Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Faculty of Science - Thursday 23rd June 2016, 11am

Difficulty: 0

PROFESSOR SIR JIM MCDONALD: And a very warm welcome to the University

of Strathclyde here

at the magnificent Barony Hall which will be an excellent ceremony

and we certainly have a full house today.

And for those of you who have been visiting Glasgow for the first time,

I should say this is a very typical weather that we are experiencing,

seasonably cool for this time

of the year but do put up with us.

we have quite a number of graduands set to become graduates

as we will work through today from Physics,

and Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences,

but on these special occasions we usually get some real treats.

Today, have an additional couple of features that you can enjoy.

so, before the ceremony starts,

and I will officially have us open

in a moment,

we will be conferring an honorary degree on an outstanding

scientist about whom you will hear something shortly, Sir Peter Knight

who is with me immediately on the left. A great friend

and a great friend to the institution and has achieved a great deal

with an enormous impact for the UK and internationally.

And post the graduation of our students, which is the highlight

for the family and friends, of course, we will be awarding

the alumni of the year to Debbie Crosby

from the Clydesdale Bank.

One of our graduates,

someone who has had a wonderful career

and a great many years ahead in terms of the rest of her career

but we want to recognise her contribution to finance and banking.

So quite a treat this morning,

we should you have out by 19:30 tonight at that rate.

Nonetheless, please do enjoy the ceremony and with that

I will formally declare this congregation open

and invite Professor Erling Riis, the head of the

Department of Physics, to introduce our graduate.

PROFESSOR ERLING RIIS: Principal and Vice Chancellor,

I have the honour to present to you Professor Sir Peter Knight.

We have in front of us a true pioneer

of modern theoretical atomic physics and quantum optics.

Over the course of his career, Sir Peter has published more than 400

articles in international journals and has become one of the most highly

cited quantum opticians in the world.

He is also, more than anyone, been the one,

who has united and led a research field

in the UK spanning the fundamentals of quantum physics

to the applied work supporting a growing photonics industry.

Many of us at Strathclyde - myself included -

owe a great gratitude to Sir Peter

for his inspiration as a scientist, an international

ambassador for the optics and for his determined effort

to represent our research field at the political level.

I first got to know Peter in his role as coordinator

of what was then the SERC Nonlinear Optics Initiative

in the early 1990's.

His work back then to support the UK quantum optics community

was probably a contributing factor to me ending up here.

More recently his impact has extended further

through his leadership in establishing

a UK Quantum Technology initiative.

Without necessarily appreciating it we use quantum physics every time

we use a piece of electronics -

switch on the TV, pick up a phone,

search the internet, etc.

However, so far we do not use anything like the full power

of the weird and subtle nature of quantum physics.

The harnessing of this and translation into a whole new industry

is Peter's vision for the next stage, which so far has received

approximately 300 million pounds of UK Government funding.

This is an initiative, that aligns particularly well with Strathclyde's

research activities and desire to create impact and we have done

very well out of it.

Related to this is also Peter's role at the National Physical Laboratory,

where it was he, who originally got us started on the journey,

that has now led to Strathclyde playing a leading role

in the operation of this national laboratory.

Peter received his doctorate degree

at the University of Sussex back in the early 1970's.

He tells me that he was originally an experimentalist,

but somehow life in the lab was not kind to him and he became a theorist.

Personally I think that was a great move.

Had Peter been as successful in experimental physics as he has been

in theory, experimental quantum optics would have been

a daunting discipline to enter for the rest of us.

He soon joined Joe Eberly, one of the theoretical leaders

in quantum optics,

at the University of Rochester and after various personal fellowships

he ended up at Imperial College in 1979 where he progressed

through the ranks to now being an Emeritus Professor.

He is also a former Head of the Department of Physics,

Principal of the Faculty of Natural Sciences

and Deputy Rector for Research,

where he was responsible for the College's research strategy.

Sir Peter is a Past-President of the Optical Society of America

and he was for 7 years a member of their Board of Directors.

He was President of the Institute of Physics from 2011-2013

and made an Honorary Fellow in 2014.

He has won a number of prizes and awards including the Thomas Young

Medal and the Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics, the Ives Medal

of the Optical Society of America and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999

and knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2005

for his work in optical physics.

Peter is by no means the kind of person,

who just retires to look after the grandchildren.

He is currently Senior Fellow in Residence at the Kavli Royal Society

International Centre at Chicheley Hall where he supports

what is described as 'a new home of science' where scientists,

technologists and engineers can meet,

discuss and develop their work.

He has in the past been Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK National

Physical Laboratory and currently chairs their Quantum Metrology

Institute and is a Board member

of the UK National Quantum Technology Initiative.

He continues to advise the UK Government on scientific matters.

It has been an exceptionally fruitful experience for me to work with

Sir Peter over the last quarter of a century.

