Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellows

Abertay University Honorary Fellows are selected due to their significant contribution to Abertay University, the local community and to Dundee.  

James G Adamson

Honorary Fellow: 1991

Alison A Armstrong

Honorary Fellow: 2001


Adrian Arthur

Honorary Fellow: 2003 

Adrian Arthur - Abertay Honorary Fellow

A journalist for over 48 years with D.C. Thomson & Co. in Dundee. For the second half of that career he was deputy editor and then editor of The Courier, one of Britain's leading regional morning newspapers, at a time of great technological change in the industry. As a teenager he completed National Service with the R.A.F. at Middle East Air Force headquarters in Cyprus. He then studied law at Queen's College, Dundee, and graduated from St Andrews in 1962. On retiring he became a member of the Tayside Board of The Prince's Trust for seven years, playing an active part in the trust's work to help and stimulate young people facing a variety of difficulties. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Monifieth and District and a past captain of Dalhousie Golf Club, Carnoustie.

John H Beaton

Honorary Fellow: 2004


Antony J Blackshaw

Honorary Fellow: 2015

Ian Christie

Honorary Fellow: 1990

Ian Christie - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Ian Christie graduated in Electrical Engineering from Glasgow University. His first job was in research on electric motors, generators and transformers. Later he started one of the UK’s first companies providing online computer timesharing services. Subsequently Ian became Managing Director of a factory making distribution transformers and thereafter MD of two factories in the same group manufacturing motors and generators, together with an organisation offering electric motor repair facilities in the UK and USA.

Eventually he was appointed MD of a factory in Dundee that made large power and distribution transformers. It was there that I worked with staff from what was then the Dundee Institute of Technology. The Dundee factory (originally locally-owned) became part of a Norwegian Group which subsequently was taken over by a very large worldwide electrical engineering group. This gave him extensive exposure to overseas operations. Shortly before retiring he was also involved in setting up a large PPI (Public Private Partnership) scheme to provide electrical maintenance services and equipment to London Underground.

Subsequent to retiring he also acted as consultant to an electrical utility.

Henry G Cuming

Honorary Fellow: 1992

Innes A Duffus

Honorary Fellow: 2013

Leaving Dundee High School Innes moved to Birmingham in 1946 to serve an apprenticeship with Wolseley Motors Ltd and attend Birmingham Central Technical College, now a University.

He then returned to Dundee when he soon married Muriel a Birmingham girl and well known singer.

The next step was National Service where he became part of the Army Rifle team spending summers at Bisley where he helped win a few trophies. He was fortunate to serve on a Headquarters in Germany where he gained more experience. Leaving the Army he continued in the Territorial Army, and commanded 153(H) Inf Wksp REME (TA) with the rank of Major. 

Having returned to Dundee he expanded the family business gaining the VW Franchise for the area. In 1979 he moved to Simpson Motors Brechin for four years with agencies for Vauxhall and BMC.

He then returned to Dundee where his old business had been converted into a high volume self-service filling station building it to the second highest volume site in Scotland. In addition in 1971 he had opened the first filing station on Forfar Road at Fintry in 1971 followed by a Filling Station on Forfar Road at Tealing. Adding to this he leased the Burmah Oil filling station in Dock Street and Finally operated Truck Stop at Wester Gourdie which he held till his retirement in 1999.

Since then he has had the privilege of becoming the honorary Archivist to the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee, The Guildry and the Three United Trades of Dundee and transcribed some 4575 documents which are available on the web site www.ninetradesofDundee.co.uk Much of the latter work could not have been done without the guidance of mentor Iain Flett one time City Archivist of some 40 years’ experience in Dundee.

George Edwards

Honorary Fellow: 2000

George Edwards - Abertay Honorary Fellow

George Edwards graduated from Dundee Institute of Art and Technology (now Abertay) in 1960 and began his career in manufacturing with Burroughs Machines at Cumbernauld.

A mechanical and electrical engineer he worked briefly in the electronics industry and then moved into public affairs. From 1968 to 1978 he was London Director of the Scottish Council (Development and Industry) when the major issues were North Sea oil and gas and the United Kingdom’s entry into what was then the European Economic Community.

He also worked on the attraction of US and Japanese investment to Scotland. He then spent 10 years in the oil industry for most of which he was UK Head of Public Affairs for a leading US company. He also worked as government and public affairs consultant to two other major international energy companies.

