Entrepreneurs to be awarded Honorary Degrees

Two top entrepreneurs are to receive honorary degrees from the University of Glasgow for their outstanding contribution to business and industry.
Jim McColl, Chief Executive of Clyde Blowers is to receive a Doctor of the University honorary degree on Commemoration Day on Wednesday 18 June.  And Dr Ian Nussey, first chairman of IBM UK’s Technical Consultancy Group will receive a Doctor of Engineering honorary degree at the Faculty of Engineering graduation ceremony in the Bute Hall on Thursday 3 July.

Professor Frank Coton, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering said: “The honorary degree is being awarded in recognition of Jim McColl’s significant contribution to the development and growth of the Engineering and Manufacturing industry in Scotland. Starting out as an Engineering apprentice, his keen sense of business backed up by formal qualifications has transformed him into one of the country’s leading industrialists.

“He has had strong interaction with Universities on a range of levels and will be a key speaker on the Executive Development Programme on globalisation that Glasgow University’s Business School is running in conjunction with Columbia University.”

Professor Robin Leake, Vice Principal said: “Ian Nussey was one of the first people to persuade our engineering students that they need understanding of management practice as well as technical skills.  Through his collaboration with The Institution of Engineering and Technology, he has done much to rekindle science & engineering interests within the general public.

“Dr Nussey has worked for IBM for over 40 years. He managed IBM UK’s Warwick Development Group, set up in 1980 to turn good ideas into marketable software products and also became the first chairman of IBM UK's Technical Consultancy Group and a Vice-President of the IBM Academy of Technology. He now works on University Relations for IBM.

“Dr Nussey has been the major figure in initiating, launching and supporting the Glasgow-IBM strategic relationship, a scheme which has brought significant benefits to the Department of Electronics and Engineering at the University of Glasgow and has assisted with the IBM awards, PhD Fellowships and placements. We are delighted he has accepted the nomination of an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow.” 

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593

Notes to Editors:

Jim McColl OBE

In 1992, Jim bought 29.9 per cent of Clyde Blowers plc, a small engineering company with a full listing on the London Stock Exchange. Prior to purchasing his stake in Clyde Blowers plc, it had a market capitalisation of £2.2 million. In 1999 Jim led a management buy-out of Clyde Blowers plc to take the company private.

Over the past 10 years the Clyde Blowers portfolio has grown significantly and has developed into a portfolio of global engineering companies. During 2001 the Clyde Blowers business was reorganised into discrete independent companies focusing on core markets. These businesses each have their own ownership structure but what is common is that the Clyde Blowers executive team has been the driver of the strategic direction. Jim received the ‘Alumnus of the Year Award’ from Strathclyde University in 1998, the Entrepreneurial Exchange ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ for 1999/2000 and the Ernst & Young ‘Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ for 2001.

In 2001 Jim was honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with an OBE. In July 2005 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh awarded Jim McColl with The Prince Philip Medal 2005 ‘Certificate of Achievement’ for an outstanding contribution to the engineering industry and in May 2006, Jim was presented with a Scottish International Business Achievement award from HRH The Princess Royal.

Dr Ian Nussey OBE

Dr Ian Nussey OBE MA PhD FREng HonFIET FIMechE FBCS was educated at Bromsgrove School, Downing College Cambridge and the University of Birmingham. Dr Nussey joined IBM UK as a systems engineer specialising in manufacturing applications.  He successively founded the company’s high-flier student programme that he went on to run for over thirty years, managed the joint Molins/IBM team which created the software for System/24, the world’s first Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) and led the IBM part of the 16-partner AIM Eurodiabeta team which used diabetes as the paradigm for improving chronic health care through the use of IT.

Until formal retirement, he managed IBM UK’s Warwick Development Group, which he had set up in 1980 to turn good ideas into marketable software products. He also became chairman of IBM UK's Technical Consultancy Group and a Vice-President of the IBM Academy of Technology. Nominally retired, he still works for IBM, principally on University Relations.

He has been a non-executive director in several small manufacturing and IT companies. Past and current public service includes contributions to engineering institutions, the Royal Society, universities, charitable trusts and many parts of government. Elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1984, he currently serves on its Council.

First published: 27 March 2008

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