Gra­ham switches to academia

The Scotsman - - As It Waits For Test Engine - PEtEr raNSCOMBE

stEVE Gra­ham, the di­rec­tor of the highly re­garded scot­tish Man­u­fac­tur­ing Ad­vi­sory ser­vice (sMAs), has un­ex­pect­edly re­signed to head strath­clyde Uni­ver­sity’s new re­new­able en­ergy cen­tre.

sMAs ad­vises man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­nesses on how they can im­prove their prod­ucts and pro­cesses. Gra­ham, who was hired to head the new group nearly five years ago, is cred­ited with a string of suc­cesses.

since sMAs was es­tab­lished in 2006, the ser­vice has de­liv­ered al­most £50 mil­lion in added value for man­u­fac­tur­ers, which have en­joyed a min­i­mum re­turn on in­vest­ment of £11 for ev­ery £1 spent. the body’s bud­get last year was £2.3m.

Gra­ham is ex­pected to leave sMAs in oc­to­ber to take up his new role as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the technology and in­no­va­tion Cen­tre for re­new­able En­ergy and En­abling tech­nolo­gies at strath­clyde, the brain­child of prin­ci­pal Pro­fes­sor Jim McDon­ald, him­self a for­mer en­gi­neer.

A spokes­woman for scot­tish En­ter­prise, which runs sMAs, said an in­terim di­rec­tor was ex­pected to be ap­pointed within the next month while the search con­tin­ues for a suc­ces­sor.

Peter Hughes, chief ex­ec­u­tive of trade body scot­tish En­gi­neer­ing and also a mem­ber of strath­clyde Uni­ver­sity’s court, said sMAs’s loss was academia’s gain.

He said: “sMAs is very well re­spected among our 400 mem­bers – we’ve had great feed­back about its ser­vices. steve has built a very strong team and he leaves be­hind very big boots to fill.”

liz Cameron, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the scot­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce, added: “sMAs has been one of the most suc­cess­ful pro­grammes in­tro­duced by scot­tish En­ter­prise. steve Gra­ham has been a fan­tas­tic leader sup­ported by a strong board of

Pic­ture: AP

sev­eral weeks fol­low­ing a de­lay in the avail­abil­ity of a Rolls-Royce en­gine needed for tests

Steve Gra­ham is leav­ing SMAS for a univer­sity role

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