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Honours for RCA Provost Sir James Dyson and HELIX Centre Co-Director Professor Lord Ara Darzi

Sir James Dyson, OM, CBE, FRS, Provost of the Royal College of Art, and Professor Lord Ara Darzi, OM, KBE, PC, FRS, Co-Director (along with Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art) of HELIX and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College were both awarded the Order of Merit in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List. The List, published annually, recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.

The Order of Merit was established in 1902 by King Edward VII. Admission into the order remains the personal gift of the Sovereign and is restricted to a maximum of 24 living recipients from the Commonwealth realms along with a limited number of honorary members. As such, the Order of Merit is often referred to as the pinnacle of the British honours system. Recognised for distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, or the promotion of culture, members are awarded the right to use the post-nominal letters OM and a medallion for life.

Sir James Dyson, appointed Provost of the Royal College of Art in 2011, is widely acclaimed as one of the world's most successful and influential design entrepreneurs. He was knighted in 2006 for his services to business. In 2010, Sir James’s report for the Conservative Party, Ingenious Britain, called on the Government to re-awaken Britain's innate creativity and competitive spirit. 

A graduate of the Royal College of Art and a Member of Council since 1998, Sir James has long been a generous supporter of the College, and his educational charity, The James Dyson Foundation, has a close relationship with the College. Sir James joins David Hockney as the second RCA alumnus among the 24 members of the Order.

Professor Lord Darzi holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research. He is Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and Chair of Imperial College Health Partners. Research led by Professor Darzi is directed towards achieving best surgical practice through innovation in surgery and enhancing patient safety and the quality of healthcare. 

Professor Lord Darzi was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery in 2002. In 2007, he was introduced to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham.