UWE Bristol award honorary degree to Dr Colin Skellett

Issue date: 24 November 2014


Dr Colin Skellett is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering in recognition of his exceptional business leadership and services to the charity WaterAid.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Environment and Technology on Tuesday 25 November 2014 at Bristol Cathedral.

Colin was born in Nottingham and educated at High Pavement Grammar School and in 1961, at the age of 16, Colin started his working life at the sewage treatment plants serving Nottingham.

Through part time study, he obtained a degree in chemistry from, the then, North Staffs Polytechnic and an MSc in Engineering from City University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Chemistry and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management.

In 1974, Colin joined the newly formed Wessex Water. Colin has been based in Bath or Bristol ever since, holding a range of management positions which have included work in the Caribbean, USA, South America and Europe. In 1988, Colin was appointed Chief Executive of Wessex Water to take the company through privatisation. He has been Chief Executive or Chairman since that time.

Wessex Water is widely recognised as the best performing UK water and sewerage business and has also developed significant environmental and organic waste activities.

Colin participated in the formation of Water Aid, an International charity that supports water and sanitation improvements in many parts of the world. He's served on the council of Water Aid for many years.

At various times, Colin has been a director of the Bristol Initiative, Chair of the Initiative for Bath and North East Somerset and of FUTURE BATH PLUS and President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce. He served on the board of the South West Regional Development Agency and was Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

As well as continuing his role as Chief Executive of Wessex Water, Colin currently chairs the Local Enterprise Partnership for the West of England, he's on the board of Business West and chairs the Appeal Board for Bath Abbey.

Colin is married with three children, two step children and five grandchildren and lives in Bath. Colin was awarded an OBE in the 2012 Queen's birthday's honours, for services to business and Water Aid.

Back to top