Three Strathclyders among new Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellows

Aerial drone shot of the University of Strathclyde campus

Three Strathclyders have been newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The University’s Chief Commercial Officer, Gillian Docherty OBE, Professor Keith Mathieson, of Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics, in the University’s Department of Physics, and Professor Apala Majumdar, Associate Dean (International Research) of Strathclyde’s Faculty of Science, are among the 57 new Fellows announced by the RSE.


The RSE recognises, supports, and mobilises expertise from across academia, business, and public service for the benefit of Scotland and the wider world. It engages and connects nationally and internationally to share knowledge and tackle the most pressing challenges of the modern world.

Strathclyde Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Jim McDonald, who is himself a Fellow of the RSE, said: “It is always a great pleasure to see our fellow Strathclyders receive prestigious recognition for their work. The nature and profile of these RSE Fellowships are very much in keeping with the goals we pursue at Strathclyde.

Gillian, Keith and Apala are exceptionally talented individuals who have all played significant parts in our success in recent years. I warmly congratulate each of them on such well-deserved achievement and the professional recognition this represents.

Gillian Docherty OBE

Gillian Docherty joined Strathclyde in 2022 from The Data Lab, where she had been Chief Executive. She leads the University’s approach to collaboration by accelerating the development of new technologies, helping companies compete internationally, informing public policy and supporting the economy. She was appointed an OBE in 2019 for Services to Information Technology and Business.

Professor Mathieson is currently the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies at Strathclyde, a 10-year post he will hold until 2029. He was previously Director of the Institute of Photonics and helped lead Strathclyde’s winning bid for the 2023 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Photonics Innovation. His research explores technologies that interface with the brain and aim to advance treatments for brain disorders, dementia and sight loss.

Professor Keith Mathieson

Professor Majumdar is based in of Strathclyde’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Her own research focuses on the mathematics and modelling of liquid crystals and partially ordered materials, including their applications in industry. She received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation in 2022 and a Suffrage Science Award in 2020; the latter award recognised her academic achievements and her work in promoting STEM subjects for the next generation.

Professor Apala Majumdar

SE President Professor Sir John Ball PRSE, said: “It is an immense honour to extend a warm welcome to each of our distinguished new Fellows.

“Individually, they embody exceptional dedication and accomplishment spanning multiple sectors and disciplines. Collectively, they demonstrate a profound commitment and determination to make meaningful contributions through their endeavours.

“From groundbreaking research that redefines our understanding to the creative pursuits that inspire and enrich our cultural landscape, the RSE proudly embraces the brightest minds, leveraging their unique expertise and perspectives for the betterment of society.

“As Scotland’s National Academy, we remain committed to mobilising a diverse array of expertise to confront society's most pressing challenges, and I am certain that our new Fellows will prove invaluable assets to the RSE.”