to get in touch, the alumni office can forward my mail address.


Emily Newman (BSC Management and Tourism 2006) 

On October 27 2012, I married Matthew Fletcher, also a Surrey student who graduated with a 1st in Computer Science and IT in 2005. Although we now live in South London, we returned to our home town of Fleet in Hampshire to marry and enjoyed an incredible reception at Farnham Castle in Surrey. We created an ‘alternative’ wedding video which was as much fun making as it is watching now:

After a graduate position in the City of London working with a property firm, managing the marketing, PR and events activities for its European hotels team, I decided to start my own marketing consultancy and DeLys Marketing was born. I had made lots of contacts in a variety of organisations throughout the hospitality sector through my previous role and saw several opportunities for them to improve their existing marketing activities. Many of them had little to no understand of social media and its significance for brand promotion and business development. My consultancy has grown over the past couples of years and, whilst the market place remains challenging, it is incredibly rewarding being able to offer advice and see the results of implementing that advice.

Justin Waite (BA Politics 2008, MA International Politics 2009)

I married my lovely girlfriend of seven years in April 2013 in London, and we will then be moving into a lovely house together to start the rest of our lives!

Freddy Shamwana (MSc Environmental Strategy 2011) 

It has been a great time since my graduation last year. I’m now doing a PhD at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds.

In July 2012 a group of Home Economists who graduated in 1978 got together to celebrate a birthday. From left are Bridget Jones, Stephanie Bamford, Gillian Clarke, Jane Burns (Anderson), Debby Kenyon (Killick) and Christine Jones. Most of the Class of 1978 remain in touch, notwithstanding almost 40 years having passed since we first arrived on the Surrey campus in 1974. Messages were received from HEs from as far away as Australia.

Joe St.Johanser  (B. Mus. 2001)

I’m working as a singing teacher and composer in Woking, and have recently completed my fourth full-length opera, which is now available as a download from the website of science fiction novelist and Grand Master Jack Vance. The opera is called Space Opera - The Musical.  My second opera The Tempest was premiered at the Guildford Electric Theatre in 2012. I’ve uploaded recordings of many of my pieces to Youtube - especially videos of my third opera Through the Looking Glass, which has not yet had a live premiere but has been filmed.  My Joe's music is published by '

Jacqueline Hanson (BSc Nursing Studies 2012) 

I am currently working as a staff nurse at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. I haven't been up to much, just enjoying the experience. I am also ecstatic to have been selected as a care maker for the Chief Nursing Officer UK's compassionate care initiative. I took part in a major health conference on in March at the Excel Centre, in London, proudly representing the hospital and he University of Surrey.

Kumar Nallathamby (MSc Structural Engineering 2008) 

My time at Surrey was an amazing experience in terms of culture, education, environment etc. It was a remarkable period in my life. After gaining my degree, I worked on some wonderful projects in the UK, such as the 2012 Olympics, St Pancras station and The Shard among them.  2012 was a remarkable year in terms of my professional as well as my personal life, as I found my life partner and soul-mate, Ramya Ramkrishna. Ramya is the greatest gift in my life and has made my life incredible with her limitless love and care.


Ravi Prakash (MSc Energy Engineering1988)

Eur Ing Dr Alex Henham, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science, has let us know that Ravi has been promoted to Full Professor in the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India. As well as his postgraduate studies here, Dr Henham co-supervised his PhD at the University of Allahabad and they have published several papers together between 1993 and 2013.

Dr Jariyavadee Sirichantra MSc Advanced Materials 2007)

I gave birth to my new baby, Kunchaporn (nicknamed Lemon), last October. She always makes me smile. My family is very happy because of her.

Antonios Georgantzoglou (MSc Medical Physics 2008)

After receiving training in the medical physics area and having been a clinical scientist, I decided to return to academia in a multi-disciplinary project. Since April 2012, I have been working as a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, having been awarded an EC Marie Curie ITN Fellowship within the programme ENTERVISION. My project focuses on real-time biological image processing, for instant cell targeting and irradiation with charged particles, and it involves the Surrey Ion Beam Centre facilities.

Lavinia Dowling (MSc Professional Practice 2012)

My course was quite an unusual course from the Health and Medical Faculty as it had four core modules, and another four that the student could tailor to fit their interests. You also got to name your award. I named mine after my model of care which I designed for mental health. Bournemouth University was extremely interested in my innovation. In December, they offered me a place to study with their Doctorate of Professional Practice looking at my model, Emotional Problem Solving. I am hoping to consider the links between attachment (John Bowlby), self-esteem (Albert Bandura) and mental health (John Bowlby and Sue Gerhardt) which involves considering our learning (Peter Jarvis from Surrey). I am due to start just after Easter.

