Dr J. Neil Scott

Director of Enterprise and Business Engagement
DBA, PgCAP, MBA, PgDMS, BSc (Telecoms & Electronic Eng.) FHEA, MIET



Neil is a high performing business and technology consulting professional with extensive digital economy skills and experience. His 36 years of business experience covers fourteen industry sectors including aviation, technology, oil & gas & chemicals, financial services, energy generation, waste recycling and the tourism & hospitality sectors.

Throughout his career, Neil has demonstrated an impressive record of achievement leading and delivering consulting interventions spanning some 126 consulting projects (34 of which have been undertaken in China) for 60 clients in 45 countries. Neil uses his business and technology skills in business-led digital consulting and transformation programmes within organisations experiencing major business, operational and technological change. This has embraced transformational programmes with budgets of up to £400 million, 200 project staff and project durations up to four years in length.

Utilising application of visionary leadership, experience and rigour to create environments that enable businesses to thrive, Neil has extensive experience of working with senior executives, managers and operations staff delivering solutions in pressurised deadline-driven environments throughout industry and commerce. Neil now uses his experience to inform and underpin his teaching and learning delivery as the Director of Enterprise Engagement at the University of Surrey's Surrey International Institute (Dalian, China). In this capacity he is responsible for developing links with business and industry organisations so as to enable students to undertake project interactions & internships. He also is the programme leader for the International Tourism Management programme in China.

In December 2017, Neil was appointed to a Dalian Travel and Tourism Board expert panel. This Chinese government funded initiative is responsible for developing a new strategic plan to shape the future of both regional and Dalian city tourism based development moving forward. Neil is honoured to occupy a very privileged position as one of thirteen experts appointed to the panel and is also the only non-Chinese member of the panel.

Research interests

Neil obtained his Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) from Durham University Business School, wherein he undertook research that developed highly innovative models that enabled the impact of UK and EU energy policies on business activity, market competition and market concentration to be modelled and understood. His longitudinal research focused on the UK electricity industry over a twenty-five period following the industry's privatisation. The analysis was undertaken at both the company and power plant levels and utilised over 8,000 business events.

Exploiting this academic research, Neil research interests are directed at undertaking demographic and longitudinal industry studies seeking to understand how government policies, business cycles and technology trends impact the wider economy.

Utilising his engineering background and training, Neil draws upon his extensive his business knowledge and experience to understand how businesses and technology interact together. He uses this knowledge and understanding to design and implement creative solutions that exploit digital computer based technologies.

Neil believes that business insights and knowledge are most relevant when drawn from practice-led consulting interventions. Utilising this philosophy, his ongoing research projects include artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), social media, robotics and the associated digital economy technologies.


Exploiting his extensive industry knowledge and experience, Neil's teaching philosophy is based upon a number of related principles. Firstly, he utilises methodological and theory reductionism to ensure that students can translate, derive and explain taught concepts and principles into practice-led understanding. Next, utilising his consulting experience, and his enterprise engagement contacts, he endeavours to assign student assignments sourced directly from the business community whenever appropriate. Further, he is focused on identifying and engaging students in internships and international exchanges to ensure that the students have international expose to 'real world' practice and experience. Lastly, Neil devotes considerable effort and attention to student career counselling wherein he seeks to assist students with their career choices and planning.

To ensure that he is able to keep abreast of new technologies, and provide the students with practical interventions, Neil is currently building a digital technology laboratory so that he can research and deliver 'hands-on' experience of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics technology. To aide an enhanced student understanding, Neil has also developed supplementary teaching courses covering: Blockchain technology, robotics and social media. He is currently working on developing two new courses: Artificial intelligence, machine & deep learning and the Robotic Operating System (ROS).

Neil's teaching experience and capability covers in excess of 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the following subjects: Business decision making, Business strategy, Business transformation through information systems, Consulting, Corporate demography, Critical tourism in contemporary society, History of organisational theory, Information systems, Leadership, Logistics and supply chain, Management consulting, Organisational ecology, People management and organisations, Project management, Research methods, Social media, Technology & media & data, Tendering & cost-benefit analysis, and Travel & transport.

Neil particularly enjoys teaching the consulting, business research and technology & media & data modules because he is able to link the academic theory and business practice together on 'real world' interventions for the business community.

In terms of student recognition of his teaching and learning delivery, Neil has been delighted and grateful to have been awarded consistently strong MEQ values by his students.

Career synopsis

Starting as a graduate trainee in information systems with the UK's leading chemicals producer (ICI), moving to Shell UK, thereafter joining PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a senior manager within their international capital markets management consulting practice. Following his five years at PwC, and completion of his MBA, Neil established his own management consulting business in 1991 and subsequently developed a successful international practice developing and implementing business and technology enabled strategies and transformations for clients.

Qualified with a BSc in Telecommunications and Electronic Engineering, MBA and Doctorate in Business Administration. Neil is a Chartered Engineer, member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Neil also holds an Aeroplane License with Instrument rating and Commercial Helicopter pilot with a Certified Instrument Instructor rating.