Professor Tariq Durrani from the University of Strathclyde is the first person from Scotland to be elected as a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Academy is the world’s largest research organisation, with around 60,000 researchers working in 114 institutes, and has been consistently ranked among the top research organisations around the world.

It functions as China’s national academy and as the national scientific think tank and academic governing body. Election to the Academy is one of the highest honours that China bestows on a citizen of a foreign country.

Professor Durrani, a Research Professor in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, was recognised for his innovations in key areas of signal processing, his leadership of the engineering profession, his long term collaboration with Chinese researchers and his establishment of the China Scotland Signal Image Processing Research Academy (SIPRA) ten years ago.

He said:

“I am thrilled, delighted and honoured at this unique recognition, coming especially from peers in China who lay great store on innovation, quality and impact of one’s work.” 

The professor will be inducted into the Academy at a ceremony in later in the New Year, COVID restrictions permitting.

Professor Durrani joined Strathclyde as a lecturer in 1976 and was appointed Professor of Signal Processing in 1982, the first on the subject in the UK.

He was formerly Deputy Principal, overseeing staff development, the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Centre for Lifelong Learning and the University’s IT and computing infrastructure, and was Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from 1986 to 1990.

Electronics research

Professor Durrani was appointed an OBE in 2003 for his services to Higher Education and electronics research and has been Vice President (International) of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Vice President for Educational Activities for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He was also the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for the UNESCO Engineering Report II on the progress of UN Members States towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and, in 2018, was elected Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering – again the first person from Scotland to receive such recognition.