Your stories

Where did your Birmingham education take you? Share your updates with your fellow alumni by emailing alumnicommunications@contacts.bham.ac.uk or tweet us @birminghamalum using #wearebrumalum.

  • 1960

    Janet Beat (MA Art History and Music, 1960)

    I have become the first Scottish composer to have a piece of music performed at the Berlin State Opera. Apsara Music 1 for SSA was sung by Ensemble Limewood, the opera’s women’s chorus, in October. The music is published by Furore Verlag.

  • 1968

    Keith G Barraclough (BSc Hons 1964; PhD, 1968; Physical Metallurgy and Materials)

    Man holding a disc of silicon chips, wearing white glovesWhat role does silicon play in the rise of Silicon Valley? I’ve used my 40 years working with silicon semiconductor chip technology to create a layperson’s guide, explaining in simple terms what silicon is and how it became so important to modern life. Cheap as Chips: A Trilogy of the Silicon Age explores the role of silicon (including an invention a colleague and I created) in laptops, smartphones, tablets and a host of other consumer gadgets.

  • 1976

    Emeritus Professor Michael Gleeson (BSc Biochemistry, 1976)

    I worked as a senior lecturer and professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences from 1996-2002. My new book Eat, Sleep, Move, Repeat is the first I have written for the general public and is a healthy lifestyle guidebook. It explains how to live a long and healthy life and I would like everyone to benefit from it.

  • 1979

    Mick Jaroszewicz (BSc Civil Engineering, 1979)

    Three men smiling together in front of wood panellingI now live in Australia and am Managing Director of a Civil Engineering company. I still have great memories of my time in Halls. I’m pictured with fellow alumni Professor Tim Broyd (BSc Civil Engineering 1976; DPhil 1979) and my brother Tony Jaroszewicz (BSc Civil Engineering, 1975) at the Institute of Civil Engineers 200 Australasia Gala Dinner.

  • 1994

    Gavin Russell (BSc Geography, 1994)

    My new book Transformation Timebomb sets out 150 practical adaptations that business leaders can adopt to navigate the new digital landscape. To remain competitive, every company across every industry must rethink their established ways of doing business. Success in the digital age starts with embracing these new realities, understanding the new questions they raise, and developing different answers, before it’s too late. The transformation timebomb is ticking.

  • 2015

    Katie McGrath (BSc Biochemistry, 2015)

    Woman in high visibility jacket holding glass trophy, standing in front of red busesI work as a Development Manager at National Express West Midlands and joined the bus company as a trainee in September 2016 after graduating from Birmingham. I was named national Rising Star of 2019 by the bus and coach industry.

    After just one year in the National Express engineering division, I won the Route One award, which recognises under-30 talent within the industry and identifies the senior leaders of the future.


  • 2015

    Dr Paul Kelly (PhD Dentistry, 2015)

    Dr Paul Kelly holding the book he wrote, King Alfred: A Man on the MoveWhat should one do on retiring from being a dentist? Take it easy? Go on holiday? Or write a book about King Alfred? I found myself doing the latter, relating the history of this great king to our modern landscapes and cityscapes. My book King Alfred: A Man on the Move, is available on Amazon.