Doing Watt Matters – Dr Lorraine Russell



We would like to offer a huge thanks to all of our colleagues, students and alumni who are working hard to support one another during this time. Particular recognition must go to our colleagues delivering essential safety and maintenance across all our campuses. They continue to keep our university running, across the world, and we truly appreciate their vitally important work.

One such colleague and alumnus is Dr Lorraine Russell, Health & Safety Manager in our award-winning SafeGuarding Services team. Based at the Edinburgh Campus, Lorraine has been at Heriot-Watt for an impressive 24 years, joining us as a 17-year-old undergraduate straight from school to study Physics. After securing her degree, she stayed at Heriot-Watt to achieve a PhD and was successfully employed here as a Research Associate in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

In her own time and at her own expense, Lorraine later studied to obtain health & safety qualifications and joined Heriot-Watt’s Health & Safety Services in 2012 on a one-year secondment. Enjoying her role and realising that this is where she wanted to be, Lorraine applied for a permanent position as a Health & Safety Officer the following year and joined the team permanently. Since then, she has been promoted to Health & Safety Manager and now successfully leads the Health & Safety Team.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, Lorraine has made significant contributions on a professional and personal level. From the outset, she has been part of the COVID-19 Response Committee, which requires her to be on-call every day, managing care for students who are on and off campus and personally delivering food and medication to those who have been self-isolating. In addition, she has been ensuring that all relevant staff have the protective equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.

I work with a great team and we have all been pulling together to support our community during this crisis.

Dr Lorraine Russell

Les Allan, Director of SafeGuarding Services added, “Lorraine is one of those great success stories, having been with the university for 24 years. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis she has been a key player – particularly in managing care for students both on and off campus who are ill or self-isolating. I can give many examples of situations where she has gone above and beyond to support both students and staff, putting the needs of others above her own.”

Lorraine said, “I work with a great team and we have all been pulling together to support our community during this crisis. I would particularly like to mention Paul Cyphus our Biological Safety Officer. His expertise and logical, calm manner has been invaluable! I am extremely proud of what I have been able to achieve at Heriot-Watt and I’m delighted to be part of such a global and collaborative community of students, staff and alumni, who are working hard every day to support each other during this really difficult time. Stay safe everyone.”

We are keen to keep sharing and highlighting the brilliant work of our community across all of our campuses. Please share your stories with us by emailing

#OneWatt #DoWattMatters