Martin Paul Ashmead awarded an Honorary Degree
Date published

17 March 2023

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Martin Paul Ashmead awarded an Honorary Degree

Date published
Date published

17 March 2023

The Open University has awarded the Honorary Degree of "Master of the University" to Martin Paul Ashmead, Fellow of the Institution.

Martin Paul Ashmead FIStructE, at 83 has been awarded Masters of the University (MUniv), one of the highest honours of the Open University, recognised him as one of society’s most outstanding achievers.

Martin joined 10,000 graduates at the ceremony, and is probably the only Chartered Structural Engineer to have received an Honorary Degree from the Open University.

Only four people were awarded Honorary MUniv degrees in 2022.  Martin joins a distinguished list of honorary graduates including Gordon Brown, Joan Armatrading MBE, Sir David Attenborough, Sir Quentin Blake, Marcus du Sautoy and Lord Robert Winston.

So what drives the man behind the accolades? The man who has been an active and enthusiastic member of the Western Counties Regional Group since 1970 and a member of the Institution of Structural Engineers for more than 60 years. He has been a Fellow for more than 40 years and has mentored generations of structural engineers and others.

He has a passion for sharing the knowledge he has gained through many years of study and work experience. He is recognised for his charisma and for being incredibly knowledgeable; his lecturing ability has been rated as outstanding by all who hear him. His passion for engineering and education are plain for all to see, or to use Martin’s own words “the joy of passing on the knowledge I have to others”.

Open University Award Ceremony Video footage of Martin Ashmead receiving his Honorary MUniv.

Martin asks people coming to his talks or lectures, to grade him out of ten. This grading system is a way for him to understand if people are still interested and learning from him.

This feedback has also led to some comments that perhaps explain why Martin’s contribution has been recognised:
“Martin can explain the most complex theories in such a way that anyone can understand, I suppose that is the kind of knowledge you gain with over 60 years in the industry”.

Another comment: “One of the best presentations, if not the best in structural engineering. Privileged to attend, it’s a 9/10 from me”.

Martin also contributed regularly to many articles and one prompted, "Further to our telephone conversation I would repeat that I consider your item absolutely splendid, once again, many thanks for which must be the best item yet".

Martin has also received the IStructE Sir Arnold Waters Medal in 2017. This annual prize recognises the best presentation to have won a Regional Group award in the previous year.

In 2022 Martin was also recognised with the IStructE Lifetime Achievement Award, and the “Martin Ashmead” prize is now awarded annually to the candidate from the Western Counties region who achieves the highest mark in the Institution’s membership exams.

Martin is also an accomplished sportsman, was a regular Badminton player until recently, and a black belt in both Karate, third Dan and second Sash Kung Fu. He still teaches Karate to this day.

A true “all-rounder” and this honorary award is another one on the list of his many achievements.

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