A Robert Gordon University (RGU) engineering student who has achieved his dream of gaining a degree, is also celebrating receiving a special award from the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT).
Matthew Head (31), who picked up his MEng Mechanical and Electrical Engineering degree on Tuesday, December 8, was awarded the tenth Martin Richmond Award, presented each year by the SUT to a student who has not only demonstrated academic rigour but also a passion for their chosen subject.
Matthew, who has secured a job as a graduate engineer for Siemens based in Northampton, excelled on his course throughout university, receiving the Alexander Nicol Carnegie Engineering Award from RGU’s School of Engineering two years in a row.
He said: “I feel very flattered and honoured to receive this award. I started this course at the age of 27 after spending eight years as an HGV technician.
“The majority of that part of my career was spent at Volvo Truck and Bus. I came to realise that my interest in how things worked reached further than just the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles - this led me to research other career fields and I came across engineering.
“After reading more about the field, I decided that undertaking an engineering degree was the way to go - not only will this open up a lot of job opportunities, it also fills a personal goal to achieve a degree.”
Matthew added: “I have really enjoyed my time at RGU and the staff have been very supportive. I was able to broaden my understanding as well as take part in social events with sports clubs.”
Matthew said that the toughest part of the course was readjusting to studying after being out of education for years.
“I had to spend the whole of my Christmas holidays in my first year studying to be able to pass my first maths exam,” he said.
However, he says there were plenty of highlights too, including leading a university team in the 2014 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV competition in Michigan and returning home with three awards.
Each year the prize, which was created in memory of former SUT Aberdeen chairman Martin Richmond, takes the form of a painting created by a Gray’s School of Art student.
This year’s winning piece, chosen by Martin’s wife Anne alongside a member of the SUT and the branch chair, was produced by fourth year painting student Dagmara Milosz (22) who received £500 for the work.
The painting was presented to Matthew at the SUT Aberdeen branch AGM on Thursday, December 10.
Current chair of the SUT Aberdeen branch, Chris Milner, said: “Matthew is a very deserving winner of the Martin Richmond award. He has demonstrated academic rigour and a passion for engineering combined with a vision of where he wants to progress in his working life.
“We also congratulate Matthew on the completion of his degree and wish him all the very best as he moves on to the next stage of his career.”
Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology