Our Alumni

From an initial grounding in our five engineering disciplines, to further study in our research areas, our alumni have used their learnings at the School of Engineering to pursue careers in varied fields and industries.

Would you like to share your career journey with us? Get in touch.

We are currently piloting a new mentoring opportunity for alumni to offer advice to current students. If you are interested in helping current students through mentorship, please let us know.

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Clare Lavelle

Mechanical Engineering with Management BEng (Hons) 2003

After graduating, Clare started her career in ScottishPower’s transmission and distribution business as a graduate trainee and continued as the technical lead for ScottishPower’s newly formed marine renewables team. This included development of the world’s first commercial wave farm project at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, in addition to investment in the Hammerfest Strom tidal technology. She has also worked for Pelamis Wave Power and was the Consenting Manager for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, the 1.5 GW Moray Offshore Renewable Wind Farm.

Clare is currently an Associate Director and Chartered Engineer who leads Arup’s Energy consulting practice in Scotland and North East England. Clare and her team of consultants delivers technical and engineering commissions for a range of clients in the energy sector mainly focused on offshore wind, wave, tidal, oil and gas decommissioning, and carbon capture and storage. She was awarded the Karen Burt memorial award by the Women’s Engineering Society recognising technical excellence and promoting the engineering profession. She is a strong advocate of promoting the engineering profession within the industry, to government, to the next generation of engineers and to the wider public.

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Denise Neill (nee Forsyth)

Chemical Engineering BSc (Hons) 1989

Denise joined Shell in 1989.  She was posted to Gabon, West Africa for 4 years, in a variety of Operations related roles, which was useful for learning how to solve Engineering problems in a remote, environmentally sensitive location.  The next 20 years were spent in Aberdeen, UK, working on maturing, developing and implementing projects and modifications to increase oil production from North Sea platforms.  A big focus in those years was optimising Engineering designs and Construction techniques to shape economically attractive projects, without compromising the safety of those working on, or living near the facilities.

In 2014, Denise relocated to Shell’s main technology centre in the Netherlands to oversee Shell’s projects being executed in Kazakhstan.  The country contains vast oil reserves but has limited infrastructure, people, and is virtually land-locked, leading to enormous logistics challenges for all projects, as well as the cultural legacy from Kazakhstan’s Soviet past.  An insight into managing human change instead of Engineering change came from the next role, leading a team integrating Shell’s Projects and Engineering organisations.  Denise is now back in the UK, in a more commercially focussed challenge overseeing Shell’s projects in the UK where Shell is an investor rather than an Operator.

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Bruce Rae

Electronics and Electrical Engineering MEng 2005, PhD Electronics Department 2009

Following his PhD Bruce spent a year as a post-doctoral researcher before moving to the Imaging Division of STMicroelectronics in Edinburgh as a senior analogue designer. Since then, he has progressed through the roles of technical manager and photonics pixel and silicon architecture team manager and is currently a photonics pixel architect. As technical manager and pixel team manager he managed many aspects of photonics sensor projects, from system specification and architecture, risk assessments, resource planning, managing timescales, through to execution, delivery and documentation.  In his current role as photonics pixel architect he works closely with project teams to define pixel requirements before steering the definition and evaluation of the process technology, pixel architecture and design. Pixels and pixel arrays are then delivered to the project team for integration. He works closely with design colleagues in both Edinburgh and Grenoble along with our technology team based at our fabrication facilities in Crolles, France.

He is currently a senior member of technical staff within ST which is a cross-site, cross-project role that includes knowledge sharing and technical training aspects, along with providing technical advice and analysis. This role requires a deep technical understanding of photonic sensors and the ability to clearly communicate this to a broad audience both internal and external to the company. As part of this role, he also acts as an industrial supervisor to a PhD student.

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Jack Otter

Masters in Mechanical Engineering, 2011

Since leaving university Jack gained a place on the Denis Ferranti graduate scheme where he was mentored by one of the company directors to develop as a professional engineer in the defence industry. Through commitment to the business and the developing marine pyrotechnic range the Institute of Mechanical Engineers recognised the level of professionalism with Chartered and Fellow status.

