personal honour is also 'for the University'
a decade steering the University through a period of unprecedented
growth, transformation and regeneration, Vice-Chancellor
Professor Sir Alan Wilson received his knighthood for
services to higher education from the Queen at a ceremony
at Buckingham Palace last week.
Wilson said: "This honour gives me a lot of pleasure Ð
but I emphasise that it is as much for the University
as it is for me personally."
the ten years since Sir Alan became Vice-Chancellor, student
numbers have increased from some 12,000 to around 28,000;
turnover has increased from £100m to £270m and research
income has increased by 400 percent, to around £64m.
with Lady Sarah (left) and receiving the honour
Wilson was born in Bradford in 1939, and educated at Queen
Elizabeth Grammar School, Darlington and Corpus Christi
College, Cambridge, where he read mathematics. His career
has encompassed a wide range of disciplines Ð theoretical
physics, applied mathematics, computer science and geography
Ð in academic and government posts. He came to the University
of Leeds in 1970 as a professor of urban and regional
geography, and served three terms as chair of the school
of geography, becoming a pro-vice-chancellor in 1989 and
Vice-Chancellor in 1991.
own pioneering work on geographic modelling led in 1990
to the formation of GMAP Ltd, the University's most successful
'technology transfer' company to date.
the demands of running an institution with a £270m turnover,
Professor Wilson still finds time to continue his own
research interests on applications of dynamical systems
theory, including the impact of catastrophe theory and
bifurcation on urban structure models, leading to a developing
interest in the broader field of complexity theory.