In 1988 he was appointed Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication for Clydesdale Bank, just after its acquisition by National Australia Bank, a post from which he retired in 1996.

After retiring he was a director of several companies including NMS Enterprises, the commercial arm of the National Museum of Scotland. He was a member of various professional bodies, Chairman of the Association of Professional Political Consultants in Scotland and held a number of other appointments including Trustee of the Scottish Civic Trust and Governor of RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Elizabeth Ferris

Honorary Fellow: 2017

Elizabeth Ferris - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Fiona Fraser

Honorary Fellow: 2007

Roland L Fraser

Honorary Fellow: 1999

Colin Gibson

Honorary Fellow: 2001

Nigel R Hawkins

Honorary Fellow: 1998

Nigel Hawkins - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Nigel worked in journalism, public relations, business and environmental conservation. He ran a public relations business promoting enterprise in Dundee and organised many spectacular events including a fireworks display launched from a train crossing the Tay Railway Bridge celebrating the bridge's 100th anniversary. He later became Chief Executive of The John Muir Trust, a conservation charity safeguarding wild land, and purchased many outstanding areas such as Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, to secure their future in the best interests of nature and people. He encouraged and assisted many local communities such as North Harris to buy their land; and helped to create a major educational initiative The John Muir Award which has encouraged over 100,000 people to engage personally in caring for our wild places. He was a member of Court of Abertay University for 13 years and served as Chairman of Court.

David Heeley

Honorary Fellow: 2014

David Heeley - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Gordon Hewitt

Honorary Fellow: 2010

David J Hogarth

Honorary Fellow: 2001

Andrew Howie and Kathryn Howie

Honorary Fellows: 2023

Kathryn (Katie) and Andrew Howie graduated from Abertay’s predecessor institution over 30 years ago and have dedicated themselves to a lifetime
of charitable endeavours.

Their remarkable efforts in combating food poverty in Dundee have been substantial. They have redirected thousands of pounds worth of surplus food items, which would otherwise have been discarded, to provide crucial support to the homeless and individuals facing hardship. Additionally, their active involvement in volunteering across charity shops in the city has had a profound and tangible impact on the local community. Katie and Andrew exemplify the core values cherished at Abertay, exemplifying a lifelong dedication to selflessly serving others.

Peter T Hughes

Honorary Fellow: 2001

Ian E Ivory

Honorary Fellow: 2007

List of Ian Ivory's achievements:

  • Professional qualifications Chartered Accountant 1967
  • Employment Thomson Mclintock CA 1962-1967
  • Darling and Co Australia 1967-1970 Merchant Bank
  • Ivory and Sime 1970-1981 Investment Management
  • Ivory and Co 1981-1985 Investment Management
  • Stewart Ivory 1985-1999 Investment Management
  • Became self employed
  • Town planning Livingston Development Corporation
  • Education- Court Abertay - Chair Scot Agricultural College
  • Insurance- Board member Premium Underwriting and Hardy Underwriting
  • Biotech- Original director then chairman of £1billion Trust
  • Agriculture Farm 1500 acres in Angus
  • Property development - 200 acres at Edinburgh Airport

John R Letford

Honorary Fellow: 2012

John Letford was a Coppersmith, sheet metal worker/Blacksmith Welder to trade, a Training Manager for Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen and Stirling, a Youth Leader for 30 years, a Trade Union Activist and Negotiator.

He was also a Politician for nearly 40 years, Councillor in Tayside Regional Council, Local Councillor in Dundee City Council holding the posts of Personnel Convenor Chairman of the Licencing Board, Chairman of the Licencing Committee, Depute Lord Provost, Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant for 11 years.

Currently he is the Patron of SSAFA Branch, Secretary of Dundee Alexandria Twinning Association, Secretary Forfar & Kincardine Lodge, Executive Member Pensioners Forum and Trustee of the City of Dundee Burgesses Charity.

Ivor G Lloyd

Honorary Fellow: 2010


Andrew M Lothian

Honorary Fellow: 2008

Quentin R Lucas

Honorary Fellow: 2000

Alasdair N MacCallum

Honorary Fellow: 1993

Alasdair worked in manufacturing all his working life. Started as a trainee manager with Unilever [Walls Ice Cream]. He then spent time in the paper industry, food making and industrial textiles. Most of his time was with multinationals such as Johnson and Johnson and Shell. He was MD of Devro, Baxters and Don and Low. In the early 1990s he was the Chairman of CBI Scotland and later chaired Montrose harbour.

