Alumnus wins community award

8 January 2019

Daniel Baker at Gloucester Cathedral

Julia Baker (Daniel's mother), Daniel Baker, The Mayor of Gloucester, CEO of MDUK and The High Sheriff of Gloucestershire (photo by Robert Meadowcraft)

Congratulations to Applied Physics alumnus Daniel Baker ’97, who received the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Award in recognition of “great and valuable services to the community”.

In his presentation speech at Gloucester Cathedral in November, High Sheriff Charles Martell praised Daniel for charitable work that includes his role as Trustee of DMD Pathfinders, a charity that supports adults living with Duchenne Musculur Dystrophy – and for his work with NASA.

Daniel lives with DMD but as the High Sheriff said, he has not “let this condition hold him back from achieving his ambitions”. When he became the Open Source Project Manager for NASA’s WorldWind project, Daniel was fulfilling a childhood dream to work for the American space agency.

The award came as a complete surprise to Daniel, who was at the cathedral for a concert in aid of Musculur Dystrophy UK which he had helped to promote. In fact on the day itself he was suffering from a bad cold that would have caused many people to call off – but as Daniel recalls, “I hadn’t missed this event for years and had no intention of letting them down, I forced myself out of bed and after some adjustments to my mask and checking my Oxygen saturation wasn’t too bad set off.”

Receiving the award was an emotional experience for Daniel. Reflecting back on it he says, “This was a real honour, to be appreciated and have that acknowledged on behalf of the entire county makes me feel like I have worth and am a useful member of society.”

And although Daniel is reluctant to blow his own trumpet, High Sheriff Charles Martell concluded his speech by simply describing Daniel as “an inspiration to all.”

As well as volunteering for charities and working for NASA, Daniel is also a keen photographer and blogger.

Find out more on Daniel’s website