He has been a friend, a close ally and a strong supporter

of our activities at Strathclyde and the way we seek

to bring the benefit of our work out to the wider world.

It is with great pleasure therefore Principal and Vice Chancellor that,

with the authority of Senate, I ask you to confer upon Sir Peter Knight

the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa.

PROFESSOR SIR JIM MCDONALD: I create you a Doctor of Science, Peter,

it's a great pleasure to invite you to the University of Strathclyde

and many congratulations. Well done.

PROFESSOR SIR PETER KNIGHT: Now is my chance to say a few words.

Firstly, I am so delighted to be here.

I've collaborated with Strathclyde University

for many years.

It's always been a joy to be here and see the creativity

and the inventiveness of what we see here in this great university.

It's nice to see some of my old friends here, colleagues.

Let me say a little bit about how my career

and Strathclyde have some parallels.

John Anderson,

in his will in 1796,

insisted that he felt that it was necessary to have a place

of 'useful learning'.

It is kind of odd that he,

as a professor of natural philosophy,

didn't think that his alma mater did that, but we are delighted that

that vision turned into the University of Strathclyde.

A place to pursue new knowledge,

impart it to the next generation

and to apply it for the common good, to address major global challenges

and to create new technology.

Now those kinds of vision statements

about what a university should do drives Strathclyde.

Curiously, it also drives Imperial College where I spent

most of my working life.

There are parallels.

Imperial College is a kind of younger sister of Strathclyde.

You had a Royal College of Science and Technology.

We were founded as a Royal College of Science in London,

rather a long time after you were.

We were not founded until 1845.

So we are your junior sister, but we share this common aspiration

that not only should we do great

science but that science should be applied to change

the world we live in.

Science is really something that should be fundamental

to the way we live our lives.

It creates the new economy,

the science budget, which sounds a lot of money, five, 6 billion

per annum spent, is not a spend, it is an investment.

It creates the new economy.

Now who's going to create that new economy but you as our new graduates?

The new graduates have been given the tools by the University

of Strathclyde to help change our world.

So let's focus on your subjects, the new graduates.

Life scientist, biologist, physicist,

what can you do and what will you do?

Well, of course, life sciences is one of the great successes

of the UK economy.

Pharmaceuticals play an enormous role

in generating employment,

wealth, and conquering disease and relieving suffering.

It is a fantastic achievement

of the British scientific enterprise

that this translation from life sciences and fundamental biology

into that kind of discovery has been transformational.

How about physics?

One of the things that is worth

stressing about Strathclyde

is that you undertake a spectrum of activities

from the fundamental to technology changing developments

and in particular in photonics.

University of Strathclyde is a world leader in photonics,

it has the Institute of Photonics.

Why is it important to the UK?

Because photonics contribute,

rather unexpectedly perhaps to some,

to a greater proportion

of the UK GDP than pharmaceuticals.

That is kind of unknown to many people and the activities of folks

here in Strathclyde

have led to the creation of companies and employment

and it contributes 85,000 jobs

around the UK.

It has enabled us to do so much more in terms of advanced manufacturing.

The iPhone that many of you have and I hope they are on silent,

is manufactured with at least 18 different sorts of lasers.

Many of which were developed here in Scotland

and very much by alumni of this university.

So this university has given you your chance,

it has equipped you with the tools that this great university has given.

To work out ways in which you, as our new graduates,

can help us change the world for the better,

to make sure that we stay a knowledge-driven economy

with the kind of insights that you have been given

in this great university to play your role.

I'm very conscious of the honour that I'm given here at Strathclyde.

It has been a wonderful opportunity

to meet everybody here again,

old friends, and to be able to articulate my view

that what you are doing here

in Strathclyde is of enormous importance to us.

Thank you.

SPEAKER: Principal and Vice-Chancellor,

in the name of the University and by the authority of Senate

I present to you these students for the degree of

Doctor of Engineering in Photonics,

Joseph Andrew Thom.

For the degree of Doctor Of Philosophy

for research in the Department of Physics,

Amy Jane MacLachlan.

Niall David Simpson.

For research in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy

and Biomedical Sciences,

Nor Zaihana Binti Abdul Rahman.

Jenny May Crowe.

Kelly Anne Etherson.

Rhona Jane Galloway.

Thomas Harwood.

Jana Katharina Hiltner.

Laura Hutchison.

Laura Kate Jeffrey.

Nurkhalida Kamal.

Alaa Abbas A Kashmiry.

Steven Robert Katchur.

Sajjad Ali Khan.

Felicity Elspeth Lumb.

Nicola Louise McGinely.

Shakhawan Khalid Mawlood.

Mireia Puig.

Louise Ritchie.

Kirsty Anne Robb.

Robert John Slack.

For the degree of Master of Research in Drug Delivery Systems,

Stephen Amoah-Nyako.

In Drug Discovery,

Hazel June Ramage.

For the degree of Master of Science in Advanced Physics,

David George McLellan.

