SAE Alumni Awards 2016: winners announced

13 Oct 2016
alumni awards

The SAE Alumni Award ceremony kicked off in fine style in Cologne, Germany last night, with three UK graduates taking out top prizes.

Rob Kidd,Tony McHugh and Mark Derwent were chosen out of 200 finalists to be recipients of the global awards, which publicly recognise alumni who have excelled in their professional lives and creative specialty.

Rob Kidd, who graduated from SAE’s Oxford campus, took out the award for Best Audio Production after establishing his own company Hammer & Spark Audio Production. As a post-production specialist, Rob has produced compelling soundtracks for some of the UK’s biggest theme parks and brands. These include: BMW, Mastercard, Canterbury, SEA LIFE Brighton, Warwick Castle, Alton Towers and Thorpe Park - which won him the exclusive title.

Speaking to SAE, Rob said it was an honour to win the award,“I am incredibly excited to have won this award and it is fantastic to have the time and effort put into the project formally acknowledged. I strive to excel in my profession and it is hugely gratifying to have the quality of my work judged as the top entrant in this category.”

Rob is currently working on the highly anticipated Halo Wars 2 video game with Creative Assembly and hopes to work more closely with the gaming industry in the future.

Meanwhile, Tony McHugh who graduated from our Glasgow campus, won the Alumni Award for Best Music Production. Tony is currently Head of Audio at Webb Street Studios in London, mixing music for renowned choirs and a cappella groups across the UK. The Audio alumnus has just returned from a busy month at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and will soon be travelling to Abu Dhabi to assist a music group perform at the Grand Prix.

A musician himself Tony has big plans for the future, “I'll continue to write and play music, as I’m always trying to improve whilst simultaneously honing my engineering, mixing and, hopefully, mastering skills. I plan to bring my skills together and independently release at least a couple of originals over the next year, so keep an eye out for that.”

The final UK winner was Mark Derwent who studied Digital Film Production at Liverpool. After recently handing in his dissertation, Mark took home the student prize for Best Audio in Film after working as the sound recordist in the acclaimed We Need to Talk!

Last night’s award ceremony took place as part of the annual SAE Alumni Convention, which saw thousands of students, graduates and global brands descend on the Cologne, Germany for the free networking event.

Julia Parissien, who studies Audio at Oxford said it was a convention like no other. “There is technology here that we will not be able to use anywhere else or even buy now, but here we are able to use a range of industry equipment. Also [the guest speakers] they say that they would like to work with us - SAE students.”

Meanwhile, Music Business student Jamie Stephenson told SAE:

"I particularly like the fact that seminars and talks are not only based around your course. We attended talks also about real life and learnt how everything is moving. It’s really a chance to discover where we want to go and what path to take.  There is no given path, we need to find it."

Discover more about SAE’s inspirational graduates and industry talks.