Professor Malcolm Macdonald

Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Personal statement

I am the Director of the Centre for Signal and Image Processing (CeSIP), and also the Director of the Applied Space Technology Laboratory (ApSTL) within CeSIP, which I founded and where I lead a team of staff and PGR students.

I am a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Space Research (C-Space), University College Dublin, Vice-Chair of the Space Technology Advisory Committee of the UK Space Agency, and an Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics. I am also a member of the Industry Advisory Board of Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC, and a Non-Executive Director of Weather Stream Inc.

Previously I was the Founding Director of the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, SoXSA (2014 - 2020), and a Non-Executive Board Member of UK Space Agency (2017 - 2020).

Supporting science and engineering communication to make it more easily accessible, especially to under-represented groups, I provide comment to national & international, specialist & mainstream media, across written word, audio, & visual.

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Area of Expertise

  • Space Mission Analysis & Design
  • Space Technology
  • Astrodynamics
  • Swarm Engineering
  • Network Systems
  • Systems Engineering
  • Technology Roadmapping and Analysis
  • Technical Foresight & Horizon Scanning
  • Advanced Concepts
  • CubeSats
  • Modelling & Simulation

Prize And Awards

Galileo Masters EUSPA Space for FUN Challenge (2nd place)
2nd place in Copernicus Masters 2020: BMVI Transport Challenge
Finalist in E&T Innovation Awards 2020

More prizes and awards

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A delay-tolerant network approach to satellite pickup and delivery scheduling
Lowe Christopher John, Clark Ruaridh Alexander, McGrath Ciara Nora, Macdonald Malcolm
Ad Hoc Networks Vol 151 (2023)
Spacecraft and optics design considerations for a spaceborne lidar mission with spatially continuous global coverage
Lowe Christopher John, McGrath Ciara Norah, Hancock Steven, Davenport Ian, Todd Stephen, Hansen Johannes, Woodhouse Iain, Norrie Callum, Macdonald Malcolm
Acta Astronautica Vol 214, pp. 809-816 (2023)
Monitoring ship emissions using Sentinel-5P and AIS data
Werkmeister Astrid A, Carrel Andrew, Porwal Netan, Clemente Carmine, Macdonald Malcolm
Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications XIV (2023)
Observability analysis of cooperative orbit determination using inertial inter-spacecraft angle measurements
Zhou Xingyu, Qin Tong, Macdonald Malcolm, Qiao Dong
Acta Astronautica Vol 210, pp. 289-302 (2023)
Automatic geolocation and measuring of offshore energy infrastructure with multimodal satellite data
Ma Ping, Macdonald Malcolm, Rouse Sally, Ren Jinchang
IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering (2023)
Tracking shifting estuaries with remote sensing techniques to aid lifeboat rescue services
López Pardo Bélen, Clark Ruaridh, Gibbons Gwilym, Macdonald Malcolm, McGrath Ciara N
SPIE Sensors+Imaging 2023, pp. 1-10 (2023)

More publications

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Research Interests

The Applied Space Technology Laboratory is addressing global challenges by working at the boundaries between disciplines to deliver a step-change in the democratisation, exploration, and exploitation of space.

  • Developing new space and adjacent sector technologies in response to global challenges and anticipated demands, accelerating the democratisation of the use of space, and the data and services it provides.
  • Developing technologies and algorithms to process the exponentially increasing data available from space to help us better understand our Earth, and to make this knowledge available to all.
  • Developing insights to network systems across the natural sciences to engineer vastly more connected, efficient, and sustainable space systems.

My research has an end-to-end focus on the development and application of systems by ensuring an understanding of the end application. Challenging conventional ideas and working at the interface between disciplines I seek to advance new concepts in the exploration and exploitation of space, for which I was awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Medal. Specifically, my research develops concepts in, and applications of space technology, including solar sailing, nanosatellites, and constellations, by developing research into astrodynamics, networked systems, swarming, and distributed and collaborative systems.

Professional Activities

Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2023
Climate Finance Innovation: Connecting Financial Technology, Space Data and Resilient Timing
Space Meets FinTech (Joint FinTech Scotland / Space Scotland Event)
Invited speaker
Alignments in functional connectivity networks
Integration of an LED/SPAD Optical Wireless Transceiver with CubeSat On-board Systems
The New Peers Review podcast episode 3

More professional activities


SAR consultancy to UCD
Clemente, Carmine (Principal Investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Werkmeister, Astrid (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2023 - 30-Jan-2025
Clemente, Carmine (Principal Investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Tubaldi, Enrico (Co-investigator)
07-Jan-2023 - 06-Jan-2024
SAfe Passage through Shifting Sands
Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) Clemente, Carmine (Co-investigator) McKee, David (Co-investigator) Tachtatzis, Christos (Co-investigator) Clark, Ruaridh (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2023 - 16-Jan-2024
An aUtonomous DistrIbuted Time signal in-Space
Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) Clark, Ruaridh (Research Co-investigator) Lowe, Christopher (Research Co-investigator) BOUIS, Agathe (Researcher)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025
Matryoshka Orbital Networks
Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) Clark, Ruaridh (Research Co-investigator) Lowe, Christopher (Research Co-investigator) Gribben, Joshua (Researcher)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2025
EPSRC IAA Bridging the Gap
Owens, Steven Robert (Principal Investigator) McGrane, Scott (Co-investigator) Allan, Grant (Co-investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Co-investigator)
EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account funded Bridging the Gap project, awarded jointly with Dr Steven Owens, Professor Malcolm MacDonald and Dr Grant Allan to investigate connecting environmental remote observation data with socioeconomic data to inventory opportunities for project creation and data access options
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2023

More projects

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Professor Malcolm Macdonald
Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Tel: 548 2042