Welcome from Head of School

Welcome to the Graduation edition of the School of Engineering newsletter. Our focus for this edition is the success of our students – particularly those who have graduated recently and those who have won a valued prize.

Graduation took place in the Bute Hall on Wednesday 1st July 2015 and at that ceremony we had two honorary grandaunts Charles Berry and John Scott Younger; Mayuree Chanasakulniyom won the Alan Stirling Brown Prize for most outstanding PhD student and Gareth MacMillan who won the GUES medal.

The graduation ball was held at the Glasgow Central Hotel, on Friday 3rd July and was a great success. Tweet us your best photographs from the graduation and grad ball at #GUESgradball to share your memories with your friends and classmates.

The staff in the School of Engineering wishes those of you who graduated this summer great success in your chosen career. We would love to keep in touch with you and hear about that you are now planning to do. There are a number of ways you can do this LinkedIn, Twitter @GlasgowUniEng or by emailing your details to eng-school-liaison@glasgow.ac.uk.

The school has had a successful accreditation visit from the Joint Board of Moderators (Civil Engineering) and we are delighted that all Civil Engineering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees have been accredited for the next five years.

I hope you have enjoyed browsing the latest edition of the newsletter and if you have anything you would like to be included in the October edition of the newsletter, the editorial team would be very interested to hear from you.

Honorary grandaunts - CHARLES ANDREW BERRY

Charles Berry is one of Scotland’s most successful engineers, with an outstanding and inspirational career.

Charles is a Glaswegian, studying first at Kelvinside Academy and then at this University, where he graduated with a First Class BSc in Electronics and Engineering in 1974. Later he studied for an MSc at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In all three places he was an outstanding scholar, being dux of Kelvinside Academy, winning the IEE prize for the top graduate in Electrical Engineering here, and being top of his class at MIT.

Charles’ association with Weir Group started in 1970, when he worked in their Apprentice Training Centre before starting his engineering degree. He is now Chairman of the Board of Weir Group.  During his degree, Charles developed an interest in electronics rather than in heavy engineering, and enjoyed summer internships with Barr and Stroud. After graduating, he joined their infra-red systems development team.  Charles returned to Barr and Stroud, which became part of the Pilkington Group from 1984.  In 1990 he was recruited by Compagnie Generale des Eaux, but after a year or so took the opportunity to join Scottish Power and return to Glasgow.

Charles left Scottish Power in 2005 and has since held a series of high profile board positions, as a Board Chairman and Non-Executive Director.  He is currently Chairman of Senior plc, and, in 2013 followed Lord Robert Smith as Chairman of Weir Group.

Charles’ career demonstrates where an engineering degree can lead, both in achievement and in variety of roles. Young engineers, including Charles, are motivated by seeing objects being made and assembled into a useful system or machine. But a good engineer does not work in isolation. Charles is a team player.

These days he finds time to be Chair of the ‘Brick by Brick Appeal’, an appeal to raise £21m to rebuild the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice as a state of the art facility in Bellahouston Park. As well as transforming the environment for care, this new Hospice will contain a facility unique in Scotland for the care of adolescents.

As a leader of industry and as a public servant, Charles Berry is an inspiration to engineers and all those involved in technology.

Honorary grandaunts - John Scott Younger

Scott comes from a family of Glasgow University educated engineers; both his grandfather Archibald Scott Younger and father John McNeil Younger preceded him.

He graduated here in 1962 and through the recommendation of Professor Hugh Sutherland, and a Fulbright Scholarship, studied for a Masters at the University of California (Berkeley), in Geotechnical Engineering. 

In 1965 Scott became a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde and remained there until 1972.  As a student, Scott had dipped his toe into the waters of industry and was involved in landmark engineering projects such as the construction of Longannet power station and the Breadalbane and Awe hydro schemes. 

Around this time, Scott became involved in politics. 

Scott remained in politics for three more years before deciding between his engineering career and politics.  He chose the former and in 1978 left the UK, first to work in Saudi Arabia and then in Thailand.  He has worked in Asia ever since. 