In Nanoscience, Christopher Murray.

For the degree of Master of Physics in Physics,

Matthew Brown.

Andrew John Farrell.

Ross Johnston.

Gemma King.

Craig Scott Murdoch.

Adam Michael Ross.

Scott James Thomas.

Samuel Anderson.

Alan Ian Brown.

Nick Bruce.

Matteo Demelas.

Martyn Alexander Hunter.

Jonathan Jarrett.

Steven Lennox.

Gregor McDowall.

Stacey Nicolle Mitchell.

David Newton.

Philip Doyle.

Anthony James Howley.

In Physics with specialisation in Complex Systems,

Mathias Weisen.

In Physics with specialisation in Nanoscience,

Elaine Katrina Adair.

In Physics with specialisation in Photonics,

James Denholm.

Mark James Carmichael.

In Physics with specialisation in Quantum Optics,

Leon Chan.

Benjamin Alan Ross.

Karen Wallace.

For the degree of Master in Science in Biochemistry,

Ross Joseph Kerr.

Colin Sloan.

In Immunology,

Rhiannon Williams.

In Pharmacology,

Lindsey Ann Bennie.

Jennifer D'Alessandro.

Ciaran Docherty.

Osamudiamen Okungbowa.

For the degree of Bachelor Of Science in Physics,

Ryan Brebner.

Hayley Carroll.

Zoe Eleanor Davidson.

Jennifer Anne Evans.

Samantha Hume.

Ryan Fraser Patrick Mitchell.

Andrew Paterson.

Jan Schniete.

Gioan Tatsi.

Syed Ali Sinan Amjad.

Nathan Dalgleish.

Craig Doris.

Ryan Healy.

Luke Kavanagh.

Lee McCann.

Jamie Mackle.

Jack Martin.

David Donald Matheson.

Kieran Mitchell.

Carolyn Sarah O'Dwyer.

Andrew Samuel Phillips.

Nicholas Quinn.

Heather Simmons.

Ryan Speirs.

Scott Donald Whiteside.

Anna Whyte.

Samuel Robert Beattie.

Sean Joseph Deighan.

Michael Gates.

James Gill.

Thomas Edward Healy.

Emma Jane Henderson.

Lee Jardine.

Jonathan Lui.

Stacey Leanne McDevitt.

Amy Kathleen McKelvie.

Gwen Morris.

Callum Reynolds.

Callum Ian Runciman.

Andrew Smith.

Rhys Ferguson.

Connor Wasson.

Callum Kirkpatrick.

Andrew Monaghan Thomas.

In Physics with Teaching,

Joanne Baillie.

Nicole Slavin.

Nikki Toal.

Hannah Mairi Sutherland.

In Biochemistry and Immunology,

Alina Dana Paduraru.

Diana Onodelia Rios Szwed.

Andrew Cox.

Anthony Sean Duffy.

Andrea Lovdel.

Peter Smith.

Rachel Burke.

Daniel Grant.

In Biochemistry and Microbiology,

Mark Mackenzie Harris.

Rebecca Elizabeth McHugh.

Klaudia Norko.

Carolin Peper.

Jennifer Nicoll Rae.

Anthony Patrick Starkey.

Stephen John Ballantyne.

In Biochemistry and Pharmacology,

Calum Hugh Fergusson Hunter.

Lauren Elizabeth Rodger.

Stuart McEwan.

Morgan McKenzie.

Helen Malley.

Simone Lynzie Melrose.

Peter James Miller.

Scott James Mitchell.

Callum Andrew Baxter.

Clare Friel.

Paula Seyi-Ogedengbe.

Darren Walker.

Safia Ali.

In Immunology and Microbiology,

Laura Elizabeth Kennedy.

Ellis Beltrami Monaghan.

Ryan Craig Houston.

Alexander Sebastian McIntyre.

Graeme Mark Steele.

Julia Margaret Stubbins.

Rebecca Lee Tonner.

Yee Kay Hazel Yung.

Holly Crook.

Kirsty Mary Maclean.

In Immunology and Pharmacology,

Simon David Fisher.

Olivia Hannah Louise Davison.

Jennifer Ann Dickson.

Sophie Jane Dunlop.

Ben Johnston.

Megan Macpherson.

Dale Morgan.

Frances Seehafer.

Sinead Cahill.

Aurelija Gerlinskaite.

Claire Haughey.

Rachel Lisa Wilson.

Lyndsay McKerns.

In Biomedical Science,

Louise Claire Bann.

Robyn Campbell.

Jordanna Magee.

Nicole Susan Dailly.

Catriona Gilmour.

Nikita Hoikay Grover.

Stephanie Hickey.

Victoria Jardine.

Cokine Kayya.

Roshanak Kianpour.

Brian Lafferty.

Emma-Jayne Daly McElhinney.

Kristina McEvoy.

Charlene Mckechnie.

Murray James McPherson.

Cameron Garroch Paterson.

