Hugh McKay was a Graduate of the Planning School at Queen's University Belfast. He began his planning career with the Antrim and Ballymena Development Commission before joining the Department of the Environment where he progressed to become the Chief Executive of the Planning Service. He was a man of considerable stature and total integrity. His premature death in 2002 was a great loss to the planning profession in Northern Ireland.
RTPI NI give this award annually in his name to the Queen's University student who attains the highest marked final dissertation. The award is usually presented by Hugh's wife Jennifer at the students graduation.
2015 recipient is Melissa Harpur for her dissertation entitled "What effect can heritage have on the economic development of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland?"
2014 Matthew Tanswell; "An examination into how Northern Ireland can respond adequately to the conflict between planning and sustainable development"
2013 Stephen Johnston; "Is there a defence for suburbia?"
2012 Nadine Moody; "An analysis of the main factors which influence people's view on hosting wind developments in Northern Ireland"
2011 Robin Brown; "A study of the community benefits arising from commercial onshore wind farms in Northern Ireland"
2010 Lindsay Egner; "Urban regeneration in a divided society"