June 17, 2023

Professors Paul Newman and Alison Noble are appointed Commanders of the British Empire (CBE) for services to engineering and technology, and engineering and biomedical imaging respectively.

Services by members of the Department of Engineering Science have been recognised and celebrated in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours list.


Professor Paul Newman is appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to engineering and technology.

Paul Newman, BP Professor of Information Engineering, says, “Engineering is always improving the way our world works, so it is humbling to be honoured for contributions to that discipline. It matters greatly to me that this profession’s rich contribution to our lives is celebrated. This honour is a reminder to the wider public of the good that engineering does in the world. And for me, as a member of this department, it also shows how a career here — in an environment crammed with outstanding colleagues and students — makes research, teaching and entrepreneurship not only possible but a pleasure.”

Professor Newman founded the Oxford Robotics Institute, which enjoys a world leading reputation in mobile autonomy, developing machines which roll, walk, poke, swim and fly in the real world. His research work focuses on pushing the boundaries of navigation and autonomy techniques in terms of both endurance and scale. In 2014 he founded Oxbotica, a spinout company focused on Mobile Autonomy. Professor Newman has already been elected fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the IEEE with a citation for outstanding contributions to robot navigation.

He says: “In the past 20 years, our world has changed almost beyond recognition thanks to innovations in information engineering. And there is much more to come. It remains a privilege to teach, learn and think alongside my outstanding colleagues at Oxford. Together we are using robotics and AI to transform the way we move people and goods now and into the future.”


Alison Noble, Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Engineering and Biomedical Imaging.

Professor Noble’s academic research interests are at the inter-disciplinary interface of artificial intelligence (computer vision) and biomedical imaging with her group at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering best known for its work on machine learning-based ultrasound image analysis. Recently, it was announced that she is a recipient of a UKRI Turing AI World-Leader Researcher Fellowship themed around human-machine collaboration in healthcare imaging (from October 2023).

Professor Noble was a member of REF21 Subpanel 12 (Engineering) and has served on several UKRI (EPSRC and MRC) committees, including as Chair of the EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Strategic Advisory Team (SAT). She is a current member of the EPSRC Science, Engineering and Technology Board. Professor Noble is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET), and of the Royal Society. She is a former IET Trustee and was appointed a Vice President and Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society in 2023.

Professor Noble comments, “It is a tremendous honour to receive a CBE for services to Engineering and Biomedical Imaging. I am very fortunate to work with many incredibly dedicated colleagues, and talented postdocs and students, at Oxford, UK-wide and overseas. This honour is a recognition not just of my work but also that of the outstanding people that I have had the privilege to work with.”