Craig Alexander Ian Polonis.

Maaria Saleem Rana.

Ryan Liam Shearer.

Caroline Mary Summers.

Namrta Bhopal.

Robyn Dawson.

Claire Duffy.

Scott David Hawklyn.

Jed Lennox.

Aliyah Anber Shafiq.

Jade Slaven.

In Forensic Biology,

Emma Heddleston.

Kayleigh Mcleish.

Nicole Toni Widdowson.

Gordon Williamson.

Alistair David John Barr.

Sarah Louise Duffy.

Luke McGill.

Stephanie McGill.

Jennifer Macis.

Abigail Sara Miller.

Rebecca Jane Orr.

Alan Daniel Outram.

In Biological Sciences,

Alexia Asch-D'Souza.

Teal Acara Hunt-Richards.

PROFESSOR SIR JIM MCDONALD: Well, ladies and gentlemen,

wonderful celebrations and thanks for

joining in the process, it always brings more life to the hall.

As we conclude the graduation process,

as I mentioned at the start of the graduation,

we are now going to have another special part of this day.

We will now invite Professor Eleanor Shaw,

from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship,

to introduce our alumna of the year.


PROFESSOR ELEANOR SHAW: Principal and Vice-Chancellor, I have the honour

to present to you Debbie Crosbie.

Graduates, friends, families and colleagues,

I am delighted to introduce you all to Debbie.

Today, we are celebrating the class of 2016.

This is your day -

many congratulations to all of you and to your families.

You've earned your degree and the right to stand proud

as a graduate of the University of Strathclyde.

You now join a strong family

of over 154,000 alumni

and as you take your next steps in your personal development

and your careers you can continue to put

"useful learning" into practice by contributing

both economically and socially.

The University of Strathclyde is rightly proud of the achievements

of its alumni and each year we celebrate

the outstanding achievements our alumni

through our Alumnus, or as in the case today,

our Alumna of the Year Award.

This special award is one of the ways

in which Strathclyde recognises and celebrates

the outstanding contributions which its alumni make to their chosen

field, in the UK and overseas.

Recipients of this award are inspired individuals and role models

for Strathclyde students, alumni, staff and the wider community.

This is particularly true in the case of today's recipient: Debbie Crosbie.

The Award recognises Debbie's outstanding contributions

to financial services and is recognition of the ground-breaking

achievements which Debbie has made

across the banking sector and throughout the Scottish economy

more widely.

Particularly in this Year of Innovation, Architecture

and Design, this award is recognition

too of Debbie's innovative attitude

and behaviour and the contributions

she had made across the banking sector.

Debbie is joined today by her husband Craig,

daughter Charlotte, her mother Sylvia and her partner Ray -

I am pleased to warmly welcome you and hope you really enjoy your day.

You've got lots to be proud of.

Debbie Crosbie graduated from Strathclyde in 1991

with an Honours degree in Industrial Relations.

Following a spell with the Prudential Assurance Company,

Debbie joined the Clydesdale bank in 1997.

She soon started to specialise in IT

and by 2004 she was responsible for the governance and management

of the Bank's IT investment in the UK,

including quality assurance, risk and security.

In 2008, Debbie was appointed Chief Information Officer

and in this role, she was instrumental

in unifying the different infrastructure and operating systems

of both Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, no easy task I am sure!

However Debbie rose to the challenge

and indeed was so effective in this role

that in 2011, her responsibilities were expanded to

include oversight for payments,

collections and recoveries as well as all back office processing

for the bank.

In 2014, Debbie joined the Boards of Clydesdale Bank

and National Australia Group Europe

as an Executive Director and in January 2015,

Debbie was appointed to her current position as Chief Operating Officer.

In the short period since then,

Debbie has really made her mark on the Bank.

In February 2015 Debbie became acting Chief Executive Officer

and took charge of the UK business

just as it started to plan its separation from

the National Australia Bank.

Even after the new permanent CEO took up his post,

Debbie maintained her involvement

in the demerger project. She met investors and analysts in

Australia and Europe to promote

the merits of a standalone Clydesdale Bank.

In February of this year Clydesdale Bank

become an independent UK company again

and completed its Initial Public Offering.

Debbie was there when the Company successfully listed

on the London Stock Exchange

where its shares have risen by 50% in just four months.

The bank is now poised to enter the FTSE 250.

Debbie made history when she became the first female executive

to sign Scottish banknotes -

I'm lucky to have one in my hand here today -

strong evidence, indeed, of the contributions

which Debbie has so far made to the banking sector

and more widely to the achievements of women in business.

Away from banking, Debbie served as a non-executive director

of the Scottish Court service

for 3 years during which time she was also Chair

of their Audit Committee.

Debbie has also provided evidence to the UK Parliament's inquiry

into Women in the Workplace and she is a Fellow of the Chartered

Institute of Bankers.

