Celebrating the achievements of alumni in Azerbaijan

When outstanding individuals receive a world-class education in the UK, the effects can last a lifetime. The Alumni Awards shine a light on the impact that alumni of UK higher education institutions are making in their chosen field, and how this was sparked by their studies in the UK.

There are four award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial, Social Impact and Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Professional Achievement Award recognising UK alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond.
  • Entrepreneurial Award recognising UK alumni who are active in initiating or contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities that have the potential for strong growth.
  • Social Impact Award recognising UK alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

Some of the benefits of winning a prestigious Alumni Award:

  • Raise your international profile through global press and digital coverage
  • Build your professional networks and business connections
  • Win a professional networking visit to the UK
April 2020 Global Alumni Awards winners announced

The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in December.

Meet this year's winners, finalists and judges

Among stiff competition from a variety of strong applicants, these candidates stood out. Find out what makes their story unique.

Alumni Awards 2020 Winners

Tural Gulu

University of Sheffield - Professional Achievement

Tural is a Head of Division at the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance. He is working on designing and implementing healthcare reforms, which will start in 2020 on the national level after successful pilot project. He is also involved in projects on education and professional development through AUKAA - Azerbaijan-UK Alumni Association. Tural Gulu is a recipient of Presidential Scholarship by the President of Azerbaijan Republic, Youth Award by the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Full Scholarship by the Ministry of Education to study in the UK.

Zumrud Jalilova

University of Bristol - Social Impact

Zumrud is a program specialist in Women’s Participation Program at Counterpart International. Her work on women’s economic empowerment supports business entrepreneurship for young women by organizing training workshops in 12 regions of the country, that provide marketable skills for employment, such as digital marketing, business and leadership.

Jafar Najafov

Coventry University - Entrepreneurship

Jafar is the Founder and CEO of JOOPZY, a multinational eCommerce company. Before his successful venture, he developed over 50 mobile apps and games, winning several startup awards such as the MilliNet and Netty awards. He also contributes to eCommerce Academy Community to enable people to make life-changing incomes through online sales.

Alumni Awards 2020 Finalists

Elvin Balajanov

University of Leeds - Professional Achievement

Elvin is a lecturer at the Baku State University, Faculty of Law, who designs and delivers law modules at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, he is contributing to the development of cybersecurity and data protection laws in Azerbaijan as a corporate trainer at Cybero – Cybersecurity Training Center, delivering professional cybersecurity training focused on cyberlaw and cybercrime.

Orkhan Karimzada

Imperial College London - Professional Achievement

Orkhan is a Reseach Fellow at Hitachi Ltd. Central Research Laboratory in Tokyo, working on a power electronic converter for EV (Electric Vehicle) fast-charging applications. His previous positions include an Associate Dean of the Power Engineering Department at ASOIU and Lecturer at ADA University.

Tural Abbasov

London Metropolitan University - Entrepreneurship

Tural Abbasov is the founder of PlayMonkey - an in-taxi digital information and entertainment platform in Azerbaijan. He tries to add value to passenger time through educational and entertaining content and also contribute to distribution of wealth from businesses to individual taxi drivers.

Murad Muradov

London School of Economics and Political Science - Entrepreneurship

Murad founded an independent political think tank that brings together both the experienced authors from Azerbaijan and beyond, and also provides a platform for young authors making their first steps in political research. He is now building partnerships with think tanks in Europe, working to create long-term fellowship and summer school programmes.

Sovgat Azimova

University of Bristol - Social Impact

Sovgat leads a team that has increased the access to pre-school education for children living in the rural villages in different regions of Azerbaijan. Her work contributes to the development of life, with particular focus on children, education, inclusion, disability, capacity-building and community development.

Narmin Shahbazova

University of Birmingham - Social Impact

Narmin is working to implement changes to the Vocational Education and Training curriculum and learning materials in Azerbaijan, researching the labour market needs, designing curricula and building project infrastructure. The eight competencies which she has identified for the VET students will help them gain practical skills, and improve their qualifications.

Sanan Yusifov

University of Glasgow - Social Impact

Sanan is a public servant at the State Committee for Affairs of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, working to find solutions to various problems facing internally displaced persons. He has led  projects to advance social and economic welfare of women in rural areas, with an explicit focus on rural IDP women.

