The head of Computer Sciences at UEA, Professor Gerard Parr, has been given an MBE award for his services in developing the telecoms infrastructure in Northern Ireland (NIR).

The award also recognises Professor Parr’s previous and ongoing dedication within the ICT industry, and also his work for the telecommunications team of the NIR Government Department of Economy.

Invited to work for the NIR Government’s Superfast Rollout Programme for high speed broadband across the country, Parr became Chief Scientific Advisor for Project Kelvin.

This project set up high speed transatlantic submarine fibre link between the UK, Ireland, the USA and Canada.

The new fibre link is near Ulster University, where Professor Parr was originally based before he moved to UEA. Since then, a new science park has been erected there called the Atlantic Link.

In recent work, Professor Parr was the co-author of a major research and innovation proposal with BT Adastral and their Engineering Design Centre in Belfast.

Commenting on his award Parr said: “I am delighted, honoured and humbled that my work has been recognised with an MBE. I hope to take forward and build on my achievements at UEA and in the East of England.”

Parr was not the only person to receive the New Year Honours. Anthony Habgood, former chairman of Norwich Research Park, was bestowed a Knighthood for his services to industry. This recognised his role as chairman to the three FTSE 100 companies: Bunzl, Whitbread and (presently) RELX Group.