Mary Malcolm

Honorary Fellow: 2017

Ann Markham

Honorary Fellow: 2014

Anne Markham - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Born and educated in Dundee, Ann started her career as a primary school teacher in Dundee and also worked in residential care in the city and her master’s degree dissertation focused on the dynamics of peer group interaction in residential situation.

Ann moved into higher education starting out as a lecturer in drama at the now University of Sunderland and moved on to a number of senior roles in both Plymouth and Brighton. She concluded her time in England as Dean of the Faculty of Education, Sport and Leisure at the University of Brighton.

During her time north of the border, Ann served as a member of National borders and chaired the Quality Assurance Committee of the National Teacher Training Agency which acted as the Government’s Study body for the sector.

On returning to Scotland, Ann was appointed by the Scottish Executive as the founding Chair of the newly created body of NHS Education for Scotland and served on number of Scottish and UK-wide bodies, including a period as deputy-chair of the UK Sector Skills Council for Health.

Ann’s area of expertise include education, primary, secondary and tertiary, institutional management in education and education training and governance in the health scheme.

Peter F Martin

Honorary Fellow: 2012

Peter Martin obtained his first degree in Physics at Newcastle University before joining the atmospheric electricity research group at Durham to work for his PhD. He then taught physics at Oldham College of Technology, Luton College of HE and Trent Polytechnic before coming to the then Dundee Institute of Technology in 1983. At Trent he was a founder member of the Microprocessor Centre, delivering courses on the new technology to local industry. At Dundee, together with Prof Allan Gillespie and Dr Allan MacLeod he developed novel microprocessor based instrumentation for the new Free Electron Laser facility at the FOM Institute in Utrecht. He particularly enjoyed developing hardware and software for embedded systems at a time when the technology was developing rapidly.

He held various posts at Abertay including Head of Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Head of Science & Engineering and Depute Principal during times of rapid change in the institution. He oversaw the sad but necessary downsizing of engineering – an action which released funds for the development of the new computer games developments. As Depute Principal he developed the academic regulations and academic quality systems required by a modern university. He was convenor of the University Scotland Teaching Quality Forum - the first from a new university.

He was appointed Professor of Electronic Systems in 1995, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 2000 and Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2002. He is a Chartered Engineer.
He was awarded a palatinate in cross country running at Durham and subsequently ran for Salford Harriers, Luton United and Notts AC. He has carried out leading roles in the organisation of cross country events and marathons, including the English championship.

Now retired, Peter spends a large proportion of the year travelling round Europe, walking in the country, soaking up the art and architecture of cities and savouring good food and wine.

Daniel D McLaren

Honorary Fellow: 2017

Stewart M Murdoch

Honorary Fellow: 2015

Stewart Murdoch - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Stewart has over 40 years’ experience in public service appointments. He worked for 15 years in community development and voluntary sector projects in Glasgow before moving to Tayside in 1990 as Regional Community Education.

Michael Nairn

Honorary Fellow: 1999


Louis Natanson

Honorary Fellow: 2017

Robert C Naylor

Honorary Fellow: 1999

Robert Nimmo

Honorary Fellow: 1992

James Ogg

Honorary Fellow: 2002

Jim Ogg - Abertay Honorary Fellow

William Payne

Honorary Fellow: 2004


Murray Petrie

Honorary Fellow: 2004

Murray Petrie - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Mr Petrie was born in Keith, Banffshire and educated at the High School of Dundee. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1970 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1973. He spent all his professional career with the old-established firm of Lickley Proctor, part of Allied Surveyors plc, the largest independent surveying firm in the UK.

Mr Petrie has held many public positions and has a wide range of interests. He was a member of the Children's Hearing system for 12 years, serving as a panel member for 8 years and then forming part of the Children's Panel Advisory Committee for Tayside for 4 years.

He was a non-executive Director/Trustee of various health bodies over a period of 20 years, serving both as Chairman of Dundee Healthcare NHS Trust and Tayside Primary Care NHS Trust and was Vice-Chair of NHS Tayside. He was also the Chairman of Care Together, which was the first health and social care joint organisation in Scotland.

For many years, he was involved in the Rotary movement, serving both as President of the Dundee Club and also on the Executive of District 101, Scotland North East.

Locally, he is widely involved with the Nine Trades movement and was formerly Deacon of the Baker Craft and Bonnetmaker Craft and the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee.

