Donald Lawson

Donald graduated in Building Economics & Quantity Surveying in 1981. He is now the CEO of Worldwide Operations for Faithful+Gould, he lives in Edinburgh and splits his time between offices in the UK, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Americas.

Can you tell us about where you work and describe your role?

I work for Faithful+Gould, a global integrated project and programme management consultancy delivering constructive expertise to clients. The Faithful+Gould brand is part of the Atkins Group, one of the world's largest design, engineering and project management firms. My role as CEO encompasses leadership responsibility for service delivery to all our global clients whilst ensuring focus is maintained on our professional, positive and collaborative values. I am also a member of Atkins' Senior Leadership Team and am responsible for a number of Group initiatives globally. I live in Edinburgh and spend much of my time in London, the US, Middle East and Asia Pac. As well as challenging, my role is exciting and rewarding; no two days are the same.

Why did you choose Heriot-Watt and the programme that you studied?

Having always been interested in the built environment I chose Heriot-Watt and the BEQS degree because I felt it would allow me to contribute to making projects happen in the future.

What was your experience of doing a degree at Heriot-Watt University?

I enjoyed my time at Heriot-Watt; the course was thorough, varied and relevant and instilled in me the right balance of confidence and knowledge I needed to start out in the industry.

How has your degree helped you in your profession?

The degree enabled me to start my career in a well established and reputable organisation (RMJM) which then led me to develop key skills and experience at an early stage in my career; I feel that without my degree I would not have been given the opportunities presented to me at the beginning of my career and I would not have been able to advance at the rate that I did.

Do you have any advice for students interested in working in your field?

Get the right qualifications and as much experience as you can, keep an open mind and be interested in all areas of the industry; look at the future and keep ahead of the game in your knowledge and experience of technology and industry initiatives.