Honorary degree for 12-time Oscar winner

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By Mathew Johnstone, News Editor


Strathclyde have given an honorary degree to a 12-time technical Oscar winner.

Professor Iain Neil, who was given the degree this month, is the most prolific living technical Oscar winner, and second only to Walt Disney in the Academy Awards’ history.

Professor Neil said: “I consider it a tremendous privilege to have been considered for this honorary degree.”

“An important part of my career has been to make use of a broad range of knowledge, with my academic training at Strathclyde having formed a firm foundation to work from.”

A pioneer in optical design used in cinematography, Professor Neil graduated in Applied Physics from Strathclyde in 1977.

He has also won 2 American Emmys and has over a hundred patents worldwide for his designs.

Professor Dimitris Drikakis, Executive Dean of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Engineering, presented Professor Neil for the honorary degree. He said: “Professor Neil is spared the media frenzy of Oscar night, because his contribution to cinema is neither behind nor before the camera; it is in the camera itself. In Iain’s work, outstanding science enables great art in a fusion of the ‘two cultures.’”

Previous recipients of honorary degrees include writers Seamus Heaney and Andrew O’Hagan, and athlete Oscar Pistorius, who had his stripped earlier this year.

Professor Neil is a winner of the Fuji Gold Medal from the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers and was named Strathclyde’s Alumnus of the Year in 2003. He is a fellow of the International Society for Optics and Photonics and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts & Sciences.


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