Professor Sir Jim McDonald inducted as International Member of National Academy

National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Chair Donald Winter, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, University of Strathclyde; John Anderson, President of the NAE.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, has been inducted as an International Member of the US-based National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Sir Jim was inducted at a ceremony in Washington during the 2022 NAE Annual Meeting, hosted by its president John Anderson, in recognition of his “contributions to engineering leadership and interdisciplinary education, expert power systems, low-carbon technologies and renewable energy”.

Sir Jim said: “I am honoured and humbled to be elected an International Member of NAE, an organisation which stands for professional excellence and the highest quality of research, innovation and education in the field of engineering.

It was a privilege to attend the NAE annual meeting and the ceremony in Washington and to meet with, and be a part of this special occasion with, fellow members.

Engineering leadership

Sir Jim is one of only 310 International Members of NAE globally and was inducted alongside other new members, including: Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Engineer of SpaceX; former senior executive vice president of Samsung C&T, Ahmad Abdelrazaq; Norma Clayton, retired Vice President of Boeing; Executive Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple, Kathleen Bergeron; Daniel Hart, President and CEO of Virgin Orbit; and, Marian Croak, Vice President of Engineering at Google.

Founded in 1964, the US National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, non-profit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the United States of America. Its mission is to advance the wellbeing of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.

Three-time graduate

Sir Jim is a three-time graduate of Strathclyde having taken his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in the area of electrical engineering, power systems and energy economics.

He worked in the electrical utility sector for seven years and returned to the University of Strathclyde in 1984 as a University Grants Commission New Blood Lecturer in Electrical Engineering. He was appointed to the Rolls-Royce Chair in Electrical Power Systems in 1993 and became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Strathclyde in March 2009.

In October 2019, Sir Jim was elected President of RAEng, becoming the first Scottish holder of the office. In The Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List in 2012, he was awarded a Knighthood for services to education, engineering and the economy.

Sir Jim is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology; he co-chairs, with the First Minister, the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board; and he is chair of the Independent Glasgow Economic Leadership Board.

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, the Energy Institute, an Honorary Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering and a Foreign Fellow of the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering.

Sir Jim currently holds several senior non-executive business appointments on the Boards of ScottishPower, the Weir Group and the UK National Physical Laboratory. He also chairs two of the pan-Scotland university research pools in Energy and Engineering.