Douglas J Philp

Honorary Fellow: 1988


Roderick J Rennet

Honorary Fellow: 1993

Mervyn J Rolfe

Honorary Fellow: 2007

Alastair G Scott

Honorary Fellow: 2015

Alastair Scott - Abertay Honorary Fellow

After Technical Training and later Management Training at the old Technical College, Alastair Scott worked in the family textile business, H & A SCOTT, which was a jute spinning, weaving and merchanting company. In 1967, it invested in the new polypropylene technology - plastic extrusion - one of the first in Dundee to do so. Alastair learnt how to develop this material and make it work instead of jute fabric. Trial and errors, until it became acceptable to the carpet market five years later. A completely new process had to be developed to make the finished product. After the family business was sold in 1984, when Alastair's father died, he set up his own small textile manufacturing business in Monifieth from scratch - finding suitable buildings, correct capital equipment at the right price, employing and motivating staff, developing the market and selling the acceptable quality of artificial sports grass yarns. Doing a good job after four years, that Low and Bonar PLC bought the company, which was merged into Bonar Yarns in the Hilltown. From there the business expanded fourfold to become a major player in the Artificial Sports Surface business worldwide. Alastair had also won the Scottish Exports Award for an SME in 2005.

Shirley Scott

Honorary Fellow: 2010

Shirley Scott - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Murray Shaw

Honorary Fellow: 2023

Murray Shaw has played a pivotal role in shaping Abertay's path in recent years. Joining the University Court in 2013, his appointment
brought a wealth of experience to Abertay, drawing from a distinguished legal career spanning nearly four decades.

Assuming the Chair of the University Court in 2019, Murray's leadership became a cornerstone during the challenging period of the pandemic. His guidance proved indispensable in steering the University through difficult times, fostering resilience, and charting a course for future growth.
Murray stepped down as Chair of Court in May of this year, leaving a proud legacy of dedicated service to Abertay. He established a sturdy foundation for future progress and sustainability, setting a strong precedent for the University's ongoing development in the years ahead.

George Simpson of Dunkeld

Honorary Fellow: 1993

William A Spence

Honorary Fellow: 2007

Sheena Stewart

Honorary Fellow: 2022

Sheila Stewart was University Secretary until 2022 and worked for Abertay and our predecessor institutions for more than 30 years.

Her journey with the University began in 1991, when she joined Dundee Institute of Technology as Assistant Registrar.

Over time she was promoted to Deputy University Secretary and then, in 2012, became University Secretary - a wide-ranging role responsible for organising the work of the University Court and its associated committees and acting as a trusted advisor to Court members around protocols and compliance with legal and statutory obligations.

Sheena led on health and safety for the University as well as equality, diversion and inclusion, and many other areas of work, including taking a lead role on the University's response to COVID-19.

Her experience includes being a role model in the Aurora programme (Advanced HE's leadership development initiative for women) and developing award-winning equality and diversity initiatives.

Externally, Sheena has been convenor of Universities Scotland Secretaries' Group; member of the Executive Committee of the UK Association of Heads of University Administration; non-executive director of Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges Ltd; and member of the Advanced HE Governance Development Forum. 

She was also a Trustee of the Highlands and Islands Students' Association for six years prior to taking up her current role as University Secretary of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

Sheena holds a degree in archaeology and geography from the University of Glasgow and she worked for three years as an archaeologist at the Museum of London before moving into higher education administration 

Michael T Swanston*

Honorary Fellow: 2012

Mike Swanston - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Mike was Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Abertay Dundee and Honorary Research Fellow, Dundee University. He was Vice-Principal of Abertay University from 2002 until his retirement in 2008. He was Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Dundee Science Centre (2008-2015) and a member of the Board of Management of Dundee College (Vice-Chair 2012-2014).

He was also Vice-Chair of the Board of Management of Elmwood College (2000-07), a director of Dundee Ice Arena (1999-2002) and a member of Universities Scotland Learning & Teaching and Research & Commercialisation Committees (1999-2008).

His research interests were in the visual perception of space and motion, and the measurement of pain. He published over 50 research papers and co-authored a textbook on vision, now in its 3rd edition. 

He passed away in early 2023.

Nicholas Terry

Honorary Fellow: 2014


David Thomson

Honorary Fellow: 2019

David joined Scotland’s independent trade association for the food and drinks industry at the end of 2015 after almost two decades working in a range of directorates for the Scottish Government.

