List of University of Manchester people

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This is a list of University of Manchester people. Many famous or notable people have worked or studied at the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology institutions, which combined in 2004 to form the University of Manchester.

The following list includes the names of all 25 Nobel prize laureates among them (in bold print).

Fine and applied arts[edit]


Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank is one of the most famous architects


George Gissing, novelist


Theatre, cinema and broadcasting[edit]


Natural and applied sciences[edit]


Biology and chemistry[edit]

John Dalton, founder of modern chemistry and atomic theory

Computer science[edit]

Statue of Turing by Stephen Kettle at Bletchley Park, commissioned by the American philanthropist Sidney E. Frank[9]




Andre Geim, awarded 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for pioneering work on graphene
Sir Bernard Lovell, radio-astronomer
  • Hans Bethe (awarded Nobel prize in 1967), for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars. Research staff and Temporary Lecturer 1932.
  • Patrick M. Blackett (awarded Nobel prize in 1948), for developing cloud chamber and confirming/discovering positron. Director and Langworthy Professor of Physics (1937–1953).
  • Niels Bohr (awarded Nobel prize in 1922). Research Staff and Schuster Reader 1911–1916. Worked on structure of atom and first theory of quantum mechanics.
  • William Lawrence Bragg (awarded Nobel prize in 1915, along with his father, William Henry Bragg), for X-ray crystallography (their work led to the first discoveries of DNA and protein structures). Director and Langworthy Professor of Physics (1919–1937).
  • Clifford Charles Butler. Co-discovered strange particles in 1947 with George Rochester. Went on to be head of physics department at Imperial College and then vice-chancellor at Loughborough University.
  • James Chadwick (awarded Nobel prize in 1935). Student (BSc & MSc) and Researcher 1908–1913 (under Rutherford). Discovered the neutron.
  • Sir John Douglas Cockcroft (awarded Nobel prize in 1951), for his pioneering work with Rutherford and Walton, on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles. Born in Todmorden, he studied mathematics under Horace Lamb in 1914–1915 and received BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering. Later he became Chancellor of UMIST and Director of BAERE (Manhattan Project Hall of Fame).
  • Brian Cox, physicist working at CERN and popularizer of science. Most notable for his physics documentaries on the BBC and as a member of a few popular rock bands.
  • Sir Charles Galton Darwin, (grandson of Charles Darwin) Schuster Reader in Mathematical Physics (1910–1914) working under Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr. He later became Director of the National Physical Laboratory.
  • George de Hevesy (awarded Nobel prize in 1943), for his work on the use of isotopes as tracers in the study of chemical processes. Research Staff 1910–1913.
  • Sir Arthur Eddington. Graduated in 1902 and became a lecturer in 1905. Founder of modern Astronomy. He made important contributions to the general theory of relativity and led an expedition team to validate it.
  • Victor Emery, British specialist on superconductors and superfluidity. His model for the electronic structure of the copper-oxide planes is the starting point for many analyses of high-temperature superconductors and is commonly known as the Emery model.
  • Jeff Forshaw, particle physicist and winner of the Maxwell Medal and Prize and the Kelvin Prize, gained his PhD at University of Manchester and is now professor of particle physics there.
  • Hans Geiger, Researcher 1906–1914, invented the Geiger counter and did the original "Rutherford scattering" experiment with Marsden (also the Geiger-Marsden experiment). Devised the famous Geiger ionization counter.
  • Andre Geim (awarded Nobel Prize in 2010), for the discovery of graphene
  • Danielle George, Master's degree in Physics at Manchester,[13] now a Professor in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and presenter of the 2014 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
  • James Hamilton, Irish mathematician and theoretical physicist, helped to develop the theory of cosmic-ray mesons
  • Edward Lee, built Britain's first infrared spectrometer and later served as Director of the Admiralty Research Laboratory.
  • Sir John Lennard-Jones, entered Manchester University where he changed his subject to mathematics in 1912. After First World War service in the Royal Flying Corps, he returned to Manchester as lecturer in Mathematics, 1919–1922. Founder of modern theoretical chemistry. Lennard-Jones potential and LJ fluid are named after him.
  • Patricia Lewis, nuclear physicist and arms control expert, who is currently Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
  • Henry Lipson CBE, FRS, known for x-ray diffraction and its application to crystallography, professor at UMIST 1954–1977.
  • Sir Bernard Lovell, Professor (1951–1990) and creator of the giant radio-telescope (the first large radio-telescope in the world with a diameter of 218 feet) at Jodrell Bank: pioneered the field of radio astronomy.
  • Sir Ernest Marsden was born in Lancashire in 1888. He won scholarships to attend grammar school and gain entry to Manchester University. It was here he met Rutherford in his honours year. Rutherford suggested a project to investigate the backwards scattering of alpha particles from a metal foil. He did this in conjunction with Hans Geiger (of Geiger counter fame), and it proved to be the key experiment in the demise of the Plum pudding model of the atom leading directly to Rutherford's nuclear atom. Rutherford also recommended Marsden for the position of physics professor at what is now Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Henry Moseley, who identified atomic number as the nuclear charges. He studied under Rutherford and brilliantly developed the application of X-ray spectra to study atomic structure; his discoveries resulted in a more accurate positioning of elements in the Periodic Table by closer determination of atomic numbers . Moseley was nominated for the 1915 Nobel Prize but was killed in action in August 1915 and could not receive the prize.
  • Nevill Francis Mott (awarded Nobel prize in 1977), for his fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems.
  • Konstantin Novoselov (awarded Nobel prize 2010), for his work on Graphene
  • Herbert Parker, medical physicist. He was a pioneer of medical radiation therapy and radiation safety, known for introducing the roentgen equivalent physical (rep)
  • Henry Plummer, astronomer who developed a gravitational potential function that can be used to model globular clusters and spherically-symmetric galaxies, known as the Plummer potential; Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • John Henry Poynting. Student 1867–1872; Lecturer 1876–1879. Left to become Professor at Mason College (which became Birmingham University). He wrote on electrical phenomena and radiation and is best known for Poynting's vector. In 1891 he determined the mean density of the Earth and made a determination of the gravitational constant in 1893. The Poynting-Robertson effect was related to the theory of relativity.
  • George Rochester discovered strange particles in 1947 with Clifford C Butler. Went on to become Chair of the Department at Durham University.
Ernest Rutherford, "the Father of Nuclear Physics" discovered the structure of the atom at the University of Manchester
  • Keith Runcorn, PhD 1949, pioneer in the field of paleomagnetism.
  • Ernest Rutherford (awarded Nobel prize in 1908), for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances (he was the first to probe the atom). Langworthy Professor of Physics (1907–1919).
  • Sir Arthur Schuster, Langworthy Professor of Physics (1888–1907), who made many contributions to optics and astronomy. Schuster's interests were wide-ranging: terrestrial magnetism, optics, solar physics, and the mathematical theory of periodicities. He introduced meteorology as a subject studied in British universities.
  • Balfour Stewart, Scottish physicist, who devoted himself to meteorology and terrestrial magnetism.
  • Joseph John (J. J.) Thomson (awarded Nobel prize in 1906). Studied and researched 1871–1876 (entered at age 14). Discovered the electron.
  • Charles Thomson Rees (C. T. R.) Wilson (awarded Nobel prize in 1927). Student 1884–1887. Invented the expansion cloud chamber.
  • Evan James Williams worked with Bragg and Blackett in the Physical Laboratories in the 1920s.
  • Sir Arnold Wolfendale, BSc 1948 and PhD 1954 in cosmic rays. Lecturer 1953–1956. 14th Astronomer Royal.

