One of the earliest graduates from Cranfield School of Management’s MBA programme, who went on to become a leading figure in the UK seafood industry, has received an honorary degree for his outstanding contribution to business and society.

Alastair Salvesen CBE, Chairman of Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd, joined more than 1,000 postgraduate students from more than 100 countries receiving their degrees from Cranfield University over two days of celebrations last week.

Mr Salvesen attended the School at the then College of Aeronautics in Cranfield in 1965, prior to it becoming a university, and was awarded a degree in Advanced Engineering in 1966. Following submission of his thesis, he was awarded an MBA.

Among his many achievements over the past 50 years, Mr Salvesen has worked in the textile industry in Canada, and in the UK’s electronics, housing, offshore drilling and food industries. He has been a leading figure in the UK seafood industry for more than 35 years and is currently Chairman of Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd, the largest grower of rainbow trout in the UK. Subsidiary company RR Spink & Sons Ltd holds a Royal Warrant as fishmongers to Her Majesty The Queen.

Receiving his honorary degree from the Chancellor of Cranfield University, Baroness Barbara Young of Old Scone, Mr Salvesen said: “I am honoured to be one of the early MBA graduates at Cranfield to be awarded a doctorate by my university, Cranfield, which continues to be regarded as one of the top business schools in the world.”

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Cranfield University Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Graduation is always a real highlight of the year for us as we recognise the remarkable achievements of all those graduating and acknowledge those receiving honorary degrees for their outstanding contributions to society.  This year is all the more special for the School of Management as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary and we are delighted to honour Alastair as one of our earliest MBA graduates.”

Alastair Salvesen is also a Director of the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School Ltd, Dovecot Studios Ltd (one of the world’s leading contemporary tapestry studios), Archangel Investments Ltd, New Ingliston Ltd and The Salvesen Mindroom Centre. He was a Director of Richmond Foods PLC from 1994 to 2003, and President of the Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland from 2001 to 2002.

Mr Salvesen strongly believes in the training and development of people of all ages. He sits on the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and has been a Governor of the Compass School, Donaldson’s School and Fettes College (1994 to 2016). He is also a trustee of the Fet-Lor Youth Club, which was founded in 1924.

Other honorary graduates receiving degrees from the University were:

  • Dr Fariba Alamdari – Vice President, Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
  • Chuan Poh Lim  – Chairman, A*STAR
  • Christiana Figueres – Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Roger Harrabin – Environment Analyst, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Professor Adrian Reynard – Founder, Reynard Motorsport
  • Philip Rutnam – Permanent Secretary, Home Office
  • Dr Frances Saunders CB – British scientist and civil servant.
Alastair Salvesen
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About Cranfield University

Cranfield has been a world leader in management education and research for over 50 years, helping individuals and organisations learn and succeed by transforming knowledge into action. We are dedicated to creating responsible management thinking, improving business performance and inspiring the next generation of business leaders. We work to change the lives of our students and executives by encouraging innovation and creative thinking, as well as the drive to succeed and make a real impact on their organisations.

Organisations as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, L’Oréal, UNICEF and the African Development Bank have benefited from our work, which ranges from management research projects, through staff talent management development on our MBA courses, to customised executive programmes.

Cranfield is one of an elite group of Schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditation of: AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs).

We are in the Top 10 International Business Schools in the Forbes’ ranking.

Our open and customised executive education programmes are ranked in the top five in the UK, according to the latest Financial Times survey, and in the top ten in the world for international reach. Over 10,000 people come to Cranfield each year to benefit from our executive and professional development programmes.