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Twenty-nine years after stepping on stage to collect her own undergraduate degree, Louise Brooke-Smith returned to Sheffield City Hall to collect an honorary doctorate yesterday.

Louise, who was the first woman president and first Sheffield Hallam University alumnus to be named president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), collected her own degree from the former Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1986.

And in a few years' time she will be back at the City Hall again as her daughter is starting a degree in construction management at the University in 2016, revealing the news in a podcast.

When Louise became the 133rd President of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), she broke into a male-dominated world as its very first female President.

RICS is an international professional body with a history going back nearly 150 years and represents 180,000 members and students from across the land, property and construction sectors.

As President, Louise specifically championed a range of initiatives, including the role of property in politics, the expansion of the real estate sector within Sub Saharan Africa and diversity in all its forms across the built environment.

This culminated in the launch of the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark, the first such initiative for the property sector in June 2015.

Louise Brooke-Smith collects her degree

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Louise has nearly 30 years’ experience as a Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Town Planner both in the UK and overseas.

Louise has worked for the UN and other NGOs on development, construction and land-use projects across Africa and India but is perhaps best known for establishing Brooke-Smith Planning, 20 years ago in Birmingham. 

An award-winning planning and development consultancy, her Practice offers professional advice on town planning, land use and development matters to public and private sector clients.

10,000 students will graduate this year at ceremonies in Sheffield City Hall. Nine inspirational figures from a variety of sectors will join them on the stage this year, receiving honorary doctorates for outstanding contributions in their field.

Sheffield Hallam's graduation ceremonies are taking place at Sheffield City Hall from 9 to 20 November 2015.

For press information: Laurie Harvey in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email