Raised in Currie, David studied at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with an MA in Scottish Ethnology and Scottish Historical Studies in 1995. He initially worked with British Telecom, Heriot Watt University and the National Library before being appointed to the civil service just as the new parliament was founded. The variety of roles that he took on required him to connect policy makers with public bodies, local authorities, the third sector and businesses as well as representing the Scottish Government on a diverse range of topics, including giving evidence to numerous Parliamentary Committees in Holyrood and Westminster. His penultimate position at the Scottish Government was with the Environment and Enterprise Directorate where he was the Head of the Food, Drink & Rural Communities portfolio, a post that he held for 5 years.  David’s final two years at St Andrew’s House were within the Health and Social Care Directorate where he was the Head of Primary Care.

Out with his work with FDF Scotland, David is an elected member of the CBI Scotland Policy Council and he is also a member of the Regional Enterprise Council for Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland’s City Deal.

Kevin A Veal

Honorary Fellow: 2010


Ian R Wilson

Honorary Fellow: 2012

iIan Wilson - Abertay Honorary Fellow

Ian joined The Standard Chartered Bank when he was 20 years of age. Two weeks after his 21st birthday he sailed to Mumbai on his first overseas posting with the bank. He then travelled to Kolkata where he was to spend the next four years, as that was the duration of his first posting. He then served the bank in Singapore, Pakistan, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seoul South Korea, Malaysia, Dubai and finally Hong Kong. His career with the bank spanned a total of 37 years. That was 26 years in Asia and 11 years in the USA. His final position in the bank was that of Chief Manager, responsible for Hong Kong, China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. On retirement he became a director of J P Morgan Fleming Asian Investment Trust. He also became an independent non-executive director of The Bank of Communications, Shanghai, China, both of these directorships have now ceased.

Professor Liz Wilson

Honorary Fellow: 2019

Liz trained at Dundee Royal Infirmary and, after qualifying, moved to London to broaden her experience, working at numerous hospitals including the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Liz returned to Dundee in the ‘seventies and worked as a staff nurse, ward sister and then as Community Nurse at Dundee College of Technology. She then moved to NHS Fife where she worked as a Community Nurse before returning to Dundee to a post managing Community Nurses. She was funded to study a Master’s Degree in Nursing at Edinburgh University and returned to Dundee as a Clinical Director, managing a range of services including the Drug Problem Centre and Community Nursing.

She was appointed Assistant Director of Nursing, then Board Director of Nursing in early 2000. During this time that she was also appointed a Visiting Professor of Nursing at Abertay. This appointment was a first in Scotland for an NHS Board and was considered a great honour for nursing.

She joined the Court at Abertay in 2009 and became Vice-Chair of Court four years later. She remained in this post until December 2018 after serving the maximum time permitted. She was also a member of the Audit & Risk Committee, Chair’s Committee and the Remuneration Committee

Liz took early retirement from NHS Tayside in 2010 and was approached by the Scottish Government Health Department to be a Clinical Advisor on eHealth projects. She has also been an Expert Witness for the NHS Legal Department and been involved in preparing reports for enquiries such as The Vale of Leven Enquiry and other high profile cases.  In addition she has been a trustee on various charity boards including The Corner in Dundee and ME Research UK.

Since leaving Court, she has become a Board member of Dundee Voluntary Action, thus continuing a life-long commitment to the community.

Michael Whitford

Honorary Fellow: 2019

Born in Belfast, his family was affected by the dreadful sectarian conflict there. Having moved to Glasgow at a young age, he was on target to become the youngest Munroist in history when his interest switched to rock and ice climbing. He soon became an expert mountaineer, climbing across Europe, the USA, and Antarctica. Life intervened however, and Mike experienced poverty and homelessness for a number of years. This negative experience however had a positive outcome in that Mike has never forgotten the insights he gained into those people that society ignores or discards.

Mike eventually returned to the UK and went to university, gaining an honours degree in Topographic Science. He met Heather, and she encouraged him in pursuing a career in the police. As a uniformed officer he was quickly placed on the accelerated promotion scheme and into a strategic planning role. He has held a variety of roles in the CID, Intelligence, Firearms Command, Critical Incident Command, as Local Area Commander for Perth, and his current role in Operations.

Well before sexual violence and harassment became the huge public issue it is now, Mike recognised the problem and worked with Abertay to create a partnership and strategy to protect students, realising that there was a chronic underestimation of their vulnerability. Working with both universities, this involved sensitisation to the effects of alcohol, to predatory behaviour, and the creation of effective policies to deal with these issues.

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