Former Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier has been awarded an honorary degree by Lancaster University.

A leading industrialist and business adviser, the British-Austrian businessman is also the chair of Digital Catapult, which is the UK authority on advanced digital technology.

Maier was made an Honorary Doctor of Science and was one of nine distinguished figures from different walks of life to be awarded honorary degrees by the university.

He described the accolade as a ‘great privilege’ and had an upbeat message to the other graduates in the audience.

“I can’t wait for you to be our future responsible leaders, driving forward at much greater pace on climate change, being the inclusive socially responsible business leaders of the future, rebuilding relationships with our European EU neighbours and so much more,” he said.

Maier was the chief executive of Siemens UK from July 2014 to December 2019 having joined them in 1986 as a graduate engineer with a BSc in production engineering from Nottingham Trent University.  He was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s honours list 2019.

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The eight other recipients of honorary degrees at Lancaster University’s graduation ceremonies were: Jon Moulton, chairman and founder of the private equity firm Better Capital; Professor Dinah Birch CBE,  Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool; Professor Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at University of Sussex, specialising in bee ecology; Professor John Drew, CBE, former chief executive of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales; poet journalist Gabriel Meyer; Ikponwosa ‘I.K’ Ero, lawyer and advocate in the field of international human rights; Luis Juste OBE, former commercial director, Santander Universities Global; Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of Public Health, Lancashire County Council, and has been at the forefront of the local response to Covid-19.