Award Accolade for Surveying Student

A Moffat local has won a prestigious award in recognition of his achievement in the third year of his BSc Surveying honours degree.  

Alasdair DuncansonAlasdair Duncanson, whose family runs Marchbank farm just outside Moffat, received the ‘Best Building Surveying student’ accolade at the opening ceremony of the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment End of Year Show 2011.

The Show, which launched on Wednesday 15 June with a private opening and prize-giving ceremony, exhibited a range of student designs, sketches and intricate models, spanning architecture, surveying, AT and construction design and management disciplines. It ran until Thursday 30 June.

Alasdair (20) was selected for his prize for two major coursework pieces carried out within his professional practice modules. For the first, he produced designs to convert the old Robert Gordon University nursery into self-contained flats for students. He had to produce a variety of drawings and specify materials for construction and then present his design to a panel of his tutors.

The second project focused on Knock Castle, a ruined tower house located just outside Ballater. He crafted design solutions to make the structure wind and water tight.

He explained: “The castle is B-listed and also a scheduled ancient monument. There was very little evidence of what would have originally been in the building so fulfilling the project aims involved a large amount of research. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much as I ended up knowing a lot about the building and its history.”

Commenting on his accolade, he said: “It came as such a shock because I had heard nothing about it before I got the phone call to say that I had won! Not only is it fabulous to be able to put it on my CV but it feels absolutely brilliant to have been selected!”

Alasdair now aims to gain work experience with a relevant company during the summer, and hopes that his award may give him some advantage in securing a placement.

Dr Michael Dignan, a lecturer within the Surveying department, was one of Alasdair’s third-year tutors on both semester projects. He said: “Alasdair has thoroughly merited his award.  His work showed flair, confidence and a great depth of knowledge over a number of areas.  Needless to say, we are all looking forward to him continuing to progress in his final year.”

Head of School, Dr David McClean commented:
“I would like to congratulate Alasdair and all winners at this year’s ceremony. The End of Year Show is an important celebration of the work of the School, and amply displays the commitment, imagination and dedication of our students and staff.

“It provides an excellent demonstration of the broad range of professional skills developed by our students through diverse projects, many of which relate to our local community. Despite the impact of the economic downturn on the construction industry at this point in time, the design and realisation of buildings, towns and cities of the highest quality endures as a fundamental social need.”

For more information about the Scott Sutherland School and the End of Year Show, visit:


Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389