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UWS Alumni - tell us your career story

Share your academic and career story with other alumni. Send us your profile details so we can build a complete picture of the diverse activities and achievements of UWS alumni.

You can either complete the form, [profile form] or contact us on +44 (0)141 848 3733 or email: We look forward to hearing from you!

Gordon McConnell Flight Pioneer Alumni Story | UWS | University of the West of Scotland

Flight Pioneer

Gordon McConnell is internationally recognised as chief engineer of the iconic and innovative Airbus A350, the ultra-long range aircraft transforming the future of air travel. He has been awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Gold Medal – an honour he shares with those other flight pioneers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. But Gordon’s career had a bumpy start. Gordon failed his first year exams at University of Strathclyde. Rather than resit, he opted to start again at the then Paisley College of Technology (now University of the West of Scotland).

I have a keep-it-simple attitude which has stood me in good stead throughout my career,” Gordon says. “And I’m absolutely sure it came out of the training I got at Paisley, which was down-to-earth and never purely theoretical.”
Read the full article in WEST
Lesley Dalziel Iron Grip Alumni Story | UWS | University of the West of Scotland

Iron Grip

Lesley Dalziel, Group Finance Director at Axle Group Holdings Ltd in Glasgow, makes a startling admission about her workplace:

They call me Mrs Thatcher.” It’s difficult to imagine anyone less like the former Prime Minister. But she continues: “I make the rules, and they’re the rules, and that’s it. The reason we’re successful is because of our strict controls and procedures.”

Born into a working-class family in Paisley, Lesley worked as an NHS accountant before joining the global health insurance company, Cigna. There she decided to study for an MBA at what was then the University of Paisley.

Today she leads the finances of a group that incorporates National Tyres and Autocare centres, with 250 outlets across the UK, 1,500 staff and a £200m turnover.

Read the full article in WEST
Les Hutchinson The Quiet Philanthropist Alumni Story | UWS | University of the West of Scotland

The Quiet Philanthropist

Lanarkshire-born businessman Les Hutchison is the quiet philanthropist. He has a strong belief in “giving something back” but he does it without fanfare.

He has, however, made an exception for his recent very generous financial donation to University activity, by allowing us to feature him in the hope that it will inspire others in his position to follow his example.


My task is not only to help the University directly, but to encourage other alumni like me to come forward


Les, who left Bell College of Technology (now part of UWS) with an HNC Electrical Engineering in 1975, went on to become Vice Chair and a Director of the Canadian energy services company, ShawCor Ltd and owner of Motherwell FC before transferring the club into fan ownership in 2016.

Read the full article in WEST
Last updated: 13/07/2017