Stirling graduate Andrew Hepburn has collected a scroll bursting with qualifications fit for the digital age, after achieving a first class honours in Computing Science.
The 21-year-old from Fort William in the Scottish Highlands will shortly relocate to Edinburgh to take up a graduate software engineer role with defence sector specialists Selex ES.
Exposed to technology from an early age thanks to his father, Andrew’s early encounters with computers led him to pursue a world of computing science.
'I grew up watching my dad work with and use computers', Andrew said, 'At first I was an avid user and gamer, but this soon progressed and I wanted to assemble computers and develop a better understanding of how they worked. As I got older I realised a degree in computing science can lead to some great career opportunities.'
After winning a place at Stirling straight from high school, the student delved into campus life and even used his time at University to explore another interest held from a young age: piping.
Having played the bagpipes from the age of 11, Andrew became an active member of the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band, competing in major pipe band competitions across the country and performing at prestigious Scottish venues such as Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and The Royal Yacht Britannia.
Andrew’s hard work throughout University culminated in a challenging final year project. He developed a system that could take algae toxicity readings from lakes and lochs and post them online.
'I designed this system because levels of blue-green algae in bodies of water can be extremely toxic – something which happens at Airthrey Loch on campus. I worked with the Biological and Environmental Sciences department on a sensor to carry out the readings, developed a website to allow anyone to access the data, and built hardware so the sensor could communicate over the internet. It was a challenge but I gained experience in so many different areas', Andrew explained.
'Demonstrating the final result to the team down by Airthrey Loch was the culmination of a year’s work and a really memorable moment. For me, I will always have fond memories of Stirling as a place with beautiful surroundings, where I completed a degree in something I loved, met lots of new people, and worked with a great team of teaching and support staff.'
Dr Andrea Bracciali, Lecturer in Computing Science and Mathematics, supervised Andrew’s project. Dr Bracciali said: 'Andrew developed one of the most interesting projects I have seen and supervised at Stirling. He used a range of different technologies on what was a truly multi-disciplinary project, collaborating with colleagues across the University to bring it to life. Throughout his University career Andrew has proven his ingenuity and perseverance and his graduate place with an international security firm is well deserved.'