Top Performing Student Wins Tilhill Forestry Prize

An Aberdeen University student is celebrating after winning an award from Tilhill Forestry, the UK’s leading forest management and timber harvesting company, and graduating with an MSc in Environmental and Forest Management.  

William Johnson from Aberdeen, Scotland, won the Tilhill Forestry Award for being the top performing student on the MSc Environmental and Forest Management programme in 2018-2019.

He said: “I feel privileged to receive the award, and that all the hard work over the previous year was well worth it. Of course, I have to share the credit with my wife, Aly, for all the support she has given me this year.”

William was presented with a specially carved wooden trophy in the shape of an acorn by Calum Murray, Tilhill Forestry New Business Manager for their North Highland District along with £250.

Calum Murray upon presenting the award said: “Tilhill Forestry has a long association with Aberdeen University as many of its past and present employees have studied there. Forestry has been taught at Aberdeen since 1907 and brings together the disciplines of forestry, ecology, zoology, and plant science. The Department has an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally. It was a pleasure to present this award to such an outstanding student as William.”

Dr Louise M Page, School of Biological Sciences (Forestry), at Aberdeen University, said: “The unanimous nomination for this year’s prize is William Johnson.  Not only was Will the top performing student in the Environmental and Forest Management programme, he was the top student in all of the School’s MSc programmes (80 students in total) and will graduate with Distinction.  He was well motivated, worked very hard and maintained an exceptionally high standard throughout the year.  Not only was his written work outstanding, but he also demonstrated insight and contributed thoughtfully to class discussions.  He was quick to acquire new skills, e.g. GIS which he used exceptionally well in his Management Plan exercise.”

Tilhill Forestry presents awards to top performing forestry students at leading universities offering qualifications in Forestry as part of the company’s work to strengthen links with students,. The company also runs a popular graduate placement scheme and a structured programme to grow the management skills not only of graduates but other staff as well.

Following William’s win he will be continuing with a PhD he started at Newcastle University in September this year, researching the impacts of habitat management on functional biodiversity and ecosystem services in the tropics, in Tanzania.



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