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Queen's Birthday Honours 2011

Professor Peter Elias, Institute for Employment Research, has been awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours list. The award comes in recognition of Professor Elias' contributions to social science.

CBE stands for Commander of the British Empire. It is awarded by the Queen to recognise public service.

Professor Robert Lindley, the director of the University's Institute for Employment Research, gave the following reaction to Professor Elias' award:

"Peter's contribution to the social sciences has, indeed, been truly outstanding. In particular, few would have been able to handle the very difficult job as Strategic Adviser for Data Resources to the ESRC as ably as he has done. He was the first person to take on this role in 2004 and the way he has both established the role and carried it out should make everyone in the Institute proud on his behalf.

It is easy to take for granted Peter's capacity for combining such a high level of social science awareness and technical capability with his flare for bringing different interest groups together. When he was leading the first IER project that led to the creation of the UK's Standard Occupational Classification from the several being used and strongly defended by different government departments and public agencies, I would say to him that it was an exercise not in research but 'statistical diplomacy'. Subsequently, it did actually become a matter of international diplomacy as he was drawn into advising both the Statistical Office of the European Commission and the International Labour Office and giving them the means for achieving multi-country agreement, accompanied by a succession of IER projects in this field around the creation and utilisation of occupational classifications.

Peter has done much else besides, of course. However, more recently, the qualities that have marked him out in the field of social sciences data resources have been spotted by the European Commission when looking for an 'honest broker' as rapporteur for a multinational, multidisciplinary Expert Group to make proposals for the enhancement and development of research infrastructure across the European Research Area. This involved consideration of and negotiation of the funding infrastructures across the European science field.

So, a truly splendid outcome for Peter, who will no doubt forgive the Institute for gaining by association with his achievement!"

Professor Elias has worked across a wide variety of research areas over the last 30 years. These have ranged from the evaluation of large-scale government programmes, statistical monitoring of the status of particular groups in the labour market, the study of occupational change and the relationship between further and higher education, vocational training and labour market outcomes. Related to these research areas, he has developed methods for the measurement and analysis of labour market dynamics and has a keen interest in the classification of labour market activities. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Dr Nat Alcock, Emeritus Reader with the Department of Chemistry has also been recognised in the Birthday Honours list. He was awarded an OBE for his "voluntary services to Vernacular Architecture".