Sir Jim McDonald ,
BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CEng

  • NYU School of Engineering Presidential Fellow and Professor

  • Principal/Vice Chancellor

Sir Jim McDonald

Professor Sir Jim McDonald joined Strathclyde University in 1984 following 6 years in the UK electricity utility industry, having worked for SSEB and Scottish Hydro Electric. He was appointed to the Rolls-Royce Chair in Electrical Power Systems in 1993 and led research in advanced electrical power systems. He became Head of Department in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in 2003 and continues to act as Chairman of Strathclyde’s Institute for Energy and Environment, the largest power engineering and energy systems research group internationally. He advises government, industry and business on the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy. He has a significant body of published work with two books, several contributed chapters in other books and over 650 papers, all broadly in the field of electrical power system protection, control and operation.

He was appointed Deputy Principal in 2006 to lead the University’s research and commercialisation portfolio and became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde in March 2009.

He is Chairman of two of the Scottish Universities’ research pools – multi-institutional consortia combining world-class research talent and facilities. These are: the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (SRPE); and, the Scottish Energy Technology Partnership (ETP), involving all energy research intensive Universities – the largest of its type in Europe.

He is a member of the Scottish Enterprise Board and has served as a member of the UK Trade and Investment ‘Energy Excellence’ Board.  He co-chairs - with the First Minister - the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board. He is Chairman of the independent Glasgow Economic Leadership Board for the City of Glasgow and, in 2011, was appointed as Chairman of the Board of the Glasgow Science Centre.  In October 2012, he was appointed as Vice-President of the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and, in April 2014, became President of IET Scotland.

In January 2013, he was appointed as Non-Executive Director of the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Board. He also became an Independent Director of Scottish Power Energy Networks Holdings in March 2014.

In the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List on 16 June 2012, Professor McDonald was awarded a Knighthood for services to education, engineering and the economy.   In September 2013 Professor McDonald received the “Outstanding Contribution as a Business Leader”, recognition at The Herald’s Inaugural Inspiring City Awards event. 

Professor McDonald, who is currently President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, became one of only 310 International Members of the National Academy of Engineering in 2022.

He is a Fellow of:

  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • The Institute of Physics