Director of External Relations and Marketing

Jennifer Fernandes

Bio will follow

Director of People

Debbie Dyker

Debbie Dyker

Debbie joined the Human Resources Section in 1992 and was appointed to the role of Director of People in 2017.  Prior to this Debbie was Director of Human Resources with responsibility for managing the delivery of the Strategic and Operational HR Service across all areas of the University.

The Directorate of People includes Human Resources, Health Safety & Wellbeing, Student Experience, Student Support, Careers and the Chaplaincy.

The Directorate of People plays a key role in supporting the University to deliver upon strategic priorities and institutional initiatives in line with the Strategic Plan.

The Directorate provides comprehensive, co-ordinated front facing support services to all staff and students in the University community.  The teams within the Directorate work in partnership with key stakeholders, both internal and external to the University, including Trade Union colleagues and local, national and international organisations.

A number of institutional organisational development activities are undertaken within the Section, including ongoing work in support of the Healthy Working Lives accreditation. The team liaise closely with colleagues across the Academic areas and Professional Services to ensure a co-ordinated approach to matters including student engagement, employee engagement, student employability, mental health & wellbeing strategy, equality & diversity and health & safety.  

The University acknowledges that institutional success depends on the talent, expertise and commitment of staff and in recognition of the importance of ongoing personal and professional development, the team has developed a suite of Leadership & Management programmes, many of which have received external accreditation through the Institute of Leadership & Management

Tel: +44 (0)1224 273732

Personal Assistant: Sarah Fyfe
Tel: +44 (0)1224 273732

Director of Estates and Facilities

Angus DonaldsonAngus Donaldson

Angus was appointed Director of Estates in 2003 having previously held a range of management posts within Estates since joining the University in 1993. He is an Aberdeen land economy graduate and Chartered Surveyor.

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272060

Estates Office General Enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272063

Director of Finance

David Beattie

David BeattieDavid joined the University as Director of Finance in July 2015 and heads up the Finance and Procurement team within Professional Services.

Previously, David was employed by the University as Head of Financial Planning and Budgeting and was seconded in 2005 to develop the facilities at Aberdeen Sports Village, becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2010.

David graduated from the University with an MA and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA).

Finance and Procurement is split into four sections - Financial Accounting, Financial Planning and Budgeting, Finance Systems Administration and Procurement. The aim of the department  is to provide high quality services and advice to staff, students and external bodies across a range of financial services.

Director of Digital and Information Services

Brian HendersonBrian Henderson

Brian joined the University in 2007, following a variety of technical and managerial roles in educational and council organisations.  Brian has over 20 years of experience in the Higher Education sector and was appointed to the Director of Digital and Information Services role in November 2017.

Brian is also currently a Director and Trustee of Aberdeen Science Centre, a Board member of Inverness College (UHI), Vice-Chair to the IT Directors in Scottish Higher Education Group (HEIDS) and a member of the Universities Scotland Efficiencies Taskforce.

Combining the Library & IT Services functions, Digital and Information Services delivers a comprehensive package of digital services to the staff and students of the University, as well as providing data centre services for Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College through an award winning shared service.  Digital & Information Services will play a key role in the transformation of the University as we move forward with an exciting package of digital initiatives over the coming years.

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273368



Personal Assistant: Lynne Kirton

Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273368


Director of Academic Services and Online Education

Dr Gillian Mackintosh

Dr Gillian Mackintosh

Gillian was appointed Director in 2009 and heads up the Directorate of Academic Services & Online Education. The Directorate encompasses the Registry, the Centre for Academic Development and the Online Education team. The Directorate provides professional services support across all aspects of academic student administration from registration through to graduation as well as supporting teaching and learning policy development and quality assurance, and also provides academic development support to staff and students including pedagogic staff development, eLearning expertise and academic skills support.

Gillian is a double graduate of the University having been awarded both a BSc and a PhD in Biochemistry.  Having undertaken a three year post as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow funded by the British Heart Foundation, Gillian joined the Registry is 1998 and was appointed as Academic Registrar in 2007. More recently, she undertook a two year period of secondment as Director of Online Education & Academic Development where she had lead responsibility for the strategic growth of the University’s online education provision.  In her Director role, she continues to lead this work including the development of the University’s On-demand Learning portfolio. 

Gillian has extensive experience of quality assurance and enhancement of teaching and learning, online education and wider student-related administration. She has participated actively in a number of QAA and Universities Scotland committees in this area.

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272045

Director of Planning

Dr Hulda Sveinsdottir

Dr Hulda SveinsdottirHulda was appointed Director of Planning in October 2015 and heads the Directorate of Planning within Professional Services. The Planning team has oversight of the Strategic Plan and is responsible for managing the University’s strategic planning process, external and internal performance monitoring, the development of the Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Funding Council, the production and administration of management information, risk management, and the development and management of strategic institutional initiatives.


Hulda has been with the University of Aberdeen since 2009 when she joined the administrative team within the College of Physical Sciences, first as Assistant College Registrar and later as College Registrar. Previous to this, Hulda worked at Abertay University in Dundee where she was based within the Office of the University Secretary/Vice-Principal for Research & Commercialisation, with responsibility for planning and governance.  

Hulda has a BA in Politics from the University of Iceland, and an MA in East Asian Politics and PhD in Japanese Politics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272016

Personal Assistant: Marina Glennie
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272016

Director of Research and Innovation

Dr Liz Rattray

Dr Liz RattrayLiz joined Research and Innovation in 1997 and was appointed Deputy Director in 2005 to lead the business development and commercialisation teams.

Dr Rattray has extensive experience of research administration, project and contract management together with commercialisation of research (from collaborating with industry, knowledge exchange, licensing to new company formation). She has held board positions with a number of companies, and previously been a member of the  Scottish Funding Council’s research committee.

The Research and Innovation section plays a key role in supporting the University to deliver upon strategic priorities for research and knowledge exchange in line with the Institutional Strategic Plan. The section provides support for research development, commercialisation, knowledge exchange, enterprise activities and provides administrative support for research policy and the newly formed Graduate School for post graduate research students. Research and Innovation  is the first point of contact for business - facilitating access to the University’s researchers, services and technologies and offering a wide range of commercial opportunities arising from the University’s research activities.

Executive Director of Advancement

Rob Donelson

Rob DonelsonRob Donelson brings over thirty years’ professional experience leading award-winning advancement programs of non-profit organizations in higher education and healthcare.

Prior to coming to University of Aberdeen, he served as Executive Director, Development & Alumni Relations at University College Cork in Ireland, and as Vice-President, Development & Alumni Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, where he led a team that named its business school.

He has also led multi-million-dollar campaigns with two hospital foundations. Rob led the first registered charity in Canada to earn the Ethical Fundraising License and the first university to earn the Standards Accreditation designation.

He has spoken at several national and international conferences of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE), and the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and served on the Board of CCAE.

He was named the 2013 Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.