Yacht Designer Bill Dixon Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Posted: 27th July 2016 | Written by: Suzanne Galloway

Bill Dixon thumb

Internationally renowned yacht designer, Bill Dixon, was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Technology by Southampton Solent University earlier this month.  

Bill, who graduated from Solent University in 1978, went on to create Dixon Yacht Design, one of the world’s premier yacht design agencies. Today, this award-winning company works for some of the world’s leading boat manufacturers as well as designing custom superyachts for world-renowned shipyards.  

On receiving the 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, 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."  

Lars Lippuner with Bill Dixon
Lars Lippuner and Bill Dixon

In 2010 the Dixon team won seven international industry awards, including ‘Yacht Designer of the Year in Asia’ for Bill himself.  

Born into a boatbuilding family dating back to 1740, Bill's designs are created with a natural respect for the sea, underpinned by many years of first hand yachting experience.  

After graduating in Yacht & Boat Design in 1978, Bill’s early work was dominated by production designs, including the renowned Moody sailing yacht range, of which more than 4,000 yachts have been built.  

Always keen to explore new markets for his designs, his company has enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Far East yacht builders, where he pioneered the development of European-style designs.

Bill’s team continues to expand its capability, expertise and versatility, producing innovative designs for power and sail, admired by owners from around the world. 

Addressing graduates at the ceremony, Bill 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 design offices are small so a range of skills will impress. Good luck to you all and first and foremost may you have a rewarding and enjoyable career." 

Watch the Interview with Lars Lippuner & Bill Dixon:

About Southampton Solent University  

With a population of 12,800 staff and students, Southampton Solent University offers over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects ranging from maritime studies, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology.Each year around 10,000 additional students enrol for short professional courses.     

Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent University was also awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance Agency kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning, and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in Which? University‘s 2013 and 2014 student polls. Solent’s business school has been awarded ‘Gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and holds the Small Business Charter Award, supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  

Warsash Superyacht Academy is part of Southampton Solent University and the world-renowned Warsash Maritime Academ, delivering high-quality training for superyacht crew, officers, captains and shore-based staff. Warsash runs over 150 MCA and PYA accredited courses from entry level through to managerial and advanced maritime programmes in collaboration with its training partners. 

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