Professor Sir Jim McDonald spent 7 years within the UK Electricity Supply Industry. He joined Strathclyde in 1984 ultimately being appointed as the Rolls-Royce Professor of Electrical Power Systems in 1993.
He advises government, industry and commerce on power networks, distributed generation and new/renewable energy through DECC and non-executive corporate board advisory positions in the UK and USA.
He has co-authored over 600 journal/conference papers and 3 books.
Sir Jim is Chairman of the Institute for Energy and Environment, the largest power engineering and energy systems research group internationally.
He was appointed Deputy Principal at Strathclyde in 2006 focussing on research enhancement and commercialisation.
In August 2009 he was appointed as Chairman of the Scotland Research Partnership in Engineering (GRPE), part of a major research pooling investment across Scotland (~£100m) by Scottish Funding Council and Higher Education Institutions.
He is a member of the Scottish Enterprise Board, Scottish Science Advisory Council and has recently become a member of the UK Trade and Investment Energy Excellence Board.
He Chairs the Scottish Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) that involves the energy research intensive Scottish universities. The ETP is well engaged with government and industry and is developing a large portfolio of energy research programmes.
He co-chairs (with the First Minister) the Energy Advisory Board in Scotland. He became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde in March 2009.
Sir Jim was awarded a knighthood in The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours for his services to education, engineering and the economy.
- Member - Scottish Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) (from ’08 -)
This is the most senior advisory body to the Scottish Government on matters concerning Science research, education and policy and involves regular meetings with and reporting to Ms Fiona Hyslop, the Minister for Education. The SSAC is Chaired by the Chief Scientific Adviser to Scotland, Professor Anne Glover.
- Chairman - Scottish Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) (from ’07 -)
I have been appointed as inaugural Chairman of the ETP which is the world’s largest and broadest based power and energy research consortium involving all 14 Scottish HEIs. This brings me into regular contact with First Minister, Mr Alex Salmond and Minister for Energy and Enterprise, Mr Jim Mather on strategic energy technology and policy development.
- Co-Director - Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering Exec (from ’06 -)
This requires me to coordinate with the other regional Engineering Research Pooling Directors (Chairman, Prof Anton Muscatelli) and to interact with the Scottish Funding Council CEO (now Mark Batho) and Strategy Director, Prof David Gani.
- Co-Director - UK DBERR (ex-DTI) Centre for Sustainable Electricity and Distributed Generation (from ’04 -)
This requires strategic engagement with leading academics in partner Institutions (Imperial, Manchester and Cardiff), CEO/CTO level industrialists, senior civil servants and, on a biannual basis, with Mr Malcolm Wickes, UK Minister for Energy, addressing Govt policy for renewables and energy infrastructure development.
- Director - Institute for Energy and Environment (from ’01 -)
University of Strathclyde, cross-faculty power and energy R&D collaborative: This requires me to lead and coordinate the Strathclyde power and energy R&D activities across Departments and Faculties. This has led to the realisation of the leading European (arguably global) team in this domain.
- Chairman - Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) (from ’97 -)
This requires coordination with the Rolls-Royce Director for Research & Technology, Dr Ric Parker and Director of Strategic Research, Dr Sam Beale. This produces an annual R&D agenda in key thematic Electrical System work-streams.