Malcolm Macdonald (engineer)
Malcolm Macdonald, July 2018
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow (B. Eng. (Hons) and PhD)|
|Known for||Space technology|
|Awards||Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (2013)|
Royal Society of Edinburgh Makdougall Brisbane Prize (2016)
European Engineer (2008)
Chartered Engineer (2008)
|Institutions||University of Strathclyde |
UK Space Agency Steering Board
University of Glasgow
|Thesis||Analytical methodologies for solar trail trajectory design (2005)|
Malcolm Macdonald FRAeS is a Scottish space technology engineer, academic, and director. He is a Professor and the Chair of Space Technology at the University of Strathclyde, Director of the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, SoXSA, and a non-executive member of the UK Space Agency Steering Board.
Malcolm Macdonald studied at University of Glasgow, graduating with a first in Aerospace engineering in 2000. He completed his doctoral research in Astrodynamics at University of Glasgow from then until the end of 2002, graduating in 2005, where we studied with Colin R. McInnes.
Career and research
After completing his doctoral research Macdonald continued to work with Colin R. McInnes as his Research Assistant until the end of 2004. In 2005 Macdonald joined SCISYS where he worked on projects including LISA Pathfinder and ADM-Aeolus, prior to joining the University of Strathclyde in 2008.
Macdonald describes himself as "a professional space technology engineer, working in academia". His research is in space technology, including small satellites and solar sails, as well as astrodynamics, and network science. He was awarded the 2016 Royal Society of Edinburgh Sir Makdougall Brisbane Medal, for "outstanding research work in the development and application of space mission systems to challenge conventional ideas and advance new concepts in the exploration and exploitation of space."
Macdonald was the only non-US member of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's committee on Achieving Science Goals with CubeSats, and a member of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Study Group on Small Satellites for Space Sciences. He is also a member of International Academy of Astronautics study group 4.23 on Post-Mission Disposal for Micro and Smaller Satellites: Concepts and Trade Studies.
Macdonald has been an Associate Editor of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics since 2009, and led the development of The International Handbook of Space Technology, as well as contributing several chapters. This Handbook has sixty contributing authors, including high-profile contributors from Japan, Europe, and the US, including a foreword by Elon Musk.
Macdonald is also involved in the commercialisation of space through his role as the Director of the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, which supports the application of space data and services as well as the development of technology that enables this data and services. He also founded the DATA.SPACE conference, held annually in Glasgow, and which attracts c-suite spekaers and thought leaders from across the world.
Outreach and media
Macdonald is frequently quoted by national and international media on topics relating to the space industry, and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio and Television, including BBC Radio Scotland shows such as Good Morning Scotland and Drive Time, as well as appearing on television shows such as the BBC Daily Politics Show and STV's Scotland Tonight.
He also regularly delivers talks to branches of learned societies, such as the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institute of Physics, as well as to local science, engineering, and astronomy clubs. He has also worked with the BBC to broaden understanding of issues related to space, such as the re-entry of Tiangong-1, with CBeebies programme Nina and the Neurons for the episode Earth Explorers, and with BBC Radio Scotland to put a Red Nose into near-space for Comic Relief in 2013.
Awards and honours
Recognition of his engineering achievements includes:
- 2016 Royal Society of Edinburgh Sir Makdougall Brisbane Medal
- 2013 Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS)
- 2013 Elected member Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland, five-year term.
- 2012 Best Scottish Knowledge Transfer Partnership Award, with Clyde Space Ltd. 
- 2011 Sir Arthur C. Clarke Award for Space Research Achievement, awarded to the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory
- 2010 Times Higher Education, THE, Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year shortlist nomination.
- 2009 Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- 2008 Registered European Engineer with the European Federation of National Engineering Associations. Registration No. 571998.
- 2008 Engineering Council UK Chartered Engineer (UK)
- 2003 Ackroyd Stuart Propulsion Prize (2003) awarded by the Royal Aeronautical Society
- Malcolm Macodnlad on Twitter
- Malcolm Macdonald publications indexed by Google Scholar
- "Scottish Space Sector Soars With New Funding Boost". DIGIT. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Strathclyde expert Malcolm Macdonald appointed to UK Space Agency's steering board". The National. 9 August 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "UK Space Agency, Our governance". Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- Macdonald, Malcolm (2005). Analytical methodologies for solar trail trajectory design (PhD thesis). University of Glasgow.
- "The Appliance of Science". BQ Live. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "Meet Malcolm Macdonald, our new Non-Executive Steering Board Member". 8 August 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "DR MALCOLM MACDONALD, UNI. OF STRATHCLYDE". 21 October 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "Early Career Prizes". Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box (Report). Washington, DC: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. doi:10.17226/23503.
- COSPAR Roadmap on Small Satellites for Space Science (4S). COSPAR 42nd Assembly. Pasadena CA. 18 July 2018.
- "Homepage of the Study Group 4.23". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "AIAA JGCD Masthead". AIAA. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "The International Handbook of Space Technology". Springer. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "Caledonia dreaming: Think Scotland, think space". Deutsche Welle. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "Hey, there are ethical uses for satellites too!". Deutsche Welle. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "DATA.SPACE". Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "Space, the final frontier in independence debate". The Scotsman. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Snap elections in space, uncertainty on Earth". Deutsche Welle. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "No Irish. No blacks. No dogs. No Galileo". Deutsche Welle. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- "SoXSA Director Explains What Exclusion From Galileo Means for London". Sputnik News. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "UK spaceport proposed for Sutherland site". BBC. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
- @BBCNewsbeat (13 March 2018). "Tiangong-1 Re-entry" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "In pictures: Red Nose goes into space site". BBC. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "University Honoured for Space Technology Work". The Herald. Glasgow. 22 September 2012.
- "THE Awards 2011: Shortlist". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- The International Handbook of Space Technology Editors: Macdonald, Malcolm, Badescu, Viorel (Eds.), Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2014, ISBN 978-3-642-41100-7, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-41101-4
- Advances in Solar Sailing Editor: Macdonald, Malcolm (Eds.), Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2014, ISBN 978-3-642-34906-5, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-34907-2
- Macdonald, Malcolm, Smith, Lesley Jane, Impact Assessment of Scottish Independence on the Space Sector, University of Strathclyde publishing, 2014, ISBN 978-1-909522-04-6 University of Strathclyde publishing - Impact Assessment of Scottish Independence on the Space Sector