Alumni Awards 2020 Judging Panel

Summer Xia

British Council Country Director in Azerbaijan

Summer Xia started his career at the British Council in 2004 when he joined the Education Marketing team in China. Since then he has worked in a variety of roles in the British Council global network including its headquarters in London. He has been Director of Operations in Indonesia and Deputy Director in Thailand. Before taking up his role as Country Director of the British Council in Azerbaijan, he was based in Singapore as the Regional Change Transition Lead for East Asia, implementing global change programmes across 14 markets in the region. 

James Sharp

Her Majesty's Ambassador to Azerbaijan

Mr James Sharp was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan in September 2019. He has previously serves as FCO's Policy Advisor, Eastern Europe and Central Asia Directorate, and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan and Non-Resident Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.

Sevinj Hasanova

Deputy Minister of Economy, Azerbaijan

Between 1993 and 2006, Sevinj Hasanova worked in different positions in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Azerbaijan and was involved in fiscal policy formulation and forecasting, budget consolidation and execution. In June, 2006, Mrs. Hasanova was appointed a Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. As a Deputy Minister, Mrs. Hasanova was involved in coordinating the areas of sustainable development, macroeconomic policy and forecasting, social and economic development, strategic planning and others.

Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli

Vice-President, BP Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey

Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli is BP’s Vice President for Communications & External Affairs, Strategy and Region covering Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. In addition to professional activities, Mr. Aslanbayli is also a visiting lecturer of the Baku State University, ADA and BHOS. He is the author of one book and more than 50 professional articles and commentaries. Mr. Aslanbayli was awarded with Progress Medal by the President of Azerbaijan (2017) for contribution to the development of oil and gas industry in Azerbaijan.

Nərgiz Nasrullayeva-Muduroglu

Advisor to the CEO, State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan

Ms. Nargiz Nasrullayeva-Muduroglu is a Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate of Masters of Public Administration with over 20 years of experience in the private sector. In 2017 she joined the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ), the sovereign wealth fund of Azerbaijan, as the Advisor to the CEO.  From 2004 to  2015 she was the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan, the largest international business association in the country. Prior to that, she headed the Regus Business Centre Trading Ltd in Baku.  Ms. Nasrullayeva-Muduroglu started her career in the Baku Branch of HSBC Bank Middle East in February 1997 in the Personal Banking Department moving on to the Trade Finance and Loans Department in 2000.

Alumni Awards 2019 winners

Afgan Bakhishov, University of Manchester - Winner, Professional Achievement Award

As member of Executive Board of FIMSA, Afghan Bakhishov is actively involved in FSMP 2 project of World Bank and contributes to the preparation of laws regulating financial markets. Apart from his daily job, Afghan Bakhishov also takes pro bono cases as member of Bar Association. He was guest speaker and trainer at various types of educational events. Afghan Bakhishov aims to bring international best practices to the legal framework of financial market regulation in Azerbaijan.

Ayan Aliyeva, Bangor University - Winner, Entrepreneurial Award

Ayan is a CEO at A-Level Education Group. As an entrepreneur in international education Ayan’s  main focus is the implementation of alternative interactive approaches to the educational process.  Ayan’s contribution to innovative methodology of language and subjects learning has led to the successful development of critical thinking and analytical skills that students had been lacking in other learning environments.

Tural Maharramov, University of Nottingham - Winner

Tural is a senior environmental engineer at SOCAR (State Oil Company), a lecturer at Khazar University and an adviser to CEO at AZGREEN LLC. To contribute to the development of the society he implements social projects as a chairman of the Azerbaijan-UK Alumni Association. Tural is also doing his PhD in Remote Aerospace Studies.

Rashad Gulmammadov, University of Manchester - Winner, Ambassador's Award

Rashad is the Lead Geomechanics Specialist at Umid Babek Operating Company. Rashad’s everyday work serves to optimize the drilling and ensures increased life time of the oil wells as well as saving money during hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. Rashad is now directly impacting and taking part in ensuring the energy balance of the country by contributing to efficient drilling strategies.

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