Our very own Alison Watson MBE, CEO of Class of Your Own and driving force behind Design Engineer Construct!, has been recognised with an Honorary Degree.

Alison received a Doctor of Engineering from Heriot-Watt University on Tuesday, 10 December, for her immense contribution to the sector and for forging new links between industry, academia and young people.

Alison has worked tirelessly, since 2012, to develop the ground-breaking accredited learning programme Design Engineer Construct! (DEC). As a result, many more young people are gaining real-world experience and developing highly desirable specialist skills in areas including structural engineering, surveying, architecture and civil engineering.

Alison has partnered with Heriot-Watt University in developing and delivering DEC since its inception in Scotland.
After receiving her Honorary Degree, Alison said:

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the wonderful staff and students at Heriot-Watt University. Scotland is a special place with special people who have a solid respect for innovation and determination. Some of my challenges have seemed enormous, however the support of the University has been constant and I owe a debt of gratitude to colleagues who have shown me such respect, kindness and faith.

“It is with great pride that I accept this award, especially in this, my tenth year working with hugely committed, dynamic teachers to safeguard the Future of Architecture, Engineering and Construction – our amazing students.

“I look forward to many more fruitful years with Heriot-Watt as the Design Engineer Construct! Learning programme expands internationally, offering an unprecedented opportunity to transform secondary education on a global scale.”

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, said:

Alison has made a truly astounding contribution to academia and industry that is producing a talented workforce, ready to meet the needs of the modern world, particularly around climate change.

Through her entrepreneurial spirit and drive to affect change, Alison has helped forge new relationships across architecture and engineering to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in an extremely competitive environment.

(Image and words courtesy of Heriot Watt University)

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