Maggie Su (MSc International Hotel Management 2004)

The Surrey campus is the most beautiful I have seen. I miss the lake, the swan, the Cathedral. I plan return next year with my daughter and tell her my unforgettable experience at Surrey. After I went back to China in 2005, I started my own company in Peking. It focuses on China independent hotels' global distribution. I’m co-operating with more than 2,000 four or five-star hotels in China! Thanks so much to my teachers and classmates in Surrey! Let's keep in touch forever! 


Professor Harcharan Singh Ranu, (MSc Mechanical Engineering 1968)

Professor Ranu has been honoured by the American College of Sports Medicine by making him a Fellow for his contributions to orthopedic biomechanics and sports sciences. Prof Ranu developed the laserectomy technique to relieve  low back pain for herniated human spinal disc; Ranu’s Cumulative Gait Effect Phenomenon for  normal subjects and Polio victims by using; and an artificial knee joint.

Rosina (Rose) Perrett (Adult and Continuing Education 1982) 

I live on my own so family and friends are very important to me. Ongoing health issues are a problem and I get out very little. My grandson Nick graduated from Winchester last year and my achievement was to attend his Graduation Ceremony in November. My grandson Jacob(15) was recently selected to train with East Sussex County Rugby Team. Needless to say, I am proud of them both. My very best wishes to all my fellow alumni.

James Knewstubb (BSc Business management 2009)

I married Katy (nee Hutchinson) last year, on 24 March 2012. Quite unbelievably given the current weather, it was a summer’s day thanks to a heatwave, and our sky blue with yellow colour scheme didn’t look out of place!

Katy is also a Surrey graduate (BA Dance & Culture 2008). We’ve been together since 2006, early in our second year, having originally met in the union as freshers through mutual friends (who later were my best men). Neither of us hail from around Guildford, myself from Hertfordshire and Katy from Lancashire but we both love Guildford and Surrey and have settled nearby and work for local companies; myself as an accountant and Katy as a legal secretary.

 Simon Russell (BSc Mechanical Engineering 1985)

Myself and Paul Moriarty plan in a few weeks to 'compete' in the Sail Caledonia event along the Caledonia Canal in Scotland. Just the two of us in my small boat for a week!  We both met as roommates in Stag Hill Court  on starting our Mechanical Engineering degrees in 1981. I well remember the Falklands War was a great distraction from our studies in April to June of the following year; however we both managed to pass our first year.  Paul now works for BAe Systems in Scotland and myself in Tata Steel's London office. 

Denys Michael King (BSc Engineering 1949) 

Denys has sent through two photos taken during his time at Battersea. The first, is a group photo of the 1947 Intermediate BSc Eng students, which was the prior requirement to proceed to an Engineering Degree.



The second, Battersea Hockey, is a photo of the Battersea Poly 1st X1 Hockey Team 1949, which Denys believes was unbeaten that year against other colleges in the London area!  He said: “I had the honour that year to be Captain and I am in the middle of the back row. My Vice Captain was D W Baxter who is sitting in front row, second from left, not in playing gear that day. I note his name appears as an Honorary Graduate in your list for 1951. I wonder how he is these days.”

Rowan Cole (BA Politics 2012) 

I married my fiance Sarah Fournier who I met at Surrey. I was final year Politics and Sarah was over form the USA doing her Masters in Event Management. We were married on 11 Jan 2013.

James Vernon (BSc Economics and Sociology 1997) 

I am happily married to Bianca with two wonderful daughters, Francesca and Greta, living in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire.  I have deserted the world of banking and have been teaching in a primary school in Milton Keynes for the last four years.

Miles Schofield (BSc Biochemistry 1988) 

I have just changed roles within Life Technologies from the marketing position I've held for the last seven years to Senior Training Specialist. Working within the global team I now train the sales force in all aspects of scientific selling, including customer relations, selling styles, account planning and product attributes. The new role means much more travel and teaching whilst still using the knowledge from my degree. I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and the steep learning curve I'll have whilst my wife and daughters are not too happy that I'll be out of the country more (but I've promised them I'll be happier when I am at home so that seems a good deal).

Dr Sanjeeva S.P.Godakandage (PG Cert Nutritional Medicine 2011)

I have been entrusted with the management of the National Family Planning Programme of Sri Lanka this year. I am attached to the Family Health Bureau, which is the maternal and child health wing of the Ministry of Health. I head up the Family Planning Unit, and my job functions include technical guidance, policy formulation, logistics and monitoring and evaluation.

Gemma Moret (BSc German and Economics with International Business 2005)

I am really excited to announce that I have got engaged to my partner Thomas Harrison who  I met at Surrey in 2004, on 3 November 2013 - we plan to wed in 2014. We met as captains of the University tennis team and both graduated in 2005. We are looking forward to spending our wedding day with many close friends that have become friends for life since meeting them at University.




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