Fiona Alderson recognised in New Year Honours list

New Year fireworks
New Year fireworks
Fiona Alderson, the School’s Technical Services Manager, has been recognised in the New Year Honours List with the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to education and engineering.

The New Year Honours list recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.

Technical Services impact

Fiona leads the School’s Technical Services (TS) operation which performs a crucial role in delivering the School’s degree programmes across four disciplines to over 2,300 students, alongside 340 staff. Their role includes operating four workshops and over 20 specialist teaching and research laboratories. 

Enabling staff and students

Fiona and her team have responded to a dramatic growth in School staff and student numbers over the past five years, fuelled in part by a doubling of research grant value, alongside a significant expansion in the School’s footprint at the King’s Buildings.

Fiona has also played a crucial role in facilitating successful student-led teams HYPED, Edinburgh University Formula Student and InnSpace, enabling students to develop both technically and personally far beyond the formal content of their degree programmes.

Championing technicians

In addition to her roles supporting students and staff in the School, Fiona has spearheaded several initiatives which have championed the technician role at University and national level, including a highly successful technician apprenticeship programme.

More recently, Fiona has been part of a steering group responsible for delivering the Technician Commitment, a cross-sector initiative to promote visibility, recognition, and career development for technicians, which held its successful launch event at the McEwan Hall back in November.

Special nomination

Hugh McCann, former Head of School, who nominated Fiona for her honour commented: “Fiona has been visibly at the helm of TS, gaining the deep respect of academic colleagues and of TS staff, who are justifiably proud of their achievements under her supportive management. Fiona’s expertise has been sought after, and willingly given, in wider activities within the University, and her impact has been truly immense.”

Fiona reacted to the award by saying: “I felt excited, proud, overwhelmed that someone had taken time to nominate me but also humbled; I am doing a job that I love, working with some of the most skilled, inventive, enthusiastic, dedicated bunch of technicians I have ever worked with and I could not have achieved what I have without them around me.”

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