Professional Excellence Award

This award recognises the outstanding achievement of a graduate who has excelled in their field. Meet the shortlisted finalists:

Manuel Mantero Tocino aka Manolo Mantero

BA (Hons) Electronic Media Class of 1998

VFX Supervisor
DNEG / Digital Domain

Nomination by Manolo Mantero (self):

Manolo Mantero is an accomplished VFX supervisor with well over a decade of experience in delivering exceptional visual effects for feature films, episodic and commercials. He is currently supervising Stranger Things season 04 and his work on the film Dune won an Oscar in 2022, BAFTA and VES awards. Manolo worked on renowned projects such as Bryan Singer’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ Warner Bros.’ ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’ as CG Supervisor. Recently, Manolo finished working as Sequence Supervisor on Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated ‘Dune’ and Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Death on the Nile.’ Prior to these, he served as a VFX Supervisor on Netflix’s ‘Rim of the World’ and on Sony Pictures’ ‘Men in Black: International’ supervising Montreal's sequences. Additionally, on the commercials side, Manolo has worked with several high-profile clients, including Procter & Gamble, Publicis, Grey Global, Saatchi & Saatchi, TVE and more. Manolo graduated from the University in 1998 and has lived and worked in the UK, Europe, Australia, and Canada. He is a trusted partner to creatives across the globe striving to achieve the highest calibre of visual effects work. 

Chris Woods

BSc (Hons) Computer Science Class of 1999

CyberQ Group

Nomination by Professor Prashant Pillai:

Chris is an experienced leader and entrepreneur within the cybersecurity realm, previously managing elite and innovating cybersecurity teams at the European Space Agency, HP, Fujitsu and UK Government with over 25 years of pure cyber-Security experience. Chris is the Founder and CEO of the CyberQ group based in Birmingham. CyberQ Group is an award-winning UK-based cyber-security services provider with a global reach, having overseas offices in USA, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the Philippines. The core team are all experienced cyber and risk professionals and subject matter experts helping clients select the right mix of IT security solutions, services and products to make your business cyber resilient. Chris was a mentor and advisor to cyber start-ups part of the Cylon (Cyber London). Previously he was Director of Information Security for Qatar foundation, Chief Security Officer at HP and Senior Security architect at Fujitsu.

Sadie Bennett

PG Cert Applied Sports and Exercise Science Class of 2008

Cardiac Clinical Scientist
University Hospitals of North Midlands

Nomination by Sadie Bennett (self):

I am an Advanced Clinical Scientist within echocardiography providing diagnostic and managements plans to patients with heart valve disease. I have produced 18 publications in peer reviewed journals including national triaging and indications for echocardiography and national guidelines in assessing cardiac function during pregnancy. I have presented four research abstracts at local and international conferences and am a regular presenter at local, national and international conferences on cardiac pathologies, promoting education to the wider cardiac science workforce. Previously, i have been an Education Facilitator at Manchester Metropolitan University for the Healthcare Science Degree programmes (2014-2017) and the 2022 award recipient for "Associate of the National School of Healthcare Science",  awarded for contributions to advancing cardiac science and echocardiographer careers within healthcare. Currently, I sit as Chair of the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) Accreditation committee and as a BSE council representative (3 year term, 2020-2023). This prestigious role sees me work at a national level to improve the education of echocardiographers within the UK. During the Covid-19 pandemic I developed and implemented a virtual assessment to replace our previously F2F assessment day. This enabled the continuation of healthcare professions to become independent practitioners within echocardiography. This has led to a positive impact on the national workforce shortage of echocardiographers and has seen over 250 newly accredited echocardiographers join the current workforce.

Watch the Awards Ceremony