Once again we round up a few of the success stories featuring our graduates both around the globe and here in Aberdeen!Alumna launches platform for learning endangered languages
A Social Anthropology graduate has founded the world's first platform for learning rare and endangered languages. Inky Gibbens, who graduated in 2012, was inspired to start the Tribalingual website after hearing that the language of her maternal grandparents, Buryat, had been classified by UNESCO as endangered. As part of an effort to preserve the language she decided to learn it, but found there was no way to do this online. She soon found this was the case with many other endangered languages and formed a like-minded team of people who shared her vision of creating an online platform offering the possibility of learning these languages to a wider audience. Languages featured so far include Mongolian, Ainu from Japan, Gangte from North-East India, and Greko from Southern Italy. You can find out more at www.tribalingual.com.Alumna and academic elected head of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club
Professor Alison Lumsden, a respected academic at the University who also completed her English MA here in 1986, has been appointed to the prestigious position of President of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club. This is recognition for the many articles and monographs she has published on Scott as well as her dedication in going back to Scott's original manuscripts as part of her work editing several titles for the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverly Novels. Professor Lumsden is already Honorary Librarian at Abbotsford House, Scott's home in the Scottish Borders, and in this new appointment follows notable presidents such as the Right Hon. Malcolm Rifkind and indeed, Sir Walter's direct descendants Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott and Mrs. Patricia Maxwell-Scott, as well as Professor David Hewitt, another alumnus of the University of Aberdeen and a notable Scott academic who, along with Professor Lumsden, heads the Walter Scott Research Centre.Law alumna and former Chief Administrative Judge named Dean of Hofstra Law
The Honorable A. Gail Prudenti has been appointed 10th Dean of Hofstra Law. Prudenti joined the law school 18 months ago as executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law and senior associate dean of operations. She became interim dean on 1 January. In her previous role as Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State from 2011 to 2015, Prudenti supervised the administration and operation of the statewide court system with a budget of over $2.7 billion, 3,600 judges and 15,000 non-judicial employees in more than 350 facilities. She earned her law degree from the University of Aberdeen in 1978. In 2004, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws and an honorary appointment as Professor in the School of Law.Alumnus appointed Vice Chancellor of Ugandan University
Reverend Professor Wilson Muyinda Mande, who completed a PhD in Leadership and Ethics at the University of Aberdeen in 1996, has been appointed the new Vice Chancellor of Nkumba University in Uganda on a permanent basis, having been acting Vice Chancellor since August last year. Professor Mande has previously served as Deputy Vice Chancellor since 2014 and before that was Academic Registrar and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business Administration. He has also edited the Nkumba Business Journal for many years.Scottish entrepreneur brings successful US start-up help business to UK
Duncan Logan, a 1993 University of Aberdeen agriculture graduate, decided against entering the traditional farming industry and instead moved to California and set up his own business, Rocketspace, which has gone on to become an incredibly successful business helping start-up tech companies get off the ground. Indeed, some of the most successful global businesses including Uber and Spotify passed through Duncan's business on their way to international success. Rocketspace provides office space, introductions and guidance for fledgling companies with big ideas, and has played host to at least 18 companies now valued at over $1 billion each. Now the business has expanded overseas with the opening of new 90,000 sq ft premises in London. Duncan is a rare example of a British entrepreneur who has made it big in the US, and has become a respected authority on the tech industry, frequently appearing in the UK print media. We wish him all the best with Rocketspace's expansion to the UK!Oil and Gas Engineering graduate selected to join Future Energy Leaders' Programme
Asekhame Yadua, who graduated with an MSc from the University in 2012, is one of only 35 under-35 young energy professionals to have been selected to join the Future Energy Leaders' Programme by the World Energy Council (WEC). The Future Energy Leaders’ Programme is designed to identify, encourage and inspire the next generation of energy leaders, facilitating dialogue and discussion on critical developments in the energy sector. Every year, they welcome around 35 exceptional young professionals to join the group of 100 Future Energy Leaders from over ninety different countries across the globe. The 100 Future Energy Leaders support the WEC in informing global, regional and national energy.Aberdeen alumnus part of Xbox success
A University of Aberdeen graduate has spent the last few years working on some of the most notable games and consoles released in recent times. Graeme Boyd, who graduated with a degree in English and Film studies in 2002, has worked on the launches for several consoles including the XBox One and the Kinect on XBox 360 and his enviable job has led to surreal experiences such as playing Battlefield 1 with rapper Snoop Dogg and interviewing football legend Ruud Gullit. Having worked for Computer and Video Games magazine, Graeme joined XBox in 2006 and became involved in their social media and marketing campaigns, ultimately becoming Xbox's Social Marketing Manager. You can read more about his interesting career here.Graduate's conservation film gets celebrity support
University of Aberdeen alumna Lisa Marley has received an endorsement from renowned BBC wildlife personality Chris Packham in support of her upcoming film, 'Project Wolf', a documentary that will follow charity Trees for Life's experimental 'human wolf pack' through the Scottish Highlands in an effort to ascertain how missing large predators such as wolves would affect red deer populations and the potential consequences for growth in the Caledonian Forest. Indeed, the film is a practical deployment of Lisa's MA in Anthropology & Film and Visual Culture which she gained in 2013.
The BBC's Chris Packham, who is vocal in his support for conservation projects, is a fan of Lisa's last film - Red Sky on the Black Isle - and has lent his support to her new venture. He says, "These grass roots, real and reactive films come straight from the hearts of creatives who not only care but motivate their skills to take action; action at a time when we are desperate for people to stop musing and moaning and actually stand up and be counted."