Over her career, Debbie has displayed ambition,

boldness and innovation - important values

which are shared by the University of Strathclyde

and values which today's class of 2016

are encouraged to embrace and to demonstrate throughout your careers.

It is with great pleasure, therefore,

Principal and Vice-Chancellor,

that I ask you to present the Alumna of the Year Award to Debbie Crosbie.

PROFESSOR SIR JIM MCDONALD: Debbie, many congratulations

on becoming our alumna of the year.

You are a role model, of course,

for our colleagues in the business school,

but our scientists and pharmacists and physicists,

they can take inspiration from your wonderful achievements.

Wonderful to have you back again and looking forward

to developing our relationship with you further.

Ladies and gentlemen, Debbie.

DEBBIE CROSBIE: Principal, Vice Chancellor, Professor Shaw,

graduates, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I am very honoured to receive this award today.

I'm very grateful for Professor Hillier for nominating me

for this award and I would just like to thank Professor Shaw

for the very kind introduction.

I feel very privileged to be joining the long list of previous winners.

And if I'm honest, slightly surprised.

As I reflect on the wealth of talent

that the University has nurtured over many years,

and the contribution that it's made to sports, science, commerce

and culture, that its graduates have made,

I don't consider my achievements to be particularly special.

What I do recognise as special however,

is the grounding that my life and education in Glasgow has given me.

Firstly at school in Bearsden

and of course secondly here at this great University of Strathclyde.

Whilst our exact place in the hierarchy remains a favourite

for political debate, I still firmly believe that the Scottish education

system is still the very best in the world.

The reputation of our teaching and learning attracts students

from far and wide and

our sense of community ensures the warmest of welcome in our cities

and on our campuses when students arrive here.

Our quality of life encourages many to continue to live

and work in Scotland beyond their graduation.

And that is as true today as it was when I graduated now

just about exactly 25 years ago to the day.

In 1991, when I was sitting exactly where you are,

I'm not sure I truly understood how special graduating was.

At 21 I was a young graduate -

I'm sure you're already thinking that -

but the combined wisdom, support and encouragement of my family,

every teacher, ever tutor I've ever encountered,

I realized that despite all of that

it was now up to me to make my own way.

So very luckily, I soon joined the Clydesdale Bank,

one of Scotland's oldest brands

and it was indeed a place where I'd opened my first bank account

when I was only 14 years old.

At 29 I was given the great honour to join their Executive Committee -

if I'm honest, probably slightly out of my depth but very keen to learn.

As Eleanor has so kindly outlined,

I've had the chance to do many different jobs in the bank

and I have been fortunate to work with many talented people.

I've been involved in some very special projects,

however I realise only now how important the grounding

that I received at this University

was in every step of developing my career.

So please, graduates, really enjoy today,

because you've got a fantastic start,

but do have the confidence in your own ability to learn

and develop and in finishing,

I would like to pass on one little known fact

and give you a little piece of advice.

As I said earlier, I opened my first bank account with Clydesdale Bank

I've been its Chief Information Officer, its Chief Executive Officer,

and I'm on the board.

And, fantastic that I got the opportunity and privilege to be

the first lady to sign a banknote.

However, as I finished University

I participated in the milk round process.

As you can imagine, I was very keen to join Clydesdale bank,

as a Glaswegian who had opened my first bank account there

it was a clear favourite choice for me.

I went through the process,

and I went through a series of interviews and I have to tell you,

at the last hurdle they rejected me.

Fortunately I did secure another job with Prudential

and the Clydesdale bank very quickly

saw the error of its ways and recruited me five years later.

The reason I tell you that story is because as young gruduates

you now have a fantastic grounding and great opportunity

and everything is not gonna go to plan.

So you must take your great grounding,

your stamina, your enthusiasm

and your great ambition, which I'm sure you have, and who knows

where you could all be in 25 years.

So finally...

I'd just like to thank my family for their unwavering support,

and thank the university for this great honour.

I wish you all the best.

PROFESSOR SIR JIM MCDONALD: Debbie, thank you very much for that.

In the context of the science faculty,

Debbie's last story reminds me of the Einstein quote

that we only fail when we stop trying.

And Debbie clearly kept that tenacious approach

to building her career.

I should also tell you, by way of confession,

just to give you an idea of the times

that the university finances are these days,

that 20 pound note

that Professor Shaw showed you actually belongs to Debbie.


I just felt I had to share that with you.

But, anyway, let us turn to matters importantly for today.

Let me again, ladies and gentleman,

reiterate our welcome to all of you at this important ceremony -

a day that none of you will forget.

It marks the successful conclusion of many years of hard work -

you've now graduated in front of your proud family and friends

and you should have the satisfaction now

that you're beginning the next stage of

your lives equipped with an excellent education,

and we've seen a great product of our education here

in Debbie and her speech,

and also you have had a great student experience -

and, of course, now with a Strathclyde degree.

You have a valued passport to your future career.