Based in Thailand working on road projects, and spending some time as an Associate Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, he took part in several aid-agency projects to other countries, notably Burma, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

After Bangkok, Scott was briefly in Hong Kong, engaged in foundation work for the iconic China Bank Tower but still travelling to other regional projects, with Sarawak and Brunei being added to his expanding list.

In the mid 1980’s he accepted an eighteen-month contract on a road betterment project in Indonesia.  This was one of the defining moments of his life because Scott has lived in Indonesia ever since. Soon he found himself at the Institute of Technology Bandung leading a team creating a British Master’s degree in Highway and Transportation Engineering.   He remained involved with this programme for seven years during which it received the 1991 IBM award for Sustainable Development.

Scott is currently a Director of PT Nusantara Infrastructure, a leading company in Indonesia supporting many different sectors of infrastructure development.  He is President Commissioner of Glendale Partners and since 1999 he has been Commissioner/Adviser of the East Bali Poverty Project, a Bali-based sustainable development project that has transformed the lives of 17,000 people from abject poverty to a thriving community. The list of business advisory bodies and major infrastructure projects that he has been central to is almost endless.  It is not surprising that in 2003 his career in business, academia and public policy earned him an OBE.

Somehow he found time to gain a PhD from Hong Kong University in 1989 and to write over 80 technical papers, winning the 2013 Overseas Paper prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers for his paper on Sustainable Development for the East Bali Poverty Project.   He is a regular invited speaker and writes articles as a columnist for the Globe Asia magazine and for Forbes magazine and the Jakarta Post.  Last year, he published a book, “Dedication to Infrastructure”, that outlines why he is the “go to” person for major infrastructure development in Indonesia.

Scott retains strong links with this University.  He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow and promotes the University extensively in South East Asia.  He also facilitated our engagement with Indonesia and has supported the formation of an active alumni group there.


Congratulations to Mayuree Chanasakulniyom the winner of the Alan Stirling Brown Prize and Gareth MacMillan the winner of the GUES medal.

 Mayuree Chanasakulniyom










A full list of all of our prize winners can be found here.


Infrastructure Projects – Update

Acre Road

The end is in sight for the completion of the supersonic research facilities as the installation phase is almost complete. There will however be several weeks of commissioning and testing work carried out on each element of the new plant now installed before the final handover.

The installation of the model positioning system for the National Wind Tunnel facility has been completed with only final commissioning required. Preparatory work is underway in advance of the installation of a wing-stall rig which will be arriving in October/November.

Quantum Technologies Hub

The construction of the mezzanine level to accommodate the Industrial Innovation Space has been completed and a manufacturer for the clean rooms for the JWNC expansion has been given the go-ahead to progress this crucial element of the project. This highly complex project involves the integration of a number of services, plant and cutting edge technologies and is proving to be a true challenge for the design team to manage all these various elements. However it is envisaged that all these aspects will be completed towards the end of the year.

Mechanical Workshop Relocation

The handover date for this project will now be 7th September due to the inclusion of an additional corridor in order to comply with revised Building Warrant instructions. All the machine tools are in place but electrical and compressed air supplies are still being installed. The remaining workshop equipment will be transferred late August early September with the hope of providing a full service later on in September. A small student training workshop is being developed in the Hammermen Lab in the JWS. It is envisaged that a prototype training programme will be trialled using the Formula Student team before rolling out a more comprehensive programme integrated into the teaching/lab timetable.

Lecture Theatre R361 JWS

“This is breaking new ground for us and will help to shape our thinking as we develop the new Learning and Teaching Hub.  It really marks the beginning of the process of transforming our learning landscape.” Professor Frank Coton, Vice Principal: Academic & Educational Innovation enthusing about this renovation due to be completed by the end of August.

Minor Works

R427b a teaching space in the JWS has undergone a transformation with a complete redecoration including flooring and furniture. The upgraded AV kit is being installed at time of writing. Crucially the team managed to retain the previous occupancy numbers.

The Water Engineering Lab at Rankine is now a bright electrically safe and compliant space after the necessary upgrade of electrical systems and lighting.