One of the most engaging projects Jack has led is the development of an air to surface marine Pyrotechnic flare which is safe to be deployed from a range of helicopters and aircraft. It is used to mark marine points of interest, assist landing aircraft in adverse weather conditions and used in anti-submarine.

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Kathy Bayman

MEng Chemical Engineering, 2014

After graduating, Kathy joined the BP Process Safety graduate scheme in Aberdeen. This took her through a number of different roles, from a support role in Aberdeen HQ, to a year on rotation on ETAP platform, to the turnaround team at Kinneil in Grangemouth. She also developed a love of working with schools to promote STEM subjects, organising many graduate-led events in schools or supporting visiting students in office.

Once Kathy finished the graduate scheme, she gained a full-time role in the Process Safety team, supporting all of the BP Midstream assets. With the recent takeover by INEOS, she will continue to keep taking opportunities as they appear and keep building on her links with the local schools.

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Cameron Paterson

Electrical and Electronic Engineering BSc (Hons) 1984

Cameron moved South after graduation in 1984, and is now in his 34th year in the Motor Industry.  Joining Ford as a graduate trainee at their Dunton Engineering Centre in Essex, he spent the first 17 years alternating between various engineering and project management roles, including foreign service assignments in Belgium and the USA.  His last role at Ford was as Head of the Electrical Engineering department in the UK — back where he had started as a graduate.  Needing then to escape the large corporate culture for a while, he left Ford in 2002 and joined TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing) for what proved to be a fascinating, if short lived experience, ending when the business went into administration in 2003.  A very educational experience!  Cameron then joined Bentley Motors in Crewe, Cheshire (yes, gradually working his way back North!) and has spent the last 14 years working for this iconic luxury car brand, which has been part of the VW Group since 1998.  He spent the last 4 years as Director of Whole Vehicle Engineering, and has very recently taken up a new post as Director of Technical Conformity — a new and fascinating position, created within all VW Group Brands as part of the fallout from “Dieselgate”.

A passionate and experienced automotive business leader, Cameron is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology).  He is also a great advocate of the imperative to get more young people into Engineering, and sits on the Board of the recently opened (and Bentley sponsored) University Technical College in Crewe.  Finally, he also misses Edinburgh hugely, and was delighted in 2016 to come back to the University and bring a team (& of course some cars) from Bentley to sponsor the Engineering Careers Fair.

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Seyed Danesh

Electronics and Computer Science MEng 2006, PhD from the School of Engineering 2011

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh , Seyed joined Gigle Networks, a fabless semiconductor startup company in the space of Power-Line-Communication (PLC). He joined the company at the early pre-funding stage, and helped grow the company through multiple rounds of funding to over 70 engineers and a successful exit to Broadcom.  He worked on Analog Circuit Design and System Architecture during his time at Gigle Networks and then Broadcom in developing multiple PLC System-on-Chips.

Seyed left Broadcom in 2011 and co-founded Metroic, a fabless semiconductor and technology company in the space of Smart Energy.  Following development of highly valuable technologies in the space of Energy Measurement and Management, Metroic was acquired by Analog Devices in Sep 2014, where he now works as the R&D Director of the Energy Management Product business unit.  Seyed has 14 published granted and pending patents, with a number of conference and journal papers, and continuous to lead the development of breakthrough technologies in the Energy space.

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Olivia Sweeney

Masters degree, Chemical Engineering 2017

Olivia has very recently graduated from the School of Engineering, and has since begun working for Lush as a Creative Buyer for Aroma Chemicals.

She uses her chemical engineering knowledge to establish whether there is a better and safer synthetic which can be used by Lush, if there is a natural product which would be more effective, if the company can create products from its waste stream or work with a company to scale up a new sustainable supply chain.

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Aileen Jamieson

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering, 1996

Aileen Jamieson started her career with Esso Petroleum Company at the Fawley refinery near Southampton. She held a variety of technical and commercial roles prior to attaining Chartered Engineer status in 2000.

In 2001, she moved to Wood Mackenzie where she spent over 9 years leading both oil and gas downstream research and consulting teams. In 2010, she took a Director role with project management consultancy Turner & Townsend, where Ms Jamieson is currently Global Head of performance benchmarking.

