Back to all news
Written by:
Paul Holland
12 Oct 2022

This academic year we welcomed seven new Fellows to Trinity Hall during a ceremony that included the admission of the new Master.

The Admission of Fellows and Scholars ceremony last night (11 October) saw the new Fellows joined by Scholars (students who have distinguished themselves in their studies) and the Master, Mary Hockaday.

The College also welcomed two new Honorary Fellows: humanitarian and author Dr Terry Waite CBE and engineering entrepreneur Professor Tony Purnell.

Speaking after the event the Master said: “We welcome seven new Fellows in total this year, remarkable individuals who will enrich the Fellowship.

“It’s wonderful to see the broad range of ground-breaking research which the Fellows are working on and I’m delighted we can also enhance the teaching provision we offer to our students.”

During the ceremony, held in the College’s 14th-century Chapel, Trinity Hall Vice-Master Dr Daniel Tyler welcomed the new Master with the ceremonial question: “Ms Mary Hockaday, you have been elected Master of Trinity Hall. Will you observe its Statutes, and endeavour at all times to promote its honour and wellbeing as a place of education, religion, learning and research?”

The Master responded: “I will” before signing a book and shaking hands with the Vice-Master who then presented her with a copy of the College Statutes. The Vice-Master then said: “I welcome you to the Mastership of Trinity Hall.”

After the Master’s admission the new Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Scholars were also admitted and the ceremony was concluded with a reading by new Fellow, Dr James Davies.

Research Fellows

Dr James Davies is the Gott Research Fellow in Mathematics. His research lies in combinatorics and related fields of mathematics and computer science. Dr Davies’ recent work has been in structural graph and matroid theory and their relationships with geometry. A favourite topic of his is graph colouring, where a typical colouring problem asks for the minimum number of colours required to colour some objects, so that no two related objects receive the same colour.


Dr Frances Rothwell Hughes’s doctoral research investigated the transformation of heraldic imagery in the German Renaissance, examining how artists and scholars from this period scrutinised, subverted and fabricated coats of arms. She joins the College as a Fellow-Commoner in the History of Art. Dr Hughes is an Associate in Early Modern Art History at the University and Director of Studies at Trinity Hall for 2022-23.

Ms Natalie Acton joins Trinity Hall as Fellow-Commoner. She is Head of Student Support at the University of Cambridge and recently led a University-wide Strategic Review of Student Mental Health Provision.

Mr Billy Boyle MBE FREng joins Trinity Hall as a Fellow-Commoner (Industrial Fellow). Mr Boyle is an entrepreneurial engineer who trained as an engineer at Trinity Hall in the late nineties. In 2004 he co-founded Owlstone, a Cambridge University spin out company that has developed chemical detection technologies with applications ranging from toxic gas detection to medical diagnostics.

Dr David Cowan joins Trinity Hall as a Fellow-Commoner in History. He is a prizewinning historian of twentieth-century Britain and has extensive experience teaching in Cambridge, having held positions as Research Fellow at Emmanuel College and Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of History.

Visiting Fellows

Professor Campbell McLachlan KC is Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington, teaching public and private international law and international arbitration and dispute settlement and this year he takes up the Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professorship of Legal Science in the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law. He becomes a Visiting Fellow in Law.

Dr Pål Røren is based at the University of Southern Denmark and has been awarded a Fellowship by the Carlsberg Foundation to spend two years at Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies to advance his research on great powers, status, and diplomacy in world politics. He becomes a Visiting Fellow in Politics.

Honorary Fellows

Dr Terry Waite CBE worked with the Anglican Church in his early career before being recruited by the Archbishop of Canterbury as his Advisor in 1980.

In the early 1980s he successfully negotiated the release of several hostages from Iran and this event brought him to public attention. He went on to arrange further releases until, in 1987 while negotiating for the release of Western hostages in Lebanon he himself was taken captive and remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in total solitary confinement.

He continues to work as a lecturer, writer and broadcaster and has appeared in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and throughout Europe. He is also President of Emmaus UK, Founder Chairman (and now President) of Hostage UK, Founder President of Y Care International (the international relief and development agency of the YMCA in the UK and Ireland) and Patron of a wide range of organisations. He received a CBE in 1992.

Following his release on 19 November 1991 he was elected a Fellow-Commoner at Trinity Hall where he wrote his first book Taken on Trust.

Professor Tony Purnell was formerly Fellow-Commoner (Industrial Fellow) in Engineering at Trinity Hall before becoming an Honorary Fellow. An engineer and entrepreneur Professor Purnell founded Pi Research in 1986, quickly dominating the race car electronics market. In 2003 Ford appointed him Team Principal of their Formula One Team, Jaguar Racing. A keen racing cyclist, he joined GB Cycling in 2013 to lead the so-called Secret Squirrel Club, focused on the application of technology to cycle racing. The Team won a total of 24 medals, topping the tables at both Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

He is now part of a team based at the Whittle Laboratory researching aviation decarbonisation. Professor Purnell has been a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor (since 2006) and in 2017 elected a Fellow of the Academy.

Top image left to right: Dr Frances Rothwell Hughes, Natalie Acton, Billy Boyle