Today, we welcome visitors from all over the UK and - indeed -

all over the world - we are delighted to see each and every one of you

here at today's celebrations.

For me, as presiding officer, it's a great honour

for me to perform the capping exercise.

it's a simple - but ancient - ritual rooted variously in China of some

2,000 years ago and in the Middle East

really marking the transition to adulthood from childhood.

But today, of course, we mark your transition into the future

of your career, whatever that may be.

For each of you - when I touched your head with a cap -

it was a formal acknowledgement of your hard work.

It recognised the days spent in the lecture theatres in the laboratories

and the nights in the library - of course, and ultimately

the passing of your examinations.

That particular cap, incidentally, was a gift to the university,

just a couple of years ago, from the Glasgow School of Art

who designed it and manufactured it for us

in honour of our fiftieth anniversary of the award of a Royal Charter.

And, of course, as you finish your travails as students,

Thomas Edison - the famous American inventor and industrialist

said that -

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration".

I'm sure in the Strathclyde student's case -

those percentages might have been a little better than that!

Today, you have become Strathclyde alumni,

and you are the latest of our torch bearers -

like many generations of graduates before you.

Strathclyde students are some of the UK's most highly sought after

by the employers including

RR, Siemens, GSK, Astra Zenica

and many others from the business sector

from the public and academic sectors.

In a recent survey, Strathclyde was recognised in the top five UK

universities producing the highest numbers of chief executives.

And with all you've successfully come through - I know you would agree -

that you couldn't have done this without the support and encouragement

of your families and friends.

It's fitting that we acknowledge

their part in the successful completion

of your University studies.

Our graduates - and the University at large -

owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

As the first in my own family to have attended University -

as it happens - here at Strathclyde,

in the Dept of Electronic and Electrical Engineering - I know

the importance of such support.

I am sure that today's graduates - and our University staff -

would like to take this opportunity to thank

your families, friends, and supporters

for all that they've done to make today possible.

Thank you very much indeed.


Sir Isaac Newton - the historical physicist, said -

"If I have seen further, it's because I've stood on

"the shoulders of giants."

There's no doubt that your families and friends have provided

those shoulders for you to stand on.

And for our academic staff too this is a very important day

because your success is their reward.

Strathclyde has worked hard to provide you with a high quality

education, and, a first class University experience - for all of

our students, regardless of background.

So let me now invite our new graduates to join with me -

in thanking our staff - for all that they have done to support you

in your journey and achievements. Thank you.


You should be aware that we were

established in 1796.

This is our 220th Anniversary, and, throughout our history,

the University of Strathclyde has remained faithful

to our Founding Principles.

We were established - and I quote - "for the benefit of all mankind".

It is worth noting that we were the only higher education institution

established in Scotland during the time of the Enlightenment -

a real distinction for the University of Strathclyde.

And we are now driving our modern strategy forward in that same

exciting spirit - making it wholly relevant to the 21st Century.

Our Founder -

Professor John Anderson, a physicist or natural philosopher -

had strong links with Benjamin Franklin - the American inventor

and academic.

Franklin was one of the founders of the University of Pennsylvania

in 1751 - with the motto of "Useful Knowledge."

This directly influenced John Anderson,

along with his friends,

resonated beautifully with Strathclyde's motto of

"Useful Learning" and never has this

philosophy been so relevant

since our establishment over 200 years ago.

This motto - known by all of our staff and students - still defines

our purpose as a leading international

technological university.

Across our campus - and in the buildings

you will have passed on your way to the Barony Hall today -

our academics and students

are developing drugs to diagnose and fight diseases and illnesses and,

for example, we have two drugs en route to clinical trials

and one of our spinouts -

MIRONID - just this week raised 4.5M pounds

to fund the development of drugs to tackle degenerative kidney disease,

cancer and inflammatory disease.

We are producing energy technologies

and policy solutions to tackle climate change

and to establish a low carbon economy.

We are revolutionising global manufacturing

and helping to create the 4th Industrial Revolution -

the so called Industry 4.0.

Our students continue their work in Africa to establish water and power

supplies and to deploy health care approaches for remote communities.

They are bringing prosthetic limb technologies to those in need

in India and many are working to inform public

policy & national economic strategy.

They are providing people with opportunities to transform their

lives and the lives of their families and, as I referenced earlier,

we still attract many first generation University students

to Strathclyde

and finally - we are giving business and industry the tools that they need

to be more innovative,

to promote economic growth, to create jobs

and provide us all

with a more sustainable and healthy quality of life.

These are some of the reasons that we've had a terrific sequence

of independent recognition of what we do and how we do it.

Over the past 4 years we've won the Times Higher Education

UK Research Project of the Year,

UK University of the Year,

followed by becoming the UK Entrepreneurial University

of the Year.

And with regard to education - in the most recent teaching quality

assessment - we were delighted to receive the Highest Possible ratings

for our teaching quality and methods.

