Other notable New Year’s Honours recipients included a knighthood for Queen’s University professor John McCanny.
The internationally renowned academic, who was awarded a CBE in 2002, was a key player behind the development of the Northern Ireland Science Park.
The 64-year-old father-of-two from Ballymoney said: “I was completely and utterly shocked when I got the letter four weeks ago and I am still in a state of surprise.”
He added: “When we opened our doors for the Science Park in 2004 there was an innovation centre opposite us that had just been opened but there was nothing else there.
“And today there are about 160 high-tech companies, from multinationals to pretty small start-ups, and there’s about 2,500 people employed on the park currently.”
The former director general of the Northern Ireland Prison Service Sue McAllister has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath, as has senior civil servant Leo O’Reilly, currently the permanent secretary at Stormont’s Department for Communities.
Limavady woman Stella Cummings, who has volunteered for the British Red Cross for 37 years, was awarded an MBE.
Yellow Door proprietor Simon Dougan was another proud MBE recipient, gaining recognition for services to hospitality and catering in NI, having expanded from a fine dining restaurant in Gilford to a number of delis throughout Northern Ireland and a busy outside catering business.