Scalpay student masters hectic workload to achieve degree

An Aberdeen father-of-two and full-time engineer at AMEC, is to graduate with a Master of Engineering with distinction, from Robert Gordon University at 2.30pm on Friday 10 December.

Murdo MacleodMurdo Macleod (35), originally from the island of Scalpay in the Western Isles, has successfully combined his hectic family life and demanding engineering career, with studying at the School of Engineering.

In order to manage his work and family life, dedicated family man Murdo initially studied a few HND modules in the evenings, before enrolling into the second year of the full-time BEng course in Mechanical Engineering. His efforts soon paid off as he was invited on to the MEng Mechanical Engineering degree thanks to his excellent exam results.

Whilst studying for his degree, Murdo maintained full-time work with AMEC as a Pipe Stress Engineer. This involved a challenging routine of working at times from 6am until 8.30am, attending University lectures at 9am and then returning to work after lectures, to ensure that his assigned projects did not suffer as a result of maintaining full-time study.

Studying and working full-time was one challenge, but being married with two young children understandably placed additional demands on his time.

Murdo says, "When I started studying for my degree, Liam was four and Ross was two, and because I didn't want to lose any time with them, I rarely did any studying until they were asleep except in the lead up to exams. Obviously without my wife's support and encouragement, things would have been a lot harder!

"The close friends we have made since moving to Aberdeen were also very supportive, particularly helping Jennifer with the kids when I was studying for exams."

Murdo excelled on his course, winning the Alexander Nicol Carnegie Engineering Award.

He adds, "For me the best part of University life was the fantastic people I met. Graduating with the people I studied with is probably going to be the greatest highlight. Course leader, Dr Jenny McConnachie, and indeed all of the lecturers involved with the engineering course, and those in the administration office, could not have been more helpful."

In terms of his future plans, Murdo concluded: "I am in the process of applying for Chartered Engineer status with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. As for my future, I'm not sure, but having my degree will definitely give me more options."

Shade-anne Waddell
Communications Assistant
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206
Mob: 07970 622229