Professor Graham Wren

University of Cumbria Honorary Doctor, Professor Graham Wren, receives Freedom of the City of London

Born and raised in west Cumbria, Professor Graham Wren OBE FREng FRSE was awarded a University of Cumbria Honorary Doctorate – the highest honorary award given by the university – in July 2023.

In 2023 Graham was also admitted to the Worshipful Company of Engineers - a livery company of the City of London, supporting the Engineers Trust in its educational, engineering excellence, and charitable objectives and the education and training of young people.

In January this year he received Freedom of the City of London and recently Graham was invited to a ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall, London to receive his award in person. The ceremony is one that dates back to the 13th century.

Image-Graham Wren (2)

Graham, pictured right, said: “I am humbled to receive the Freedom of the City of London. London is a city I love and one I'm proud to support. The Worshipful Company of Engineers supports many charities, and I am looking forward to supporting the city and the company in helping charities where I can.”

Awarded an OBE in 2019 in recognition of his services to education, science and engineering, Graham has over 40 years of technology business and science experience working nationally and internationally.

He is currently Senior Executive and Special Advisor to the Principal at Strathclyde University and is also a Professor at the University of Technology in Sydney. Graham is also a member of the Shipbuilding Enterprise for Growth committee of the UK Government’s National Shipbuilding Office.

Graham is working with the University of Cumbria to support developments across its engineering and business areas.

Professor Robert Trimble (Deputy Vice Chancellor) said: “The university is delighted that Professor Wren has been recognised by the City of London in this way and we very much look forward to continuing our work with Graham to increase our engineering education and research provision.”


Notes to editors


Professor Graham Wren OBE FREng FRSE

(awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Cumbria | July 2023)

Born in Workington, Graham became an apprentice at the Workington Steelworks. He attended Workington and Whitehaven Technical Colleges and gained entry to Newcastle University to study Mechanical Engineering.  He then worked as a Project Manager for UKAEA at Sellafield and across the UK.  Graham was director of the Forensic Science Laboratories and the RAF Aviation Toxicology Service and a senior civil servant before joining the private sector.

From 1994 and over the following two decades he worked in, and ran, major companies such as GSE Systems in Europe and was involved in regeneration projects such as Gen2, Energus and the Westlakes Science Park in Cumbria.  He has been a director on more than 30 company and research centre boards and represented the UK Government to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). 

Graham is now Senior Executive and Special Advisory to the Principal at the University of Strathclyde.  Since 2008 he has overseen several ambitious projects to drive engagement with industry.  These have included the Technology and Innovation Centre; the Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystalisation; the Power Networks Demonstration Centre, and the National Manufacturing Institute in Scotland. 

Professor Wren is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.  He is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Director. In 2018 Graham was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 2021 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  He was also awarded the John Williams Medal by the University of Newcastle and the Strathclyde Medal from the University of Strathclyde. In 2019, he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, in recognition of his services to Education, Science and Engineering. In 2023 he was admitted into the Worshipful Company of Engineers.  In 2024, Graham was awarded the honour of Freedom of the City of London.