Loughborough University: Chief Executive of HS2 awarded honorary degree

The award – in recognition of his contribution to the rail industry – was presented at the University’s winter degree ceremony on Monday 20 December.

With more than 25 years’ experience in project and programme management, Mark Thurston has worked in both the public and private sectors on some of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects.

Before joining HS2 Professor Thurston was the Regional Managing Director, Europe, for CH2M and spent time in leadership roles on both London 2012 and Crossrail.

In February he joined the University’s School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering as Visiting Professor of Complex Project and Programme Leadership, and has been instrumental in several research collaborations between Loughborough and HS2.

Speaking about his honorary degree, Thurston said: “I’m both humbled and delighted to receive this honorary degree. The research at Loughborough is at the forefront of the work in both the construction and rail sectors, and I look forward to maintaining my close connection with the University and supporting their activity in these areas.”

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Jennings, added: “We are delighted to be able to recognise Mark’s success and the contribution he has made to the rail industry over the last 30 years. As an alum he has been a great supporter of the University and continues to pass on his significant knowledge to our students.”

Mark Thurston joins a long line of distinguished Loughborough alumni that have received honorary degrees. These include TV presenter and broadcaster Ore Oduba, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University in 2017 in recognition of his contribution to British television; Richard Joseph, the co-founder of kitchenware company Joseph Joseph Ltd, who was made Honorary Doctor of Technology In 2014 in recognition of his contribution to design innovation and business success; and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson, who in 2001 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology in recognition of her inspirational role as an outstanding Paralympian.

Other well-known honorary graduates of the University include Dame Judi Dench, Gary Lineker, and Richard Branson.