UWE Bristol awards Honorary Degree to Sir Michael Pitt

Issue date: 11 July 2013

UWE Bristol will award the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science to Sir Michael Pitt in recognition of his significant contribution to planning.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Environment and Technology on Monday 15 July at Bristol Cathedral.

Sir Michael is currently chair and chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales, the offices of which are based in Bristol.

He said, “I was surprised and delighted to be nominated for this award. The Planning Inspectorate works closely with UWE and I am impressed by the quality of the graduates.

“The award also recognises the major contribution the Inspectorate makes towards national and local planning and examining applications for national infrastructure.”

He was born in Hannover, Germany but returned to the UK and was educated at Devizes Grammar School before attending University College, London. There he was awarded a First Class Honours degree in engineering as well as the Chadwick and Goldsmid prizes.

During the first half of his career Sir Michael was involved in the planning, design and construction of transport and other infrastructure in this country and abroad, working for the private and public sectors.

He has held senior posts in a variety of local authorities, including director of property and director of technical services at Humberside. From 1990 to 2005 he was chief executive of Cheshire and Kent County Councils.

Sir Michael has worked on a wide range of consultancy assignments, including a year-long appointment as independent chair of the government's review of the 2007 floods. His well-regarded report has led to changes in the management of the effects of flooding.

He has been chair of a number of other organisations including NHS South West, the General Medical Council's National Revalidation Programme Board, two companies and a local charity supporting families in North Wiltshire.

Sir Michael was awarded a knighthood in the 2006 Birthday Honours.

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