Former Mercedes F1 Team Principal Ross Brawn in conversation with Bob Keiller



L-R: Gordon Ballard, Chairman and Country Manager, Schlumberger UK Ltd; Bob Keiller, Chief Executive of Wood Group PLC; Ross Brawn, Former Team Principal, MercedesGP; Professor Steve Chapman, Principal Heriot-Watt University.

Heriot-Watt’s Development and Alumni Office were proud to recently present a head to head discussion by two of the most respected leaders in their fields.

Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn, Team Principal at Mercedes’ Formula 1 team until 2013, received an honorary degree from Heriot-Watt in 2011. After retiring completely from the sport in 2014, Ross left a legacy of having enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers ever seen within Formula 1 with a legacy of winning 10 drivers’ and 10 constructors’ titles.

Bob Keiller

In conversation with him was Bob Keiller, Chief Executive of Wood Group PLC and a graduate of the MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering course at Heriot-Watt. Bob has worked in the oil & gas industry since 1986. As evidenced by his numerous awards, including Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2008 and Scottish Businessman of the Year in 2007, Bob’s leadership has helped build Wood Group into an international energy services company with over $7bn in sales.

The event

Their chat went into some detail surrounding safety aspects of Formula 1 and the oil and gas industry, and how safety is of paramount importance to ensure everyone can perform to the best of their abilities. Ross also highlighted that the key to success, in Formula 1 as well as other areas of life, is to stay focused and ensure you and your team are continually striving to be the best. The moment you become complacent, you will be overtaken – in his case both physically and metaphorically.

Bob Keiller said of the event, “This was a terrific night and a great opportunity for fellow Heriot-Watt graduates to engage with a legend of F1. Thanks to Ross for allowing us to host him here in Wood Group’s offices. Tonight demonstrated the similarities between two industries which, at first glance may seem disparate, but have more in common than you might think, both offering fantastic career paths for new graduates to follow.”

To see more images of the night, visit Heriot-Watt’s Alumni Facebook group at

Wood Group is an international energy services company with around $7bn sales and operating in more than 50 countries. The Group is built on Core Values and has three businesses – Wood Group PSN, Wood Group Kenny and Wood Group Mustang – providing a range of engineering, production support and maintenance management services to the oil & gas, and power generation industries worldwide.