Top MSc graduate receives award

Top MSc graduate receives award

The Association for Project Management (APM) will be hosting the Aberdeen Chapter Award 2006 tomorrow evening (Thursday, February 16) at the Queen’s Hotel. The award will be presented to a University of Aberdeen graduate for the best postgraduate (or MSc) dissertation.

Three top graduates from the University’s Project Management MSc programme which has been running since 1993, who were awarded a degree with distinction, will each present their papers to the judging panel who will choose the most innovative project at the event.

Students are in full-time employment and study the course part-time and are therefore encouraged to focus their dissertations on a problem within their own organisations and demonstrate how the project management techniques that they have covered can be put into practice.

Bill Yuile, Project Manager for KBR, will be delivering a presentation entitled “How do the Leadership behaviours of Project Managers affect individual and team performance in KBR?” KBR is a major service contractor in the oil and gas sector.

William McLaren, who is involved in project management for Petrofac Facilities Management, an integrated international service provider to the oil and gas industry, will deliver a presentation on “Asset Management of Change in the Oil and Gas Industry.”

Ivor Cheung, a contractor for Aker Kvaerner, will present on “Leadership effectiveness model for Project Management.” Aker Kvaerner is a leading provider of solutions in total “life-of-field” support services to the oil and gas industry.

MSc Course Co-ordinator, Sue Barrett, is looking forward to Thursday’s evening event. She said: “The energy at these events is fantastic and our students are always very enthusiastic.

“With the University’s Project Management MSc course, we concentrate on generic project management skills. We assume our students know how their own industries work.

“That’s why we draw applicants from a wide range of industries - from education and IT and banking to oil, rail, local government and atomic energy. We are not industry-dependent - and our students and graduates recognise that this is one of the great strengths of the programme.

“Flexibility and a firm grounding in current practice are the principal features of the Master of Science Degree in Project Management, which is taught by staff of the University and visiting lecturers who are practising professionals. This is a good time of year for people to start thinking about studying in September and the impact this course will have on their life. I would encourage people to speak to their company if they are interested in applying as September, although it appears to be a long way off, is really just around the corner.”

The Master of Science degree in Project Management has been running successfully on campus since 1993 and the distance course has been running since 1997/98 and it is 10 years since the first graduations in 1996. The course has graduates and students all around the world, from Jamaica in the west to New Zealand in the east and from Alaska in the north to Perth, Western Australia in the south.

The programme is only delivered part-time with the delivery being either at weekends - at three weekly intervals - or by distance learning using the internet. These methods of delivery have proved to be very successful in meeting the time constraints of professional people. For the campus-based programme, there are five teaching weekends per semester and two modules are taught simultaneously. The campus-based and the distance learning versions are identical. They follow the same programme of delivery, starting in September and February of each year. Most of the modules can be taken as a stand-alone credit bearing unit for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development.

There are many benefits to studying part-time, although it is not an easy option. It means that a student can continue working, with no loss of income or disruption to career. Theory can, and is, put into practice immediately. There is the opportunity of discussing issues with people from different industries, and in different part of the world, to gain a wider perspective. Another considerable benefit for past and present students has been that they have gained promotion while they have been on the course.

Due to popular demand the venue for the evening event tomorrow has been changed to the Queen’s Hotel. More than 150 guests from the oil and gas industry, including senior management from the major contracting companies in the North East will be attending.

The judges for tomorrow’s event are Professor Howard Chandler (Jackson Chair of Engineering, University of Aberdeen); Raymond Stadnik (APM Assessor, Monitor Training); Godfrey Stowe (Development Director, CNR International); Mel Fitzgerald (CEO, Subsea 7) and Derek Anderson (Commercial Director, Stewart Milne Construction).

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