A FORMER Marling School student has received a rare honour for his work in researching weather systems.

Professor Giles Harrison, 48, studied lightning and clouds using an instrument carried by a balloon which he developed specifically for his research.

He was awarded a doctor of science degree by Cambridge University for his contribution to science.

Only a few such degrees are awarded annually.

His work researching atmospheric science at the University of Reading led to the publication of more than 150 academic papers.

More than 50 of these were scrutinised by Cambridge before the degree was awarded.

“Growing up in Gloucestershire was a great inspiration and helped me to develop a fascination with the natural world” said Prof Harrison.

“As boy I remember being captivated by how the weather works and wanting to find out more. I am fortunate enough to have been able to carry that desire for discovery into my adult life and career.

“There is still so much to learn about the science of our chaotic and complex climate system. Understanding the atmosphere has never mattered more, and it is gratifying to know that my work is helping to make a small difference.”

Born in Stroud, Prof Harrison attended Uplands Primary School before moving on to Marling.

He studied at Cambridge before obtaining a PhD from Imperial College London in 1992 and now lectures on atmospheric measurements in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.