Physiology and medicine[edit]

The University of Manchester currently has 28 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[14] Present and historical University of Manchester people notable for their contributions to medicine and physiology include:

Social sciences and education[edit]




Law, public administration and social welfare[edit]


Social anthropology[edit]




Religion and philosophy[edit]



Victoria University of Manchester

  • Brian Flowers, Baron Flowers, physicist and public servant, Professor of theoretical physics (1958–61), Langworthy Professor of physics (1961–72), Rector of Imperial College London (1973–85) and vice-chancellor (1985–90). Chancellor (1994–2001)
  • Anna Ford, television presenter and journalist. Chancellor (2001–04), Co-Chancellor with Sir Terry Leahy (2004–08)


  • Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco. Chancellor (2002–04), Co-Chancellor with Anna Ford (2004–08)

University of Manchester

  • Tom Bloxham, British property developer. Chancellor (2008–2015)
  • Lemn Sissay, Poet, Writer and Broadcaster. Chancellor (2015–present)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Miguel Esteves Cardoso". And Other Stories. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  2. ^ "Professor Brian Cox: English scholar, poet and editor of 'Critical Quarterly' whose Black Papers sparked debate on education". The Independent. London. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  3. ^ Student Direct Article[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Pat McDonagh, award-winning designer, dead at age 80". CBC. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  5. ^ Fordyce, Evan (2012). "Brian John Marples BA MA MSc FRSNZ FAZ". 2000 Academy Yearbook. Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  6. ^ Yalden, D. W.; Albarella, Umberto (2009). The History of British Birds. Oxford: Oxford University Press: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921751-9.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "The Mammal Society Medal". Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
  9. ^ "Bletchley Park Unveils Statue Commemorating Alan Turing". Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  10. ^ Nandini Mukherjee
  11. ^ Business Daily Africa (2017). "Top 40 Women Under 40 in Kenya" (PDF). Nairobi: Nation Media Group. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  12. ^ Wekesa, Grace (31 December 2011). "Chartered Engineer On Top of Her Game". The Standard (Kenya). Nairobi. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  13. ^ Kettle, Danielle Amanda (2006). Cosmic Microwave Background Interferometer Systems and the Very Small Array (MSc thesis). University of Manchester.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Paul Pester". Businessweek. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Profile: Michael Sherwood - the UK's golden Goldman boy". The Daily Telegraph. November 19, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Lashley, Brian (28 April 2007). "Vintage racer clocks up top honour". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media.
  19. ^ Charlton, H. B. (1951) Portrait of a University, 1851–1951. Manchester: Manchester University Press; pp. 139–41