Meet Your New Council Members

Delivering impact through a well-connected alumni community

Mike Ross – President

I’ve served as vice-president of The Watt Club, mentored students at the university and served on departmental industrial advisory boards. This has given me a keen insight about what we need to do to develop and advance our vibrant network of alumni. There are three key areas I believe we should be prioritising to enahnce the power of our network:

Our ability to create a connected community is a function of how much time and money we can invest. The Watt Club needs to prioritise this to create lasting success. I will drive this forward by working across the university community to develop a diverse range of sustainable funding opportunities.

Our alumni network is vast and our ability to network effectively relies on our ability to leverage technology. One example of this is live streaming events so that all alumni can participate.

With the right initiatives in place, mentoring strengthens our community. It creates opportunities to support other alumni through their toughest challenges and drives better outcomes as a result.

Patrick Corbett – Vice-President

I believe the University deserves a strong alumni association and I am very proud of the heritage of the institution.  I have served on Watt Club Council for a number of years and am a current member of Court and Senate. 

I am a partly-retired Professor of Petroleum Geoengineering in the School of EGIS and owe a lot for that position to my Heriot-Watt degrees.  I am also the University Poet 2019.  I believe that our alumni that are also current staff represent a large branch of the family we should do more to engage with.

Joe Pacitti – Council Member

I have a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Heriot-Watt University and I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

I have over 30 years' experience in both public and private sector, covering technical and commercial roles with technology companies, public sector economic development agencies and higher education (HE) institutes.

I have significant international experience in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australasia, South America and North America markets covering engineering, technical sales and marketing and educational development. I have held a number of non-executive director positions and currently I am chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Scotland.

In my current role as Managing Director of CeeD, I lead a membership organisation of 200 companies and HE and FE institutions focused on learning and development through activities promoting best-practice sharing. CeeD has an alumni of over 1,000 employees from our member companies, who have undertaken the formal training programme we provide.

I am passionate about supporting organisations and individuals through networks with a view to creating mechanisms for knowledge exchange, best-practice sharing and business and personal growth. Being elected to the Watt Club Council allows me to lever my existing knowledge and experience to support its mission.

Raphael Pfaeltzer – Council Member

For me, Heriot-Watt was a great launchpad to start a career and a great place to make friends. The international student body and the exchange options opened doors, both professionally and personally, and since my time at Heriot-Watt, I have lived, studied and worked in the UK, France, Germany and Denmark.

Given its size and reach, the Watt Club could do even more internationally – both for students and the University. As a council member, I will contribute my international perspective and both my private and professional network.

I will strive to help Heriot-Watt build a stronger brand and network abroad, and to further develop the community feeling of the Watt Club for those alumni who do not live in the UK.