Winning students benefit from industry backing

Three recent graduates of the Masters Project Management programme at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have been awarded the annual Balmoral Offshore Engineering Prize for their winning projects, each benefiting from a share of a £5,000 prize fund.

BalmoralPrizeThis is the fourth year running that the Aberdeen-based subsea equipment manufacturing company has sponsored the prize for Aberdeen Business School students, viewing it as an important link between industry and academia, as well as providing a real boost to students on the project management course.

Each student on the MSc Project Management programme was required to produce a research proposal as part of their individual project, highlighting real issues within a real business context focusing on areas including governance, risk management, procurement, leadership and the project management office. The winning proposals were rated so highly by assessors that plans are now in place to take the best forward to the next stage of research.

James Milne, Chairman and Managing Director of Balmoral Group, said: “It is remarkable what a fresh pair of eyes can bring to a project and our collaboration with the students and staff of Aberdeen Business School, both in terms of this competition and the placement opportunities we offer students, is truly a win-win situation.”

Agboifo Ndidi (29) originally from Nigeria, has been awarded first prize in the competition and a cheque for £2,500. His project management proposal focused on decision making in Nigerian upstream development projects.

Agboifo said: “I am so happy to have won first place, it’s a tribute to the hard work I put in. I have enjoyed the cross-industry relevance of the course and feel that I have gained both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills essential for a career in project management”.

Petra Ekhator from Nigeria, who produced a detailed study into Team Building in the Construction Industry and Nathalie Marti from Switzerland, whose report centred on Project Management Standards in UK SME’s, have achieved second and third place in the competition and were awarded cheques for £1,500 and £1,000 respectively.

Langes Supramaniam, MSc Project Management Course Leader, added: “These students each boast very high pass rate for their individual projects and this is testament to the high standard of their work. As a university, we are proud to be closely associated with industry and this event provides further affirmation that the MSc Project Management course is relevant and continues to meet industry's demand and needs.”
For further information on the course, and how to apply, contact Langes Supramaniam on Tel: +44(0)1224 263908 or e mail

Photo Caption 1:
Students at RGU’s Aberdeen Business School after having received their awards at the prize giving on Wednesday 21 December.

Left to Right: Nathalie Ritter Marti, Desmond Agboifo, Rita Marcella (Dean of Aberdeen Business School), Petra Ekhator, Stephen Gibb (Balmoral Group Public Relations Manager)

Notes to Editors:
- Balmoral Offshore Engineering awards an annual prize fund of £5000 divided between the three top students on RGU’s MSc Project Management course.

The top-performing students on the course are short-listed and their projects submitted to Balmoral who mark and select the top three prize winners.

- The MSc in Project Management is a management development programme suitable for new graduates and experienced project managers wishing to develop their professional practice and gain a qualification in their specialist area. The course caters for all project management disciplines including information technology, public sector, business, built environment, engineering, knowledge, health and energy. It is also highly relevant to the new emerging market of project management in professional services like Human Resources and Finance which is largely being driven by government modernisation and large scale outsourcing.

The MSc Project Management is fully accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM) and recognised by the Project Management Institute (PMI) ® as a Global Registered Education Provider. RGU are approved to offer project management training for Professional Development Units (PDU). The course was also accredited by the GAC/PMI in 2009.

Issued By:

Katie Begg
Communications Officer | Aberdeen Business School
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262144