Wednesday, 3rd January 2018
The founder of Wrights Group, William Wright, has received a knighthood in the 2018 new year’s honours list in recognition of his services to the bus industry and the UK economy.
Dr William Wright CBE, who last year celebrated his 90th birthday, is a well known and respected figure in the UK bus sector and in the Northern Ireland business arena. His appointment as Knight Bachelor is further recognition for a business career that has spanned seven decades. Dr Wright was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2001 Birthday Honours for services to industry and the community, then promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for services to the bus industry.
As he continues to take an active role in the family business, Dr Wright has been a long term pioneer in the design and development of alternative fuel sources for vehicles, including hybrid technologies, electric and hydrogen. His aim continues to be to reduce fossil fuel usage and harmful emissions in buses, which in turn will lead to improved air quality in cities in the UK and around the world.
Commenting on his knighthood, Dr Wright said: “I am both surprised and delighted to be receiving this honour and it is a wonderful way to be starting 2018.”
Dr Wright founded the original company with his father in 1946 and has transformed what was a small family business into one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers. Wrightbus now manufactures a range of technologically innovative vehicles that are in service across the globe. The energetic nonagenarian to this day heads up the alternative driveline division at Wrightbus.
In 2016 the William Wright Technology Centre - a joint venture between the Wrights Group and Queens University – was named in his honour. The centre continues to promote research and advanced engineering to facilitate the creation and incubation of technologies for the future development of the bus industry.