Richard joined Beca over 40 years ago and has played an important role in our company’s growth and success, and the Beca team is delighted that he has been recognised for his significant contribution to the engineering profession.
Richard received the Degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) at an official ceremony at Fale Pasifika, University of Auckland on Thursday 23 June. The degree was conferred by Chancellor Dr Ian Parton, and Public Orator Professor Paul Rishworth made a speech acknowledging Richard’s tremendous achievements.
"Engineers do leave their mark on the world, and they are needed more than ever" he said. "In the case of Richard Aitken, that mark comprises the massive organisational contribution he continues to make to the company he leads as Executive Chairman, to numerous important projects he has handled, to all his other directorships, and to his relationship with this University."
"Partnering with its community is the lifeblood of a major research university like Auckland, as is retaining links with its own alumni. Richard Aitken and Beca are exemplars of this partnership."
As a University of Auckland graduate, Richard completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in 1965, and later went on to study a Masters degree of Engineering Science at the University of Sydney in Australia. He's been a director at Beca for more than 30 years and has helped to deliver many large infrastructure projects in New Zealand and Australia.
Honorary doctorates are awarded to distinguished individuals who with altruistic actions or lifetime accomplishments make a notable contribution to the community or nation.
The University of Auckland has a number of honorary doctorate graduates, among them, Beca's Sir Ron Carter, the Rt Hon Helen Clark, the Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, Maurice Gee, Sir Anand Satyanand, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.