Red Sky on the Black Isle also continues to make waves both in the film and wildlife communities. Translated into multiple languages and screened around the world, it picked up the Little Audience Prize at the Raptor Filmz Short Scottish Film Festival last year. It will be shown at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York this October. You can find out more about Project Wolf on Facebook at www.facebook.com/projectwolffilm or follow Lisa on Twitter @procuriosity.History graduate awarded DSO
Wing Commander James R E Walls was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Service Order in the recent honours list. The DSO is awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat, serving under fire, and usually awarded to those above the rank of captain. Wing Commander Walls graduated from the University in 1997 and was in charge of 6 Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, between August 2014 and December 2016.Doctor and Research Fellow unveils debut poetry volume
Retired GP and current Honorary Research Fellow Dr Ian Olson has published his first volume of poetry, 'Facing the Persians.' Dr Olson has a long and dedicated history with the University as a 1962 graduate in Medicine with a subsequent MD from 1969 and the recipient of an honorary DHC in 2006. He served as a member of senate between 1984 and 1988 and was Convener of the Business Committee between 1997 and 2000 as well as editing the Aberdeen University Review between 1985 and 2000.
Reviewing the volume, former University of Aberdeen Principal Sir Duncan Rice sums it up by saying "if every first collection is as good as this, British poetry has a great future. The book is worth its modest price for the exquisite Reelig, a meditation at an Iron Age burial mound. Those who read Olson’s collection will gather a healthy harvest of gentle humour and deep thoughtfulness. I hope there will be another one soon." Additionally, in his review of the book for the Leopard Magazine, Honorary Senior Lecturer in the English Department Derrick McClure says "This is a book of kaleidoscopic variety [...] by a master wordsmith with an encyclopaedic range of knowledge and an abounding humanity; and a patriotic Scotsman to boot. It is one you will want to read at leisure, and come back to many times."
'Facing the Persians' is out now and can be purchased here.University graduate wins £90,000 NERC Enterprise Fellowship award
A University of Aberdeen graduate who has turned his PhD into a business idea has been awarded a prestigious NERC Enterprise Fellowship by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Fellowship, worth £90,000, will provide Rotimi Alabi with support to develop RAB-Microfluidics, a company he formed with support from the University. The start-up offers oil analysis to businesses through ‘lab-on-a-chip’ technology that aims to dramatically reduce maintenance and repair costs for heavy equipment.
Rotimi, who is from Nigeria, developed the idea while working on his PhD alongside Dr Stephen Bowden and Professor John Parnell, from the University’s School of Geosciences. Their work on the application of microfluidics to oil analysis – a relatively new area of research – led to the development of a chip capable of carrying out mobile online oil measurements. With oil analysis usually carried out in a lab, the development of the ‘lab-on-a-chip’ sparked a business idea that led Rotimi to contact the University’s Research and Innovation Department, who provided expertise that helped him create RAB-Microfluidics.
Read the whole story here.Divinity alumnus elected primus of Scottish Episcopal Church
University of Aberdeen divinity alumnus the Most Reverend Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, has been elected as Primus by the Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He is the youngest member of the College of Bishops and was consecrated Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness in 2007, having been raised in Aberdeen where in his younger days he was both a choirboy and server at St Andrew's Cathedral.Botany graduate publishes book on Gordon Highlanders
Brian Robertson, who graduated with a BSc in botany in 1970, has written a memoir detailing his own story of national service in the Gordon Highlanders during 1955 and 1956. Speaking about the volume, entitled 'A Gordon For Me' after the traditional Scottish song of the same name, Brian says "much of my time was served in Cyprus as we clung on to the last remains of our British Empire. Basic training was undertaken at Bridge of Don Barracks during January to March, one of the worst winters for many a long year." 'A Gordon For Me' is an honest and brave account of National Service in the 1950s and the true nature of international conflict. It will be published soon by Ringwood Publishing and will be available from various websites including Amazon.Graduate's charity celebrates 21 years helping students
Jim Henderson, a 1968 MA English graduate and 1988 Bachelor of Theology who worked for several years as Depute Director of Finance at the University, has spent the last 21 years running a money advice charity for students and is encouraging alumni who benefited from the service to get in touch. Founded in 1996, NESMA (North East Student Money Advisers) was set up as a reaction to significant changes in student finance during the 1990s which left many students unable to cope with the financial demands of studying at university. On top of this, Jim felt that there was a real need to be proactive and thus in addition to NESMA's work with students they started visiting over fifty schools – delivering almost 800 seminars to over 28,000 pupils and their parents. He says that the charity's work can be summed up in the following quotation: “Everyone thinks it’s best to be the sun to light up a person’s life but we think it’s just as important to be the moon to lighten their darkness.” If you know someone at the University who may need NESMA's services they can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As part of their 21-year anniversary they would also be delighted to hear from any students and alumni who may have used the service during that time.English graduate completes collection of 211 FIFA shirts
University of Aberdeen English graduate Joe Johnston recently completed a personal challenge to try and collect an international football shirt for all 211 teams in FIFA. The capture of a matchworn Madagascar shirt marked the end of his seven-year quest, which has since featured in several newspapers and on television. Along the way he was helped out by a number of international footballers, including players from Montserrat, St Lucia and Republic of Congo and the British Ambassador to Sudan. He now hopes to put the entire collection on display somewhere for people to enjoy.