UWS awards inaugural Hutchison Prize

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University of the West of Scotland recognised student excellence in the field of mechatronics at its inaugural Hutchison Prize Ceremony at Hamilton Campus on Thursday 14 November 2013.

Prof Mahoney, Kris Harkins and Les Hutchison

The Hutchison Prize, which is awarded to the best performing student on the University’s Mechatronics programme, was presented to former third year student Kris Harkins. On 14 November, prior to receiving the inaugural Hutchison Prize, Kris graduated with Distinction from the University at its ceremony at Hamilton Town House.

Retired Lanarkshire-born businessman Les Hutchison, who was Vice Chair and a Director of Canadian energy services company, ShawCor Ltd from 2008 to 2013, recently donated over £100,000 to the University’s Mechatronics programme, delivered at its Hamilton Campus.

Around £78,000 was used towards buying state-of-the-art equipment, which was officially unveiled earlier this year, and the remaining amount to establish the annual Hutchison Prize.

As the winner of this prize, Kris was presented with a trophy and £5000 to assist with his career development.

Kris Harkins, 21, who lives in Bishopbriggs, said: “Winning the inaugural Hutchison Prize is something I am very proud of. It was a constant motivator throughout the course and something which I am delighted to say that I have won. Everyone at UWS, especially those involved in the Mechatronics course, are extremely grateful to Les for the money he donated. I can only hope that one day I’ll be in a position to make a similar difference.”

Les Hutchison is a graduate of the former Bell College, now University of the West of Scotland. He graduated from Bell College in 1974, with an HNC Electrical Engineering and also completed a Higher Supplementary (HS) in Control Systems and Mathematics in 1975. After further education and experience, he became an Incorporated Engineer.

Les commented: “I am very proud of Kris and his achievement of winning the inaugural Hutchison Prize. The Prize has had the desired effect of motivating Kris and his class members which will have a positive long term impact for each student. This is an excellent programme which will create good engineers and potential business leaders for Scotland in the future.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “We are delighted to have held our inaugural Hutchison Prize Ceremony. We place a great deal of importance on our alumni and we are very grateful to Les, who is a great role model for our students, for his continued support of our Mechatronics degree.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Kris for all his hard work whilst studying at UWS. He is an extremely deserving recipient of this prize.”

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