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Sarah Jardine, at retinal imaging firm Optos, named the University of Strathclyde’s Alumna of the Year

A director with an international retinal imaging company has been named the University of Strathclyde’s Alumna of the Year.

Sarah Jardine, Senior Director of Manufacturing with Optos plc, has received the award from her alma mater in recognition of her achievements in manufacturing and optics.

She has been with Optos since she joined as a Senior Optical Engineer in 2000 and took up her current role in 2017.

Mrs Jardine graduated from Strathclyde in 1992, with a BSc Honours degree in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics. She received the Alumna of the Year award during a graduation ceremony at Strathclyde on Thursday 21 June.

The award is made annually in celebration of the contributions which the University's alumni make in their chosen fields, in the UK and overseas.

Mrs Jardine said: “The challenges that the UK manufacturing sector is about to face to truly compete on the world stage needs the brightest, sharpest, most enquiring minds to be ready to rise to the challenge.

“If you choose a career in manufacturing, it will be your behaviours that define you, your ability to admit when things have gone wrong, and the way that you respond to correcting the problem.  It will be your willingness to listen to other people and take on board their input and suggestions for improvement and your ability to communicate openly and clearly with everyone from the shop floor to the board room.”

Professor Gian-Luca Oppo, of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, presented Mrs Jardine for the award. He said: “Sarah is the accomplishment of all of the Strathclyde values. Through her work, Optos has developed into a world leader in medical optics devices, where physical sciences are applied for the health benefit of the greater community.

“The manufacturing teams under Sarah’s leadership at Optos have realised new devices while working in a new, open, engaging and effective environment; a true success story that we can be proud of at the University of Strathclyde.

“Sarah’s skills to go on with the job no matter how challenging it is, and to transform these challenges in opportunities and real devices for medical applications, are remarkable. Her career is a testament to her innovative approach, scientific knowledge and engineering skills, all coupled to an uncommon managerial ability based on cooperation, collaboration and appreciation of every team-member’s work.”

Mrs Jardine attended Ayr Academy and joined Pilkington Optronics - now Thales Optronics - as a Laser Engineer in 1993. At Optos, she has worked in Research and Development and Operations, becoming R&D Manager in 2008 and then Plant Manager in 2009. She was then promoted to Director in 2011 and to Senior Director in 2017.

Mrs Jardine is responsible for providing leadership and direction for staff in the manufacturing facility of Optos. She has a strong understanding of lean methodologies and good manufacturing practices.

As a passionate supporter of manufacturing in Scotland, Mrs Jardine has led the Optos facility through award-winning excellence programmes and regularly receives visits from businesses from across the UK to experience the high performance environment that she has created at Optos.

Mrs Jardine has been chair of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board since 2015. She is also a member of the strategic leadership group for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, of which Strathclyde is the anchor university.

During her time at Strathclyde, she was a member of the University’s debating society and physics club.


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