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Udita Banerjee

Innovation Engineer – Open Banking, RBS
MSc Electronics, 2013

Since graduating from the University of Edinburgh, Udita has completed the RBS Technology Graduate Scheme. As part of this, she got the opportunity to work in the Mainframe division and the Innovation department. Upon successful completion, Udita joined the bank’s Innovation department where her role is primarily to run events and projects that drive RBS’s innovation agenda. This includes working with new technologies like APIs and AI, communicating RBS’s API strategy both internally and externally and also getting involved in mentoring newer graduates and apprentices. Udita has also started and run the bank’s public Hackathon programme.

Outside of work, Udita has completed a part-time Masters in English Literature and regularly reviews theatre for Fringe Guru every year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Caroline Vorpenes

Mechanical Engineering with Renewable Engineering MEng (Hons) 2015

Since graduating from the University of Edinburgh, Caroline has been working at Jaguar Land Rover, first as a graduate engineer, and now as a project engineer for Cockpit Systems in Body Engineering. Her two years in the JLR graduate scheme involved everything from physically fitting parts to cars on the assembly line, to helping put together high level strategy documents. Caroline has had the opportunity to spend time with the Globalisation team, helping with the project management of some of JLR’s international ventures, and Design Feasibility team, interfacing between Design and Engineering to align Systems and Contents for their upcoming vehicles.

Currently, Caroline is part of the product integration team for cockpit systems, which works in the strategy phase of upcoming programmes. This involves defining the cockpit content of the vehicle, conducting initial feasibility studies, creation of concepts and estimate costings. It also consists of looking at the overall architecture of the cockpits, laying out future strategies and reducing complexity of the parts.

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Sam Ella

Civil Engineering MEng 2010, Material Science Engineering PhD 2014

After graduation Sam worked within the University rounding out her people skills trying to keep students and lecturers in line, before taking a job as an Engineering Project Manager within a small wind turbine installation firm, Scaled Energy. This role allowed her to develop project management skills gained through her PhD while also mixing in her love of engineering and dealing with people. The small yet fast paced firm sadly took a hit with the cuts to government funded tariffs for renewable energy. Scaled Energy funded Sam’s Practitioners PRINCE2 training adding another qualification to the list.

After 6 months self employed doing project management Sam found a role as Project Civil Engineer for Vestas, a large wind turbine firm. This challenging role draws on her civil engineering degree and her previous experience within the industry as well as project management skills. It’s an exciting mix of site visits pre and during construction, client meetings for civil works, value engineering or sales, advising sales on the installation capabilities and optimisations as well as installation quotes for future jobs.

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Jane Jackson

MEng in Electronics, 1992. PhD in Electronics, 1997

Since graduating Jane has worked as a mixed signal IC designer for Motorola, Seagate, Wolfson, and currently Analog Devices, where she has been for 17 years. Jane has gained experience in various fields, including converters, supply monitoring and sequencing, hotswap control and more recently switching power supplies.

Outside of work Jane has developed interests in arranging and playing music, and has performed as part of a folk trio and duo. She has taken up hill running, and has competed in various hill races and sprint triathlons. Jane has two children, and lives in Edinburgh.

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Andrew Stevenson MEng, CEng, FIMechE

Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Summer 2003

Upon leaving Edinburgh, Andrew worked as a graduate design engineer for BAE Systems designing composite panels for military aircraft on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter project. After several years he moved to a small company working in the offshore sector which designed and built customised equipment. Andrew joined as a design engineer, then led several projects before setting up a consultancy department prior to becoming a Director.

In 2010 Andrew set up his own design and consultancy business, Ardmore Craig Ltd, working with his team to design and build novel equipment for the offshore oil & gas, subsea and renewables sectors supplying around 2000 tonnes of machinery to date for use around the world. In parallel with this he has set up several sister companies undertaking onshore engineering and developing new technologies. As an engineer Andrew has been fortunate to travel round the world visiting America, Brazil, Azerbaijan and Singapore among others while undertaking challenging projects and developing solutions which positively impact on the energy sector.