Heriot-Watt announces new Chancellor

L-R: Dr Robert Buchan with the Principal, Professor Steve Chapman.

Dr Robert M Buchan has been appointed Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, following a meeting of the University Court today (1st October 2012).

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal and Vice-Chancellor said: "We are all delighted that Dr Buchan has accepted the invitation to become the Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University from December 2012. He is a widely admired international business figure, with a passion for advancing scientific research into addressing the key energy sustainability challenges facing the world today; he will be an inspiration to our students."

He added: "He follows in the footsteps of Baroness Susan Greenfield who we have been privileged to have as Chancellor for the past seven years."

I look forward to spending time with students and staff, and hope that in some way I can add to the experience of being at Heriot-Watt

Dr Robert Buchan, new Chancellor of Heriot-Watt  

Dr Buchan is a Canada-based Scottish mining entrepreneur, philanthropist and Heriot-Watt graduate. He is committed to supporting higher education with a focus on what is needed in the future and recently funded the establishment of the Robert M Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Heriot-Watt.

Dr Buchan said of his appointment as Chancellor: "It is an honour to be asked, and a privilege to accept, the position of Chancellor of this university. While I have had some success in business, nothing has given me more pleasure than this appointment. I look forward to spending time with students and staff, and hope that in some way I can add to the experience of being at Heriot-Watt."

Dr Buchan will take over from the current Chancellor, Baroness Susan Greenfield, who will relinquish her position at the end of November 2012. His period of office will initially be for five years.

Dr Buchan grew up in Rosyth, Fife, and obtained an undergraduate degree in mining from Heriot-Watt University in 1969 and a Master of Science degree in mining engineering from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 1971.

In 1993, he founded Kinross Gold, a small gold mining company which he grew into the third-largest primary gold producer in North America. After retiring as chief executive in 2005, he was one of the founders of Katanga Copper, the developer of one of the world's largest copper deposits.

He was also instrumental in the formation of Allied Nevada, targeting one of North America's largest gold deposits. Dr Buchan retired from Katanga in 2007, and remains executive chairman of Allied Nevada.

He is a director of the Buchan Family Foundation, which is involved in a number of philanthropic causes and campaigns.