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Internationally renowned yacht designer, Bill Dixon, was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Technology by Southampton Solent University on Tuesday 12 July.
Bill, who graduated from Solent in 1978, went on to establish Dixon Yacht Design, one of the world’s premier yacht design offices. Today, this award-winning company not only works for some of the world’s leading production boat manufacturers, but has also designed custom Superyachts for world-renowned shipyards.
On receiving his honorary doctorate Bill said: "I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Southampton Solent University for bestowing this prestigious honour on me today. Since my early teenage years my ambition was always to be a yacht designer and for me the perfect course to start this journey to fulfil this ambition was the yacht and boat building course at what was then Southampton College of Technology (now Southampton Solent University). A course that was and still is today offering a unique degree suited to the demands of our industry. The list of alumni produced by this course is unrivalled in our industry and long may it continue."
In 2010 the Dixon team received seven international industry awards, including a personal accolade for Bill himself who was named ‘Yacht Designer of the Year in Asia’.
Being born into a boatbuilding family dating back to 1740, Bills designs are created with a natural respect for the sea, coupled with many years of yachting experience.
After graduating in Yacht & Boat Design from what is now Southampton Solent University in 1978, Bill’s design work in the early years was dominated by production designs, including the renowned Moody sailing yacht range, of which more than 4000 yachts have been built.
Keen to explore new markets for his production designs, his company has enjoyed a long and very successful association with Far East yacht builders, where he pioneered the development of European-style designs. This association continues to grow and develop.
Bill’s team has expanded its capability and expertise over the years and regularly displays versatility, not only in yacht production but also with stunning Superyacht designs.
From the Dixon Yacht Design office at Swanwick Marina on the south coast of England, Bill Dixon continues to produce new and innovative designs, both power and sail, that owners from around the world admire and aspire to own.
Addressing the graduating students at the ceremony, he said: " It is important to understand and demonstrate the skills that are needed to make you employable above and beyond your degree. You are entering a competitive market; independent designs offices are small so a range of skills will impress. Good luck to you all and may you have first and foremost a rewarding and enjoyable career.
Almost 2,500 students will be graduating with degrees and professional qualifications from Southampton Solent University during ten ceremonies over five days (11- 15) July.
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