In a ceremony in London this week Colonel Alan Roberts, who is a deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, was one of a select band to be given the distinction in medical sciences award since 1815.
One notable invention Col Roberts has worked on was a soft tissue adhesive for the rapid closure of wounds – the Indermil Tissue Adhesive – which he said has been described as “a revolution in surgery”.
Speaking about his work, Col Roberts said: “You see how people’s lives have changed because you’ve got something right for them, which is a nice feeling.
“Making people’s lives more bearable and liveable – that’s what it’s all about.”
His research has been used world-wide, and he has received an OBE and MBE together with honours from other nations, in addition to being awarded a Prince Philip Medal for research in the field of implantation materials in 1970.
Professor Roberts is also a former Vice President of the Royal Society of Medicine and former Pro-Chancellor University of Leeds.
During a military career, following national service he served in the reserve army Royal Artillery.
As a Lieutenant-Colonel he commanded Leeds University Officers Training Corps between 1972 and 1979, was appointed Colonel as Deputy Commander to the General Officer Commanding North East Military District 2nd Infantry Division from 1980 to 1983, followed by the Commandant Yorkshire army Cadet Force between 1984 and 1988.
He was also Aide-de-Camp to the Queen between from 1980 to 1984.
Col Roberts lives with his wife Margaret in Morley and has two sons, Martin and Adrian.