Moray Callum and Paul Atkinson are being recognised for their difference-making work

Date posted

28 October 2022


A designer behind some of the world’s most iconic cars has been awarded an Honorary Degree by Edinburgh Napier University.

Described as one of the auto industry’s most influential design leaders, Moray Callum contributed to and led teams at brands including Aston Martin, Chrysler, Peugeot, Ghia and Mazda.

It was at the US giant Ford where he spent most of his career though, becoming the first non-American to hold the title of Vice President for Design at the US motoring giant.

Born in Dumfries in 1958, Moray studied industrial design at ENU’s forerunner, Napier Technical College, before embarking on a successful career in motoring spanning nearly four decades, which took him to France, Italy, Japan and the USA.Honorary graduate Moray Callum with Ford Mustang Mach E

During a graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Moray was presented with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design by the University’s Chancellor Will Whitehorn.

Moray said: “It is a real privilege to be awarded this degree, I feel very grateful for it.

“It feels particularly fitting as it was here where I decided what I wanted to do with my life. Edinburgh Napier was the starting point – the people here helped me realise where I wanted to go with my career.

“I would like to thank those who have helped me along the way.”

Among the highlights of Moray’s career in the automotive industry were the 2016 launch of the Ford GT, the successor to the 1960s classic GT40 and the re-introduction of the Ford Mustang the previous year.

He also helped create and introduce the 2021 Mustang Mach-E [pictured here at ENU’s Craiglockhart campus thanks to the team at Peoples Ford] – an all-electric reimagining of the famous supercar marque.

Other best-selling models he worked on include the Ford Transit and the F-series, as well as leading the redesign of the Mazda 5 while working in Japan in the early 2000s.

The award of Moray’s Honorary Degree follows his retirement from Ford in May of last year, marking an end to seven years as Vice President and a 38-year product development career in the industry.

Also receiving an Honorary Doctorate during this Autumn’s graduation ceremonies was entrepreneur Paul Atkinson.

In a varied career, the businessman has created leading recruitment firms and been involved with some of Scotland’s most high-profile start-up firms.

After moving to Edinburgh in 1987, Paul launched Direct Resources and, eventually selling both in multi-million-pound deals.Honorary Graduate Paul Atkinson

The Yorkshire-born investor would later go on to found Head Resourcing, which is now one of four brands housed within Taranata Group, where he is now executive chairman.

Paul is also founding partner at investment fund Par Equity LLP, which has supported more than 70 businesses to the tune of £200m in the last decade – including Edinburgh Napier spin-outs Symphonic and Cyan Forensics.

As a visiting professor at ENU’s Business School and member of the Advisory Board, Paul’s Honorary Degree cements a close relationship with the University.

Accepting the title, he said: “I am a bit overawed, but delighted to here today and humbled to receive such a prestigious award.

“I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, friends and business colleagues through the years.

“My father was a self-made businessman and farmer in South Yorkshire and it’s his hard work, resilience, integrity and love of his friends and family, that inspired me in my journey.”