This was acknowledgement of our commitment providing our students

with the best education & experience.

In December 2014, the National UK Assessment of Research Quality

was published - this happens every 5-6 years -

and we were pleased with the results.

They confirmed that Strathclyde is

has the number one Physics department

in terms of research quality in the UK.

Number four in Pharmacy & Biological Sciences,

number four in Chemistry.

A real wonderful achievement by the faculty of Science.

Complimented by our engineering faculty,

7 of their 8 departments are in the UK Top 10 -

3 in the Top 3 and four number one a year in Scotland.

Our Business School rising through the rankings for research

at number 6. A wonderful achievement.

Our humanities and social sciences follow suit.

Wonderful achievements from our GPP, the department at number 10 in the UK

and number 2 in Scotland.

Excellent results in Law, SWS and History.

So real intensity, real focus about impact and useful learning.

Strathclyde continues to demonstrate the ability to have disproportionate

impacts - mainly through the production of you - our excellent

graduates & post graduates - but also in the quality of our research -

and the highly effective ways we've developed for the transfer of our

knowledge with industry & public sector partners.

It is clear that the Scottish

Higher Education sector

is fulfilling an important role as a driver for sustainable economic

growth - and Strathclyde has a distinct role in this national

and international objective.

Universities should be seen as a national investment.

With an annual Scottish Government investment of around 1.1Bn pounds

in Higher Education -

the sector delivers 7Bn pounds of value

back to our economy each year.

In a recent independent review of Strathclyde -

our University was expected to deliver

an additional economic value of around 1.5Bn pounds

to the Scottish economy over the next 5 years -

one of the highest contributors in the sector.

We can see the activity going on. Last July,

we were delighted to welcome Her Majesty the Queen

and The Duke of Edinburgh to formally open

our 100M pound Technology and Innovation Centre

that sits between George Street and Albion Street -

you may have seen the enormous building on the way here today.

700 academic staff and researchers are there working closely with

industry on pharmaceutical manufacturing, applied photonics,

plasma physics, space technology,

informatics, energy tech and aerospace engineering.

In there we have companies interacting through

innovation mechanisms with our academics.

Thomas Edison

called his technical team

and laboratories his "Inventions Factory."

The TIC is our "Innovations Factory."

The achievements of our students and staff in the Faculty of Science

gives me great confidence for the future.

Let me give you just a small number of summarized headlines.

You cannot have noticed or failed to notice the announcements

around gravitational wave detection and in the Physics Department,

Doctor Nicholas Lockerbie was partner

in the international research project detecting the existence of

gravitational waves, confirming a major prediction of Albert Einstein's

1915 General Theory of Relativity,

and for the first time scientists observe the ripples

in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves.

This is through the major project

called Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory,

or LIGO, being a large-scale Physics experiment

to detect these.

I just came back from a business trip from Hong Kong yesterday,

where I was there with a group of some 30 university presidents

from around the world, and Tom Rosenbaum,

who is the President of Caltech,

where much of this work was seated,

gave a presentation at the same session I was talking to

and he made positive reference to Strathclyde

as a contributor to this world impacting event.

Also in Physics, Professor Paul McKenna is working on activities

that will have a major impact on advancing smaller,

cheaper, laser-driven particle accelerators

and their potential applications, effectively on a tabletop.

Research involving Professor Bob Bingham in Physics

found a novel way of creating intense optical tornadoes -

there's an image for you - a discovery that could revolutionise

the understanding of how matter behaves

under extreme conditions and, of course,

even physicists do useful things occasionally.

I can say that as an electrical engineer,

I always feel physicists are wannabe electrical engineers.

I don't know if I'm showing a bias here, perhaps I am.

The physicists are looking at the modelling and prediction

of rogue waves in oceans, which are capable of destroying ships.

That has been simulated by physicists here at Strathclyde,

Christopher Gibson, Alison Yao

and Professor Gian-Luca Oppo, and they presented a mechanism

for studying information of rogue waves using optical systems.

Professor Iain Hunter

was among seven leading scientists

appointed to the Scottish Science Advisory Council,

established to advise the Scottish ministerial group from 1 February,

a very prestigious activity.

And I thought long about sharing this one with you

given it is just before lunch but I should tell you that foam made by

tiny frogs could be used to deliver

antibiotics to help prevent infections.

That worked involved Doctor Paul Hoskisson

Sarah Brozio and Dimitrios Lamprou,

driving that research forward, analysing the foam from Tungara frogs

native to central America and Caribbean islands,

finding that was very highly stable

and people taking up drugs and releasing them at a stable rate.

Wonderful lateral thinking to come up with these ideas.