Rankine Building Fire Door Replacement

In order to upgrade the non-compliant fire doors throughout the building E&B have initiated this project. To date the work has been mainly confined to levels 7 & 8, ceiling tiles have been removed and new grid and tiles are being fitted. The doors have still to be delivered as they have to be made specifically for each corridor. The contractor has been working out of normal hours to limit the upheaval and impact on building users. It will be into October before this one is completed.  

Bio-Lab, Concrete Lab and FS Garage

The contractor working on the Workshop relocation project has been instructed to renovate three additional locations to accommodate these three activities. A room will be extended and developed for the Bio-Lab in the basement of the Rankine Building. The concrete production area will be slightly reconfigured to accommodate testing and teaching within a more confined space. The Formula Student team will be re-housed in the garage area previously occupied by the Bio-lab. All three to be completed by 7th September 

Student Activities


The 2015 AIAA/Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff was held at TIMPA Field in Tucson, AZ on the weekend of April 10-12, 2015. This was the first year that a team from the University of Glasgow had ever entered and the team certainly got off to a ‘flying start’ placing 19th out of 84 competitors.



The newly formed GU Robotics Society have also enjoyed success this year winning the MMU Embedded Systems contest in Manchester. Their projects were presented to professors from The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, engineers from Altera, IET, ARM and Xilinx. Details of the projects can found on this link: http://www.soe.mmu.ac.uk/ucesd/


This year, two students from Biomedical Engineering have joined forces with 8 other students from MVLS to participate in the global iGEM competition http://2015.igem.org/Main_Page . This is an international event, where teams of undergraduates from around the world aim at showing off their skills in synthetic biology. In Glasgow, they are currently midway through 10 weeks of hard work to earn the right to travel to Boston and present their work in the hope of doing better than the gold medal from last year (http://2014.igem.org/Team:Glasgow). For them, this is an incredible experience getting hands on with exciting and cutting-edge science with a dedicated team!

Their project, GlasGlow, is centred around bioluminescence in bacteria, making bacteria emit light! Through a brainstorming with an Industrial Designer from Glasgow School of Art, the project has been focussed on the idea of using a bioluminescence system in children nightlights. Using bacteria, they plan to engineer a switch that turns on bioluminescence in the dark, hoping to interest parents and children in the potential of Synthetic Biology. To achieve this they will engineer (through biochemistry) a UVA sensor to enable the bacteria to sense light and ‘switch on’ when light is off. They are using techniques of biochemistry and genetics, but also computational modelling and rapid prototyping along with engineering.

The project was showcased at a ‘Meet the Expert’ event at the Glasgow Science Centre on the week-end of the 1-2nd of August (http://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/special-events/meet-the-expert-events.html) and their progress can be followed through social media (https://www.facebook.com/igemglasgow2015/) and the official wiki of the competition (http://2015.igem.org/Team:Glasgow

First sketch of the cuddly monster that glows in the dark

For the teams fundraising page please see http://www.gofundme.com/z6e3b6zg

Formula Student

And Finally, Formula Student who also enjoyed success at Silverstone this summer taking:

17th place for Class 2 overall results

44th Design Event Results

51st Class 1 overall results

51st Cost, Manufacturing and Sustainability Event Results

UAS Grand Challenge

School of Engineering students take part in Institute of Mechanical Engineers UAS Grand Challenge

Issued: Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:19:00 BST

Undergraduate students from the School of Engineering took part in the first UAS Grand Challenge organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Here each team were tasked with designing an autonomous unmanned airborne system that could take-off automatically, fly to a designated site, search for a specific marker, deploy an aid package, fly back to base using a different flight plan and land – all without human intervention! The team proposed a unique H-frame quadrotor, designed to allow each rotor hub to tilt individually, much like the V-22 Osprey. Unfortunately, despite demonstrating the aircraft could perform all of the mission task elements during pre-flight checks, the UAS suffered catastrophic damage during a test flight conducted by the IMechE with their own pilot. Sadly, this means the team couldn’t be ranked this year, but were will be better prepared next year….

Visit the University of Glasgow MAST Lab YouTube page to see an excellent video diary of the grand challenge adventure: Click Here