University announces honorary doctorates

Published: 31 May 2019

Recipients range from distinguished scientists in James Watt bicentenary year to Outlander star Sam Heughan in Dumfries campus's 20th anniversary year

Two hundred years after the death of James Watt, the University of Glasgow is honouring four distinguished scientists on Commemoration Day – 12 June 2019 - in recognition of their contributions.

On July 3, the University's Dumfries campus will mark its 20th anniversary by honouring five individuals whose achievements are linked closely to the undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Actor Sam Heughan - best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the TV drama series Outlander  - is to receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries campus in recognition of his artistic success and his charitable work. 

The University is also conferring the honorary degrees of Doctor of the University at Dumfries on Wednesday, 3 July, on Dr Fiona Armstrong, Lady MacGregor, TV journalist and Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries: Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of The Sutton Trust; David Mayer de Rothschild – a British adventurer, ecologist, environmentalist and head of the charity Sculpt the Future Foundation; Alice Thompson, co-founder of Social Bite, which started in 2012 as a sandwich shop in Rose Street in Edinburgh which operated as a social business, giving away all profits to good causes; and Andrew Walls FRCS, Convener of The Crichton Foundation.

On Commemoration Day, Dr John (Iain) Glen, founder of Glen Pharma Ltd, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc) for his discovery and development of propofol – a chemical whose rapid action and freedom from residual effects have made it the most widely-used agent for induction of anaesthesia in patients throughout the world. He studied veterinary medicine at the University of Glasgow and on graduation specialised in veterinary anaesthesia.

Mark Logan, a technologist and business leader who, as its Chief Operating Officer, helped to lead Skyscanner to a £1.5bn acquisition by C-trip in 2016, will also receive a D.Sc.

Doctorates of Engineering are being awarded to Craig Clark, founder of Clyde Space, which has helped establish Glasgow as a leading international centre for space technology; and to Karen Dinardo, a highly-respected Civil Engineer who is currently the first female President of the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.

Another distinguished scientist is being honoured in the James Watt bicentenary year: Professor Dame Ann Dowling, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, will become an honorary Doctor of Engineering at the RSE/RAEng James Watt Lecture on Wednesday, 5 June, at the University where she will also give a lecture entitled "Inspiration and innovation: The Role of Grand Challenges in Engineering Development".

Commemoration Day will also see a number of other honorary degrees conferred. 

A DUniv (Doctorate of the University) is being awarded to Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner, Hong Kong, McKinsey & Co. A law graduate of the University of Glasgow, Mr Sneader is one of the most influential figures in the world of business. Despite having worked across the world, Mr Sneader’s roots remain very firmly in Scotland. He has retained close links with the University’s debating fora and most recently brought his philanthropic skills to the University’s Campaign Leadership Board.

Among the other recipients of the award Doctor of the University (DUniv) are: Sabir Zazai, CEO of the Scottish Refugee Council; Bernard Higgins, Chairman of the Board of the National Galleries of Scotland; Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Co-Founder and CEO of SNOOP and a strong proponent of encouraging women to work in the financial sector; and Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, recognising her contribution to higher education and to equality and diversity.

Sir Iain MacLeod, Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, receives an Honorary LLD (Doctor of Laws) while Katharine Viner, Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper, receives an Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt).

In other summer graduations, Lady Rita Rae – Scottish lawyer and Senator of the College of justice – will receive an Honorary LLD; arts journalist Mary Brennan will receive a DLitt; and Professor Sir David Omand, Vice President of the Royal United Services Institute, will receive a DUniv.

Professor Anne Neville, Professor of Tribology and Surface Engineering at the University of Leeds, receives a DEng for her pioneering contributions to the field of tribology – she has also been a powerful advocate for encouraging wider participation in engineering, particularly for girls.

First published: 31 May 2019