By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 7, 2021: A Caribbean national has been named as the chancellor of the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Scotland, Professor Sir Geoff Palmer, has appointed to the post. As Chancellor, he will play a central role in promoting Heriot-Watt’s international reputation as a pioneer in research and education across its campuses in Scotland, Malaysia and Dubai.
Sir Geoff takes over from Dr Robert M. Buchan, a mining entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is standing down after almost eight years in the role. An official inauguration ceremony will be held during the University’s Bicentennial celebrations in October.
Sir Geoff, who is an internationally renowned scientist and human rights activist, will assume his new role at an official inauguration ceremony in October.
In commenting on the appointment he said: “Becoming the Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, an institution I know well and admire, is a position I accept with both honor and humility. It is an institution that has, since its inception, fostered the ethos of inclusion and education for all, and I am very proud of the continued focus on ensuring that its doors are open to everyone – in Scotland and across the world.
“As a truly international University, I am very much looking forward to promoting and enhancing its reputation as a provider of world-class education and as a global leader in innovative research and will assist the University to achieve its goals and ambitions during my period as Chancellor.”
Sir Geoff completed his PhD in grain science and technology in 1967. He went on to a successful research career with Brewing Industry Research Foundation in Surrey. During this time, he invented the barley abrasion process, before returning to Heriot-Watt University in 1977 where he remained until his retirement in 2005.
Following his retirement, he earned the academic title of professor emeritus. He was knighted in 2014 for services in the fields of human rights, science and charity.
In 2018, the Jamaican government appointed Sir Geoff as Jamaica’s first Honorary Consul in Scotland and in 2020, he was awarded with the Jamaican national honor, the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), in recognition of his contribution to the Jamaican Diaspora.
Professor Sir Geoff Palmer’s term will last for an initial five-years.
In 2021, Heriot-Watt University celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding in Scotland. From its beginnings as the world’s first mechanics institute in the heart of Edinburgh, two centuries of innovation have led to what is today a unique international institution with campuses in the UK, Dubai and Malaysia.