Celebrating James Watt and Scottish innovation



Past and present Watt Club Presidents (l-r) Gregor Colville, David Brew, Norman Chipakupaku (current President) and Ian Ritchie.

Senior members of the University and Watt Club presidents past and present joined an event at the Scottish parliament to celebrate the birthday of iconic Scottish innovator James Watt and 250 years since his invention of the condensing steam engine.

The reception celebrated the inspiration of James Watt's story to today's young scientists and entrepreneurs and the value to local communities of our history and heritage after the Industrial Revolution, which transformed Scotland and the world.

The event helped to launch the Scottish Government's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and was organised by the Celebrating James Watt Steering Group which includes Heriot-Watt University. The Steering Group is building support for national and local Watt activities leading up to 2019, the 250th anniversary of the 1769 patent of Watt's ground breaking separate condenser and bicentenary of Watt's death. The University will contribute events and activities to highlight innovative research and inspire young people to emulate Watt's engineering achievements.

Named in part after James Watt, Heriot-Watt has over 100 James Watt PhD studentships covering all aspects of engineering, science and technology. The connection is also celebrated in an exhibition, “An original genius”- James Watt and his legacy, which is running at the Museum and Archive at the Edinburgh Campus until 28 January, opening hours Monday-Thursday, 10-4 pm.

For more information, contact Ann Jones, Head of Heritage and Information Governance: a.e.jones@hw.ac.uk   Tel: +44 (0)131 451 3219