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‘A huge part of my life’: Cranfield professor reflects on time at university after receiving CBE for work with business and education

CONTRIBUTIONS to higher education, business, economics and charity have earned a CBE for Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy at Cranfield University’s School of Management in the New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Nellis is one of the leading academics in his field. Now in his 40th year at Cranfield, he has taught students on every MBA cohort since he joined. He became Professor in 1993, establishing the Economics Group at the university one year later. In 2017, the Economics Group was ranked Number 1 in the world by the Financial Times for the teaching of economics on MBA programmes and was consistently in the global top ten for over a decade.

He was jointly responsible for the research and development of the UK’s leading house price measurement systems the Halifax House Price Index, and the Nationwide House Price Index.

Professor Nellis, whose wife Helen stepped down as HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire last year, has held senior roles at Cranfield including director of the full-time MBA, director of graduate programmes, Academic Dean and director of the School of Management. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 2005 to 2008.

“Cranfield has been a huge part of my life,” he said. “It holds a unique position in the higher education sector, with a global reputation. It has been a real joy to spend my career in such an exciting environment.

Professor Nellis on his way to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

“I am overjoyed to receive this honour and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to make a small contribution to the development of many business leaders, nationally and internationally. I continue to enjoy the stimulation of engaging with top-class minds and helping others to reach their potential.”

After completing a degree in economics at Ulster University in 1976, he served as a Voluntary Service Overseas teacher in Ghana for two years, which set the direction for his future career. Ever since, along with his family, he has kept personal links there, describing Ghana as his “second home”.

Professor Nellis and his family have completed many development projects in the area, the most recent being the building of a modern school in a remote village on the banks of the Volta River. His charity work has included fundraising for local charities, involving marathon running, cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Cranfield University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Holford said: “It is wonderful to have Joe’s long and impactful service recognised and rewarded in this way. On behalf of the whole university community, our warmest congratulations to Joe for this achievement.”


F1 team Oracle Red Bull racing’s success earns CEO Cristian Horner a CBE

Christian Horner, team principal and CEO at Oracle Red Bull Racing based in Milton Keynes.

ORACLE Red Bull Racing Team principal and chief executive Christian Horner has been awarded a CBE in King Charles III’s 2024 New Year Honours List, for his services to motorsport.

Speaking at the team’s headquarters on Tilbrook in Milton Keynes, Mr Horner said: “It was an unexpected distinction a decade ago to be presented with an OBE and to receive this second award, a CBE, is one for which I am hugely grateful and deeply honoured.

 “It is a great privilege to lead and work alongside such a phenomenal team as Oracle Red Bull Racing and also to work in an industry that contributes so much to the United Kingdom’s economy. I am enormously proud of what we have achieved with Red Bull and I am hugely honoured to be recognised for that effort.”

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