Alumni Services

Ian Auckland

Bachelor of Dental Surgery graduate Ian Auckland talks about his moment of fame on the London 2012 hockey pitch, and flying solo over Fife.

Name Ian Auckland
Degree Course BDS
Year of Graduation 1984

Your time at the University

I was lucky enough to go to the University of Edinburgh to study dentistry - following in the steps of my father who had qualified from Edinburgh 29 years earlier. My brother and sister also studied at the University of Edinburgh. Being brought up in Scotland, it was always my intention to study in Scotland.

Outside my course, I enjoyed using the outdoor sports facilities at Firbush on Loch Tay. Whilst a student, I joined East Lowlands University Air Squadron (part of the RAF) and learned how to fly fixed wing aircraft - gaining 77 hours flying experience over two years, including 13 hours solo.

I still don’t believe I was allowed to take one of Her Majesty's aircraft by myself, take off from Edinburgh airport, fly over the Forth Bridges, climb to 10,000 feet over Fife and perform some basic aerobatic manoeuvres before returning home.

Ian Auckland

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

I have worked in General Dental Practice since qualifying - initially in Middlesbrough for a couple of years and since then have been based in Harrogate. I have also had a part-time hospital position carrying out orthodontic treatment.

In terms of career progression, I was an associate and then a partner in a multiple practice set up, before becoming the sole owner of a busy mixed practice in Harrogate.

I was fortunate enough to be picked as a 'Games Maker' and assigned to the 'Field of Play Medical Team' at the Riverbank Arena for the hockey. This photo shows me helping Kate Walsh (Team GB women's hockey captain) off the field on Sunday 29th July with a fractured jaw. Thankfully, she was able to return later in the competition and went on to win a bronze medal.

I was very proud to volunteer at the Olympics and thoroughly enjoyed being involved.

Alumni wisdom

Even with a good degree, I feel it is necessary to continue to work hard to compete with others with equally good degrees. Don’t rest on your laurels.