Vote now for your alumni winner

The World Changing Alumni Award is an annual University of Glasgow honour, which recognises and celebrates the achievements of alumni who have graduated within the last 15 years and made a major contribution to their field. 

In 2021 we were overwhelmed by the outstanding alumni nominations we received from our University of Glasgow community. 

The World Changing Alumni Award judging committee have whittled the nominations down to just four alumni finalists. 

Vote now for your winner

Voting will close at midnight on Monday 31 May. 

Please note: Voting is open to University of Glasgow alumni only and a 7-digit alumni ID is required to verify your vote. 

Read more about Anas

Dr Anas Almukhtar, PhD Orthodontics (2016)

Dr Anas Almukhtar is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Dentistry at the University of Mosul in Iraq. 

After graduating with a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2016, Anas returned to the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, where he completed his undergraduate study. Anas found that the University had been ravaged by war, the infrastructure had been severely damaged, and the teaching facilities and clinical areas of the Dental College were unusable. 

Anas set about devising a plan to restore and rebuild the damaged facilities. To date, Anas’s work has seen the restoration of 80% of the damaged teaching and clinical equipment at the Dental College. The Library has reopened, and the Dental College building has been repaired and cleaned, allowing teaching, research, and dental clinical care activities to resume. 

Anas campaigned for local, national, and international help, established a research fund, and secured a 15,000 USD grant from an international charity to help build a 3D laboratory similar to the one he had trained in at the University of Glasgow.  

During the pandemic, Anas led an intensive training course on e-learning. The course met its objectives with over 400 delegates and a scientific paper was published in this field.  

Anas also established a patient data filling system and inspired the development of an ethics committee to regulate clinical research at the University.  

Anas helped and supervised masters and PhD graduates, coordinated postgraduate courses, and encouraged his students to submit research findings for publicationHe also established a programme of postgraduate events, including a weekly journal club, educational symposia, and research seminars. Anas himself has published seven  articles in peer reviewed scientific journals since his return to Iraq in 2017established a Centre for Research based on the topics of his PhD thesis and contributed as a founding member of the Iraqi Digital Dental Society. 

In recognition of his ability and commitment, Anas was appointed Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Glasgow Dental School in 2016, and he has maintained his link with the University by collaborating on ongoing research activities  

Anas was selected as a member of the University of Mosul committee to establish academic links with European universities, and in 2020 he visited the University of Glasgow to give a public talk on how his time at Glasgow helped inspire him to rebuild, restore, and modernize the Dental College at the University of Mosul.  

Visit the University of Mosul, College of Dentistry webpage

Vist the University of Mosul, College of Dentistry Ethics Committee webpage

Read more about Fiona

Fiona McPhail, LLB (2007)  

Fiona McPhail is the Principal Solicitor at Shelter Scotland, specialising in Scottish housing and homelessness law and related social justice issues. 

Fiona takes a human rights-based approach to housing law, which recognises the home as much more than a roof over a person’s head.   

In 2019, Fiona was a leading member of a team of lawyers that challenged Serco’s lock change evictions through the Sheriff Court, the Sheriff Appeal Court and in the Court of Session. This challenge temporarily protected 100s of appeal rights exhausted asylum seekers from being evicted on to the streets, and the group of law firms collectively won The Herald's Law Award 2019. Fiona continues to be pivotal in pioneering strategic litigation in Scotland in relation to homelessness and housing poverty. 

Fiona seeks to use the law as a tool to benefit the poorest in our communities and to defend their right to a home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fiona’s team at Shelter Scotland has been a vocal advocate for those who have been made homeless or are living in insecure housing. While enforcement of eviction orders are temporarily suspended and local authorities have provided much of the needed temporary accommodation for those made homeless by the pandemic, Fiona and her team are working to ensure it’s not business as usual when the crisis is over.  

Fiona’s work underpins a commitment to equality of opportunity to legal advice and services to vulnerable members of the community with limited options.  With JustRight Scotland she established a free, confidential legal service and training programme called StrEEt Aware in 2017. This service extends to migrant rough sleeping clients, and those individuals and groups that support them, and is a pioneering social justice collaboration between the Shelter Scottish Housing Law Service and JustRight Scotland, and Streetwork Edinburgh. 

Fiona’s daily work as a lawyer is to fight for vulnerable clients on their rights and ensure that policy and legislation is developed and interpreted to avoid discrimination and enhance equality. 

Read an interview with Fiona about how Shelter's legal team is fighting for the homless during COVID-19 

Read Fiona's reaction to the otucome of the Scottish Housing Regulator's inquiry in Glasgow City Council's homelessness services 

Read about Fiona on the UofG School of Law '100 Voices for 100 Years' centenary project webpage


Read more about Richard

Richard Gadd, MA English Literature and Theatre Studies (2011)  

Richard Gadd is a multi-award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and performer.  

