‘Outstanding’ mother and son hailed at Graduation

Mechanical Engineering student Jamie Scott will be recognised for his stellar academic achievements at the University of Dundee on the same day that the institution celebrates his mother’s exceptional teaching.

Jamie (23) will graduate with First Class honours in Mechanical Engineering at the Caird Hall on the morning of Friday, 24th June and will receive the School of Science & Engineering’s Sir James Black Prize during the same ceremony. These annual awards are presented by each of the University’s component Schools to the final-year undergraduate student making the most outstanding contribution to research and scholarship in their field.

Later that day, the 2016 Chancellors Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching will be conferred on Mairi Scott. In addition to being Jamie’s mum, Mairi is Professor of General Practice and Medical Education and Associate Dean (International) at the University’s School of Medicine, Director of the Centre for Medical Education, and Director of the Kuwait Scotland Health Innovation Network.

The St Andrews-based Scott family will attend Jamie’s Graduation in the morning and will celebrate his achievements over lunch before Mairi returns to the Caird Hall in the afternoon. In addition to receiving her award, she will deliver the laureation address for honorary graduate Professor Hilal Al-Sayer.

Jamie hopes to continue his career at the University and has applied to study a PhD in Renewable Energy. During his first two years at Dundee he was involved with the University’s Formula Student initiative that challenges students to design and manufacture racing cars. Jamie also served as a summer intern at NCR’s research and development centre in Dundee and his final-year project saw him develop a prototype of new ATM equipment. 

“Being able to link my internship with NCR to my University final year project was a really good way to achieve something real and tangible and hopefully of use to NCR in the future,” said Jamie.  “Also getting the Sir James Black Prize was totally unexpected. I wrote a paper on how to make power stations more efficient and this was accepted for presentation at a conference. My supervisor was impressed by this and nominated me for the award.

“I was surprised when I heard about the award and it obviously adds to the whole Graduation experience. It’s really nice that my mum is being recognised on the same day and it means there is a lot for the family to celebrate. I’m definitely very proud of her.”

A GP by training, Mairi was Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland from 2003 until 2007 and also served for four years as a board member of the General Medical Council. She has a particular interest in transformational change of health care delivery systems based around education of the workforce.  This interest led to her becoming the Director of the flagship the Kuwait Scotland Health Innovation Network, a programme that delivers a Masters-level course in Diabetes care for health professionals in Kuwait. The project has twice been nominated for the Times Higher Education Award for International Collaboration of the year.

“First and foremost I will be a proud mum on Friday when I see my son graduate and am delighted that Jamie has done so well in his studies and been awarded the Sir James Black Prize,” she said. “I am also immensely honoured to be receiving my own award as I am passionate not just about teaching health care professionals to deliver care to the highest standard but also about the importance of organising a health care system that allows those professionals to deliver care to that high standard. 

“The Medical School at Dundee is a great place to work and due to our size we have a close-knit team that allows many of us to teach both undergraduates and postgraduates. This balance allows us to achieve an innovative approach to delivery based on understanding the pace of change in health care today.

“The delivery model we have developed in Kuwait is easily transferrable across the globe and the best part is that already we know it works as the Kuwait-Scotland programme had led to improvement in health outcomes both in Kuwait and beyond. 

“It’s an amazing coincidence that Jamie and myself are receiving awards on the same day and it will be really wonderful to have the family together to mark the occasion. However I think we all agree that really it’s his day as he has worked so hard for the past four years and we are all really proud of him.”

The University’s Graduation ceremonies take place from Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th June in the Caird Hall. Around 3000 students will receive their degrees and diplomas over the course of the week, one of the highlights of the academic calendar.

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Grant Hill
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University of Dundee
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Email: g.hill@dundee.ac.uk