Alasdair Rutherford received the special award from the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) for the teamwork, initiative and insight he displayed during his spell working at the lab.
He has also received the Richard Thornley Prize from Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, an award made in recognition of exceptional project work.
Alasdair received his degree from Strathclyde during a ceremony at Strathclyde’s Barony Hall on Friday 10 July.
A letter from Dstl to Alasdair announcing his prize stated: “You have successfully delivered a technically complex piece of work with minimal direction. To achieve this, you have shown that you have worked well across a project team, based in different departments and at different sites, participated in and supported the organisation of a range trial, stepping up to lead the task and ensure continuity on the project, and as an outcome, written and delivered a technical report noted for its quality.”
Alasdair said: “I had known before I applied to universities that I wanted to study Physics and I wanted to stay close to home. Since Strathclyde had a blossoming, but well-established, Department of Physics at the time, it seemed like the obvious choice. It’s now clear that I made the right choice since I am graduating from the number one department of Physics in the country!
“Apart from the high level of teaching, my fourth year Honours level project, under Professor Alex Cunningham and Dr David McKee, gave me valuable experience in working in a laboratory environment and working in a research role – something I‘m ultimately going to continue to some degree in my future career.
“I have also been completely supported by Strathclyde in undertaking placements. The facilities at the University are being upgraded constantly, which leads to a better environment for studying and learning, but the main benefit from studying at Strathclyde has been the support of the staff in the department. Many people take time to help, even with what can sometimes seem like trivial matters, and I’m constantly pushed to be a better student and scientist.”
After graduating, Alasdair is due to study in Lancashire for an MSc in Clinical Science, on a Medical Physics Scientist Training Programme in the NHS.