Richard began performing comedy during his time at Glasgow UniversityHis shows, Cheese & Crack Whores, Breaking Gadd and Waiting for Gaddot all debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe and later transferred to the prestigious Soho Theatre in London. The latter won an Amused Moose Comedy Award and a Scottish Comedy Award for Best Show in 2015 

 In 2016 Richard became one of the youngest winners of the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show Monkey See Monkey DoThis show highlighted his experiences of male sexual abuse and subsequent battles with mental health. The show toured internationally, picking up several awards, including the Chortle Comedian’s Comedian Award and a Scottish Comedy Award for Outstanding Achievement. Key nominations included a Total Theatre Award, an Off West End Award, and a Melbourne Comedy Festival Outstanding Show Award. The show was later broadcast on Comedy Central.  

Richard’s latest show Baby Reindeer premiered at the Fringe in 2019. Another autobiographical show which detailed his experiences as a victim of stalking. The show highlighted how cases of harassment are handled by the police, underlining a lack of funding and support for victims.  

It won two awards at the Fringe. A Scotsman Fringe First Award for New Writing and a Stage Award for Acting Excellence. It later transferred to the Bush Theatre in London where it won an Off West End Theatre Award for Best Video Design. Planned transfers to the Ambassador’s Theatre in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway, were postponed due to the pandemic. In October 2020, Baby Reindeer was awarded an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre. It is now being adapted into an eight-part Netflix series.  

Richard is also a successful screenwriter and actor. He has written episodes of Netflix’s Sex Education, Dave’s Ultimate Worrier, and Channel 4’s The Last LegHe has had several written projects broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland. Acting credits include the BAFTA-nominated BBC2 drama Against The Law, BBC3’s Clique, E4’s Tripped, STARZ’s Outlander, and Sky’s Code 404.   

Richard is an ambassador for Survivors Manchester, a charity which offers support for males affected by sexual violence. In 2018 he was granted the Celebrity Ambassador Award for his fundraising work with the organisation. He is also involved with the stalking charity The Suzy Lamplugh Trust.


Follow Richard on Twitter

Follow Richard on Instagram

Read more about Stewart

Dr Stewart Whiting, PhD Computing Science (2015)BSc Hons Computing Science and Business Management (2010)   

Dr Stewart Whiting is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Current Health - a startup with a vision to improve the quality, safety and affordability of global healthcare by getting patients out of hospital sooner and keeping them out for longer.  

The loss of a close family member during his PhD studies meant Stewart experienced first-hand the struggles of managing complex healthcare needs. Although he did not have a biomedical background, his experiences and data science background made him realise the potential for wearable sensor monitoring and AI technology for improving patient lives and outcomes. In early 2015 he started Current Health from his bedroom while writing up his PhD thesis. 

The company develops a remote care delivery support platform comprising its own wireless wearable monitor and health risk management software. The clinical-grade wearable medical device monitors key physiological biomarkers, including respiratory, pulmonary and cardiac and mobility parameters. Simultaneously, the software platform spots concerns and ensures healthcare professionals are alerted to respond and intervene early. The technology frees up hospital beds for those who need them most, allows patients to live independently, minimises risk of hospital acquired infections, improves monitoring in resource-constrained environments and helps medical researchers study new therapies. 

The company has nearly 100 employees worldwide and supports healthcare providers and biopharmaceutical companies and their patients in four continents. To date, it has raised nearly $70M in growth investment. 

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Current Health’s technology has enabled healthcare services to avoid being overwhelmed by remotely monitoring and managing large numbers of patients in their own homes. The company has also helped keep patients safe in some of the world’s largest clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and therapies. 

Stewart and Current Health are working with other organisations to roll out their technology to disadvantaged communities. The company is working in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda, in a study aimed at reducing maternal mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Beyond Current Health, while studying Stewart spent two summers in Silicon Valley as a PhD intern at Microsoft Research. He has also had success in several high-profile Hackathons, including a major win of £20,000 at the 2014 Open Glasgow (Smart City) Transport Hackathon.  



Highly Commended Nominations 2021

We received a huge number of extremely high-quality nominations from alumni based across the world, whose work has made a significant impact in a broad range of industries and sectors. The alumni below have been highly commended for their achievements by this year's judging committee:

  • Siti Noor Munirah Ibrahim (MBChB 2007), nominated for their contribution to public health.
  • Rokas Peciulaitis (MA 2012), nominated for their contribution to responsible venture capitalism.
  • Mariana De Niz (BSc 2010), nominated for their contribution to public health and epidemiology.
  • Carol Ofafa (MSc 2018), nominated for their contribution to electrical engineering and social entrepreneurship.
  • Mashni Al Saeed (MSc 2012), nominated for their contribution to sleep medicine.
  • Suzanne Fletcher (MSc 2014), nominated for their contribution to public health nutrition.
  • Nina Tavakkoli (LLM 2006), nominated for their contribution to environmental law.
  • Kate Elliott (MA 2018), nominated for their contribution to menstrual equity and education.
  • Caroline Boden (MSc 2013), nominated for their contribution to socially responsible investment.