Professor McDonald has been principal and vice chancellor of the University of Strathclyde since March 2009 and has held the Rolls-Royce Chair in Electrical Power Systems since 1993. He was appointed as a non-executive director of the Weir board in January 2015.
 
The board’s other members include Jackie Mutschler, senior vice president and head of Upstream Technology for BP plc until 2014; Professor Bill Drury, currently the Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Engineering of Innovation at the University of Bristol and chair of the department’s Industrial Advisory Board; Dr Tony Hooley, a scientist and entrepreneur; and Dr Laura James, a consultant in technology, engineering and innovation working with commercial and non-profit organisations encouraging collaboration and the use of new technologies.
 
Commenting as the board held its first meeting, Weir Group chief executive Keith Cochrane said: “Our technology board, under Sir Jim’s leadership, has been specifically chosen to ensure Weir benefits from expertise from a range of backgrounds, both academic and industrial, and uses that knowledge to continue to succeed in an increasingly complex and connected world.”
 
Professor McDonald said: “I am delighted to be leading Weir’s advisory board at such an exciting period of technological development and innovation. Throughout my career I have seen the benefits of different disciplines and industries working together and sharing insights. The most successful technology and engineering companies are always looking to learn and that will be the main focus of the board’s work: ensuring the best ideas, wherever they are from, are available to Weir’s engineers and its customers.”