MacKay Hannah

Scottish Engineering Conference 2019: Supporting Scotland's engineering and manufacturing industry


Jamie Hepburn MSP

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Scottish Government

Jamie Hepburn was educated at Hyndland Secondary and the University of Glasgow, graduating with a degree in Politics and History.

He served as National Convener of the SNP's student and youth wings, was MSP for Central Scotland between 2007 and 2011 and has been MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth since 2011. He was appointed Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health in November 2014, Minister for Employability and Training in May 2016 and Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in June 2018.


Carolyn Currie

Chief Executive, Women's Enterprise Scotland

Paul Sheerin

Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

Paul Sheerin joined Scottish Engineering from Diamond Power Specialty Ltd in February 2018.

Originally from Thurso in the north of Scotland, Paul studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Glasgow and joined Nuclear Electric in 1990 as part of the Sizewell ‘B’ project team. After a period of working based in the USA, he returned to Scotland and joined Polaroid at its Dumbarton base in 1996 and became Managing Director from 2005 until March 2017. Paul has been a keen volunteer and supporter of Young Enterprise Scotland, acting as Schools Business Adviser and Dunbartonshire Area Team Chair, and enjoys opportunities to promote Enterprise, Engineering and Manufacturing within schools.


Roy Henderson

Director, SP Technology


Dr Stephen Harwood

Lecturer - Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, University of Edinburgh Business School

Charles Hammond

Chief Executive Officer, Forth Ports Limited

Charles Hammond has been Chief Executive Officer of Forth Ports Limited (previously Forth Ports PLC) since 2001 and actively involved in the ports industry for over 25 years.

He is a Director of The United Kingdom Major Ports Group (Chairman from 2010 to 2014) and is currently a member of The Scottish Energy Advisory Board and a member of the Cabinet Secretary’s 2020 Vision for Health & Social Care.

He has also previously been Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh, the economic development agency for the East of Scotland, and Chairman of SpaceandPeople Group, the retail, promotional and brand experience specialist.

Forth Ports owns and operates several ports on the east coast of Scotland and also London’s major port, The Port of Tilbury. It is the UK’s third largest ports grouping. It provides integrated handling and distribution services and solutions to a wide variety of customers through its ports, handling a wide range of commodities.

Forth Ports Limited is now in private ownership, and is 67% owned by Arcus, a major UK and European Infrastructure Fund, and 33% owned by Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada.

Career Highlights

• Privatisation of Forth Ports by IPO
• Development of Scottish Executive building of 350,000 sq ft
• Acquisition of Port of Tilbury (rights issue and bank funding)
• Largest ever planning consent in Edinburgh for Leith Docks Development
• Market capitalisation growth as PLC Chief Executive – entry into FTSE 250
• Successful takeover defence (2010)
• Implementation of agreed take private bid (2011)
• Significant EBITDA growth since take private through organic growth, acquisition and cost reductions
• Successful long term fundraising and refinancing of up to £575m in American Private Placement markets and Group of Banks

Sector Experience

Ports, logistics, distribution, property, energy/renewables, oil and gas, retail, general industrial, waste and recycling.


Billy Scott

Key Sector Manager: Engineering, Skills Development Scotland

Julia Brown

Portfolio Director - High Value Manufacturing and Health, Scottish Enterprise

Julia is responsible for setting and ensuring delivery of Scottish Enterprise’s strategies to support the economic growth and development of High Value Manufacturing sectors (Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Aerospace, Defence, Marine and Space) in Scotland. She is the lead for SE's engagement on Healthcare and NHS Scotland.

As a member of the SE leadership team she is responsible for a number of key stakeholder management relationships and projects. These include the development of the Edinburgh BioQuarter campus, Grangemouth area and National Manufacturing Institute. The role involves regular engagement with academic institutes, politicians, civil servants, local authorities and public sector partners with the primary focus being on helping Scotland’s business sector grow.

Julia is also a board member at the Knowledge Transfer Network. The KTN helps businesses get the best out of creativity, ideas and the latest discoveries to strengthen the UK economy and improve people's lives. The KTN is a network partner of Innovate UK.


Brian Machray

Head of Manufacturing and Industrials, AIB (GB)


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I was keen to get a better understanding/background to the budget and this was met. Well structured event with good and knowledgeable speakers.

Ewan Wylie, Malcolm Hollis LLP,
Fraser of Allander Scotland's Budget Briefing, 26 September 2017

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