Professor Sir Jim McDonald is one of seven new Honorary Fellows to be welcomed into the prestigious Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Strathclyde, who is also President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, received the award in recognition of his outstanding achievements, including in the fields of higher education, engineering and entrepreneurship.

 Sir Jim also co-chairs Scotland’s Energy Advisory Board with the First Minister and is Chair of the independent Glasgow Economic Leadership Board. He was awarded a knighthood in 2012 for services to engineering, education and the economy.

Global challenges

Sir Jim, who received his fellowship during a ceremony at Bute Hall in Glasgow, said: “I am delighted and proud to be admitted as a Fellow to this internationally recognised Royal College.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate my fellow awardees; it’s an honour to be recognised alongside such highly accomplished company.

“I look forward to joining the Fellows of this professional society to help address global challenges such as the drive to achieve net zero and the use of technology to enhance public health.”

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 in 1984 as a University Grants Commission New Blood Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, eventually taking up the Rolls-Royce Chair in Electrical Power Systems. He holds several non-executive business appointments with organisations including the Weir Group plc, Scottish Power plc and the UK National Physical Laboratory.

Positive impact

Mike McKirdy, President of the College, said: “Sir Jim is a gifted engineer, academic and leader of a university that is making a positive impact on our city, on Scotland and the UK, and on the global communities it serves. His contribution to engineering, education and entrepreneurship will have a lasting legacy.

 “It is a great pleasure to welcome him to our global College community.”

 Other distinguished figures from the fields of medicine, science and business to be honoured include philanthropist, entrepreneur and fellow Strathclyde alumnus Sir Tom Hunter, Professor Cathal J. Kelly, Vice-Chancellor & CEO and Registrar of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Professor Meegahalande Durage Lamawansa, Vice-Chancellor and Chair Professor of Surgery, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Chris Lavy, Professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Surgery and a Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford, Professor Rowan W Parks, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Dr Adar Poonawalla CEO, Serum Institute of India.

Great legacy

President’s Medals were also presented to the lead vaccinologist behind the Oxford Covid vaccine, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, and refugee doctors’ medical facilitators, Dr Patrick T. Grant and Dr David Andrew William Ritchie.

 Mike McKirdy added: “Our newest Members, Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Medal Winners build on a great legacy of innovation and collaboration over almost 425 years.”

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has a membership of more than 15,000 and represents Fellows and Members throughout the UK and internationally. It was founded by Royal Charter from King James VI and I in 1599 to improve the practice of Medicine and Surgery.