McDonald, Sir James, b. 1957, Principal of the University of Strathclyde

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McDonald, Sir James, b. 1957, Principal of the University of Strathclyde

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b. 1957


James (Jim) McDonald began his academic career at the University of Strathclyde, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1978, and an MSc in Electrical Power Engineering in 1984. After completing his doctoral research in Power Engineering and Power System Economic and working for several years in industry, he returned to the University in 1984, where he held several academic positions in the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, rising to become Rolls Royce Professor of Electrical Power Systems in 1994. He was promoted to Deputy Principal in August 2006 with a focus on research enhancement and business development. In October 2006 he was appointed Director of the Glasgow Research Partnership in Engineering (GRPE), part of an £80 million collaborative pooling funded by the Scottish Funding Council. As part of the Scottish Engineering research pool, he acted as Chairman of the Energy Technology Partnership. In November 2008, he was appointed Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University, and took up post in March 2009. Under his leadership, the University has grown into the largest group of its kind in Europe with a £30 million research portfolio. He has also been involved in the creation of six University spin-out companies, one of which was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise. Professor Sir Jim McDonald is actively involved in advising government, industry and commerce and holds a number of public posts including: Main Board Director - Scottish Enterprise; Member - Scottish Science Advisory Committee (SSAC); Member - UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) - Energy Excellence Board; Co-Chair (with the First Minister of Scotland) of the Energy Advisory Board in Scotland; Chairman - Saltire Prize Technical Advisory Board; Member - Scottish Enterprise Aerospace, Marine and Defence Industrial Advisory Board. He also has a strong personal commitment to supporting gifted young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter Higher Education. He is an Adviser to the Robertson Trust, which allocates scholarships, and has played a leading role in the Careers Scotland/NASA Space School and the IET Power Academy, which have similar aims. He was awarded a knighthood in The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday Honours for his services to education, engineering and the economy.


Glasgow, Scotland

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University of Strathclyde (1964 to date)

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Jim McDonald is the Principal of the University of Strathclyde.

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GB 249

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ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).


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Created by Anne Cameron, February 2015.




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