Published: 29 November 2022

Why I Give…

Civil engineering graduate Jonathan Gammon tells us why he’s proud to support the University of Surrey...

After graduating, I remained in contact with the University, especially with Noel Simons and Bruce Menzies, our Soil Mechanics Lecturers. They’d encouraged me to take up a career in what we now call Ground Engineering and they’d been instrumental in me securing my place on the Soil Mechanics MSc Degree Course at Imperial College after I left Surrey in 1974.

An international career

When working in Hong Kong from 1980-1984, I enabled students to come and work at my company, Fugro (Hong Kong), for their year in industry. When I returned to the UK from New Zealand in 1988, I refreshed my contacts at Surrey and I continued to help with industrial year placements and gave lectures.

I spent a further six years working in Hong Kong from 1996-2002. It must have been shorty after my return to the UK, now more than 20 years ago, that I had that magical call from a Surrey student to find out if I’d be willing to make a regular financial contribution to the well-being of the University and students.

Student days

The civil engineering course at Surrey was excellent and the lecturers were brilliant. They gave me a fantastic start to my international career. Before retirement from full-time work in 2017, this spanned more than 40 years.

My industrial placement year in Switzerland working for a major contractor on a wonderful project provided me with exceptional practical experience and the ability to speak German. To this day, I maintain the project I worked on in Switzerland during my time at Surrey remains one of my favourite ventures.

Thank you

I was very happy, therefore, to make a tangible contribution to Surrey, by way of a “thank you”, when asked to do so. As a result, my wife, Jenny, and I have greatly enjoyed attendance and active participation with alumni events.

In October 2018, I was invited to give Surrey’s Civil Engineering Lecture and to talk about my career in civil and ground engineering. I took that opportunity to underline the importance of my time at Surrey to my subsequent career. 

Jonathan's lecture was recorded and can be found here.

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