Robert Gordon University (RGU) has strengthened its business development team with the appointment of two new managers.

Sarah Hillyear has taken up the role of Business Development Manager for RGU’s Oil and Gas Institute where she is responsible for supporting its commercial initiatives.

Sarah brings with her a wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry having worked as operations manager at Decom North Sea where she helped shape its strategic direction as it evolved during its first four years of operation.

Sarah, who holds a honours degree in Business Studies from RGU, joins the university from a Business Development Manager role with Mearns & Gill which she took up following her four years with Decom North Sea.

Sarah says: “It’s exciting to be joining the Oil and Gas Institute while it is still relatively new as I’m able to support its development in establishing itself as a world-class centre for oil and gas teaching, innovation and research.

“I’m looking forward to working with the institute to help achieve its ambitious targets as it sets out to address key industry challenges while promoting RGU’s capabilities to the local and international oil and gas sector.”

Laura Wood has been appointed as RGU’s new Business Development Manager for Aberdeen Business School where she has a client facing role which sees her working with industry to identify needs for tailored learning programmes.

Laura joins RGU from an oilfield services company where she worked for a number of years as a client account manager, developing key business skills in account management, requirements gathering, business and product development, knowledge management and drilling data analysis, as well as a strong understanding of the private sector’s commercial marketplace.

Laura, who obtained degrees from the University of Glasgow and the University of Aberdeen, says: “I am extremely passionate about supporting RGU in meeting its strategic commercial objectives, as well as working with the esteemed reputation of Aberdeen Business School.

“I’m enjoying working with companies both regionally and internationally, helping to identify their needs and supporting the development of tailored learning programmes which lead to improved business practices.”

Donella Beaton, Head of New Business at RGU, says: “I am delighted with these appointments which have helped to expand RGU’s business development capabilities.

“Both Sarah and Laura bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and industry experience which will be invaluable as we support the university with its commercial aims and ambitions.”

The two new appointments coincide with an internal promotion of Chris Moule who has been appointed to Senior Business Development Manager. Chris has spent five years directly working with businesses on behalf of RGU and has a wealth of commercial experience having started three of his own companies.

Donella adds: “Chris has been with us for many years and his extensive commercial experience has been instrumental in his role. By promoting him to a more senior level he will have responsibility for leading a cross-faculty approach to RGU’s business development activity.”