A £50 banknote featuring James Watt has been presented to Heriot-Watt University by the Bank of England. The presentation was made by Chris Salmon, the Bank’s Executive Director for Banking Services and Chief Cashier, to Heriot-Watt Principal Professor Steve Chapman.
James Watt’s name is incorporated in our own, but we also work to replicate his scientific and entrepreneurial qualities in our university and in our graduatesProfessor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University
Launched earlier in the month, the note features the renowned 18th century business partnership of engineer James Watt and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, and also marks the first time two portraits have appeared together on the back of a Bank of England banknote. It is also the first banknote in circulation to be signed by Chris Salmon, who was appointed to his new role in April 2011.
Professor Steve Chapman said, “We are delighted to accept this bank note, which is a tribute to Watt and Boulton’s partnership of engineering and economic endeavour.
"James Watt’s name is incorporated in our own, but we also work to replicate his scientific and entrepreneurial qualities in our university and in our graduates, with a keen eye, as Watt had, for the demands of industry and the economy.”
Promoting national heritage
Chris Salmon said, “The Bank of England is honoured by the unique opportunity it has through its banknotes to acknowledge and promote awareness of our nation’s heritage of artistic, social and scientific endeavour. The Bank’s choice of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, a reminder of the invaluable contribution from engineering and the entrepreneurial spirit to the advancement of society, I think, well reflects this.
“I am delighted to present this new-style £50 note to the Heriot-Watt University, which has itself commemorated the work of James Watt in its name.”
The note will be displayed in the University’s museum, next to a model of James Watt’s revolutionary improvements to the Newcomen steam engine which, by introducing a separate condenser, radically improved the efficiency of energy production.
Today the University’s James Watt Institute continues the tradition of Innovation through delivering high impact research in innovative manufacturing technologies.