Strathclyder among 73 new Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows

Dr Malcolm Macdonald

Professor Malcolm Macdonald is among more than 70 leading figures in the field of engineering and technology elected by the Royal Academy of Engineering to its Fellowship.

The professor, who is Chair of Applied Space Technology at Strathclyde, will be formally admitted to the Academy at a special ceremony in London on 28 November, when each Fellow will sign the roll book.

Professor Macdonald, who is also the Director of Strathclyde’s Centre for Signal and Image Processing (CeSIP) said: “It is a real honour to be elected into such an impressive community of engineers. My election owes everything to all the great engineers I’ve worked with, those who have mentored me and those who I do my best to support.”

The space academic supported the development of Scotland’s first spacecraft, UKube-1, which was launched in 2014. Since then, along with Strathclyde colleagues, he has been instrumental in supporting the development of the Scottish space sector. Professor Macdonald is also a Director of Weather Stream, a US-based weather analytics company deploying a constellation of satellites, and was a Non-Executive Board Member of the UK Space Agency from 2017 - 2020. He was installed as Visiting Professor of University College Dublin in 2021.

Exceptional contributions

This year’s Fellowship group consists of 60 Fellows, eight International Fellows and five Honorary Fellows, each of whom has made exceptional contributions to their own sector, pioneering new innovations, leading progress in business or academia, providing high level advice to government, or promoting wider understanding of engineering and technology.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Vice Chancellor and Principal of Strathclyde, said:

Engineering is everywhere, but nowhere the same, and our new Fellows represent the great breadth and diversity of engineers who are striving to address some of the world’s most complex challenges – benefiting society and the economy in the process. From next generation power networks and water systems to quantum computing and artificial intelligence, our new Fellows are shaping the future.

“We live in an era of rapid change across our communities, our country, and of course our planet. Today we welcome to our Fellowship an inspiring group of people who are harnessing their creativity, courage and commitment to drive positive change in the world around us and we look forward to their contribution to our work.” 

Outstanding engineers

The Fellows reflect the Academy’s ongoing Fellowship Fit for the Future initiative announced in July 2020, to drive more nominations of outstanding engineers from underrepresented groups ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2026. This commits the Academy to strive for increased representation from women, disabled and LGBTQ+ engineers, those from minority ethnic backgrounds, non-traditional education pathways and emerging industries, and those who have achieved excellence at an earlier career stage than normal.

In joining the Fellowship, they will lend their unique capabilities to achieving the Academy’s overarching strategic goal to harness the power of engineering to create a sustainable society and an inclusive economy for all.