One of our students, Jo Zhou,

was the winner in the creative thinking category

of the Santander Big Ideas competition for enhancing digital

security, winning 3.5 thousand pounds for her rhythm tapping project,

and last but not least Professor Alastair Florence,

of the Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences,

who has led the growth of an outstanding research centre

called the Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation,

revolutionising the way in which medicines will be manufactured,

produced, driving down costs and increasing efficiency

and working hand in glove with partners from GSK, Astrazeneca

and Novartis, to the extent that within our new tech building,

we host the first UK National Centre for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.

So this is the exciting context in which you should view your awards.

You are now graduates of a University that places students at the heart

of all that we do - that values education & research excellence -

and that supports close connections with society

at large and the business world.

And - with regard to Internationalisation -

the world's best Universities contribute, collaborate and compete

on the international stage.

We are no different.

Our institutional global partners include

in the United States: Stanford, New York University and MIT.

In China we are working with Tsinghua & Peking Universities,

and the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.

In Singapore: Nanyang Technological University & the National University

of Singapore. And we have a raft of strong

partnerships across Europe.

Our students benefit directly from

being part of an international university -

this helps them emerge with the skills necessary to help

Scotland play its full part in the world.

Our students have been exposed to different cultures and traditions -

as we attract students from more than 100 countries.

Most importantly,

today's graduates leave here understanding

their obligations as global citizens.

However, as well as growing our global impact,

we also take our local responsibilities very seriously.

We have provided leadership in the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board -

seeking to build Glasgow's economic strength in key sectors.

If you will, emulating the innovators from the end of the 19th century,

beginning of the twentieth century,

in life sciences, low carbon energy,

manufucturing, finance and business,

and, of course, we are driving many of the activities

that have led to the success of the Glasgow city deal, bringing

1.2 billion pounds worth of investment in our wonderful city.

We remain - with some pride -

the leading Scottish Research Intensive University

for widening access to our programmes for students from some of

the most challenged communities in Scotland.

These numbers are always important.

This year alone we've attracted some 990 youngsters

from those communities.

In this hall, last week, we had the third annual graduation

from the Children's University.

And I am the Chancellor of the Children's University,

where we reach out to youngsters from communities

around Glasgow where there is perhaps two generations

of worklessness, where they have never attained much more

than maybe fourth-year education at school but now we bring the families

here to Strathclyde.

Every youngster is given a learning passport

so they go to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, they get a stamp.

They got to the Glasgow Science Centre, they get a stamp.

They go to night classes, they get another stamp

till they fill that book and then they become

graduates of The Children's University.

So last week I had 120 youngsters -

for a change there were about 3-foot tall

so I didn't quite get the same repetitive strain injury -

coming across this stage in their robes with their mortarboards.

Their chests puffed up, their heads

held high, with their mums and dads,

most of them never having been across the threshold of a university before.

That's what Strathclyde is about,

groundbreaking research, outstanding impact to society

and economy but with our doors wide open for those

of talent that seek to be educated here in our university.

So if I characterise Strathclyde in 2016,

I would describe us as having ambition, focus and momentum

with the agility and commitment to the delivery of our strategy

so necessary to absorb the continuing challenges in our sector.

It is a privilege for me to lead this great institution -

with the superb support I get from my Executive Team

as well as our broader community of

academic, professional services and support staff.

I believe strongly that our Founder - John Anderson -

would recognise what we are doing today

as the realisation of what he sought to

establish during the Scottish Enlightenment.

Strathclyde now seeks, in our modern society,

to be an agent for positive change in Glasgow,

in Scotland, the UK and on the international scene.

Most importantly - I am certain that today's graduates

will have enormous impacts on society and that -

2016 can become a "vintage year".

So, in this context and - as you leave this hall today -

you leave not just with an award - but also with a responsibility.

Today's graduates now join our alumni,

who number over 170,000 individuals from around the world.

Whatever you do with your degree -

and wherever you may choose to work -

remember that as well as academic scholarship

'useful learning' also means

applying your knowledge for the benefit of others,

making a positive impact for yourselves & the communities

you belong to,

respecting diversity,

valuing freedom of expression and thought,

and, particularly in this day as we go to the referendum booths,

reaching conclusions & resolving disputes by reason.

These characterise the core values of your university.

Finally, let me return to today's celebration.

We are all here to mark the achievements of those

who have been awarded their degrees.

So - on behalf of the University -

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to you all

and wish you every success in your future careers.

Please stay in touch with us & let us know about your progress.

Well done, and please enjoy the rest of this very special day.

Thank you.


So that wasn't so bad after all, was it?

Ladies and gentlemen,

it's always a great pleasure for the staff in these events.

As I move to conclude the ceremony,

I should tell you that we will process the stage party

and the students will process through the hall

and go over to the Lord Todd hall,

which is about 100 yards off to the right as you leave.

To families and friends and supporters please join us,

I think there are refreshments waiting for us.

We might be able to mingle in the gardens

where I look forward to meeting a few of you.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I now declare this congregation closed

and please be standing. Thank you very much indeed.

The Description of Faculty of Science - Thursday 23rd June 2016, 11am