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Dr Roland Busch awarded honorary doctorate at ceremony in The Crystal

Construction site

Siemens director highlights importance of sustainability and civic engagement 

Dr Roland Busch, a member of the managing board of technology giant Siemens AG, has spoken of his delight at receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of East London (UEL).

The University awarded the doctorate in recognition of Dr Busch’s outstanding contributions to the development of smart cities and sustainability and his strong focus on civil engagement. 

“It was a surprise to be nominated, but a very positive one,” commented Dr Busch.

“I’ve been told that it is in recognition of what I’ve done in terms engaging young people, city development, education and training. It’s still a surprise, but also a great honour.”

The ceremony took place at The Crystal, an award-winning London Docklands building which was developed by Siemens to be a beacon of sustainable design.

The conferment of the doctorate was attended by senior staff members from UEL, including the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Joughin, together with leading officials from Siemens. 

Dr Busch trained in physics, gaining a PhD in the field. As a student he considered a career in academia and received support to continue this path, but decided his future lay in industry.

“I don’t regret the choice I made, and my background in physics helps me quite a bit in my daily business,” said Dr Busch. “It’s a good way to understand how things work.” 

Discussing his keen interest in sustainability, Dr Busch said he viewed it in three-dimensional terms, combining profit, people and planet.

“That’s not a contradiction,” he said. “It’s getting everything under one umbrella.

“The young generation value companies that are doing things that matter for society and the planet.

“When I took over the job, I asked myself where our contribution to society and people was happening. 

“So I asked our country heads to tell me what choices they would make if they could decide without guidance from HQ.
 
“The feedback was diverse, but there was one common denominator, whether it was from the United States, India, African countries or China, and that was education and training. They were cited as the most important things to move forward and develop.” 

Dr Busch concluded with an aspirational message to UEL students.

He said, “My advice is to study hard, and study what you love. I would also recommend learning a language, exposing yourself to other cultures and engaging in something for the social good.”