by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Multi-award winning architect Johann Muldoon MBE has received the annual First Trust Bank Queen’s Graduate of the Year award at the Queen’s Graduates’ Association Charter Day Dinner. A graduate with a first class honours degree in Architecture, and now Managing Partner of Manor Architects in Co.


Derry, this October Johann was the first woman in her profession in Northern Ireland to be awarded an MBE.

When she was just 16 Johann was named UK Young Entrepreneur by Sir Richard Branson and after graduation, became the youngest tutor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, winning two Silver Medals for Architecture and The Royal Scottish Architecture prize.

Earlier this year she was awarded Best Woman Architect in Europe at the Women in Construction and Engineering Awards, with one of her projects shortlisted for the Worldwide Architectural Review Future Projects Award.

Johann, who received a perpetual trophy from the University’s Acting President & Vice-Chancellor Professor James McElnay, said: “’There are certain places in life which we hold sacred. Queen’s University is, for me, one such place.

To be seen worthy of this award is a tremendous accolade in itself and I am genuinely overwhelmed. It is a once in a lifetime moment and something I, and I hope my children, will always treasure. Thanks to those who nominated me and those who chose me out of what is sure to be a very prestigious list.

Fergal McFerran, President of the Queen’s Graduates’ Association said: “The Graduate of the Year award recognises an exceptional graduate who has made a substantial contribution to their chosen field; and there is no doubt that Johann is an incredibly worthy recipient.

“She is renowned as one of the world’s leading female architects and with a string of awards and prizes under her belt, it’s not hard to see why. Johann is a reflection of the exceptional quality of education provided by Queen’s University and is undoubtedly an inspiration to many of our current architecture students,” he finished.

Mark McKeown, Manager at First Trust Bank added: “First Trust Bank are proud to have been sponsoring the prestigious Student and Graduate of the Year awards at Queen’s University for almost 20 years.

This year’s graduate winner Johann Muldoon is a role model who has demonstrated creative ability in her chosen field of architecture winning amongst other awards Best Woman Architect in Europe at the WCEA and continuing to be a champion for women in her profession. She continues to be a passionate supporter of the next generation of young women in business and is a worthy winner of this award.

Previous winners of the prestigious First Trust Bank Graduate of the Year Award include Jonny Bramley, BAFTA award-winning BBC Sport Executive producer, John Leckey, former Senior Coroner for Northern Ireland, broadcaster and wildlife photographer Jonathan Scott and Ramona Nicholas, entrepreneur and RTÉ Dragons’ Den panel member.

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L-R: Mark McKeown (First Trust Bank), Professor James McElnay (Acting President & Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University), Johann Muldoon MBE (Manor Architects), Fergal McFerran (President, Queen's Graduates' Association) and Mark Simpson (BBC).

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