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Social mobility in engineering: for anyone, from anywhere

28 May @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Royal Society of Edinburgh and The Royal Academy of Engineering will once again host a joint annual event entitled Social mobility in engineering: for anyone, from anywhere.

Calling all engineers, innovators, and visionaries! We know that engineers play a pivotal role in our society and in every day life. But for engineers to serve all of society with their work, we must ensure that the profession is accessible to all of society and champions equity, diversity, and, inclusion. So how can we build, promote and improve different routes into engineering to ensure it is truly open to anyone, from anywhere?

President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and RSE Fellow, Professor Sir Jim McDonald GBE FREng FRSE, hosts this discussion with special guests from a variety of engineering backgrounds to explore how the profession can be more inclusive to different communities and how building teams of different people with different perspectives is vital to a thriving engineering sector.

From university degrees to apprenticeships to family businesses and multinational corporations, the panel will share stories from their very different career journeys and explore opportunities to equip more people from different places with the skills needed to solve local, regional, and global challenges. This event is designed to bring together industry professionals and encourage new thinking, ideas and conversations.


Professor Sir Jim McDonald GBE FREng FRSE

President of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Sir Jim McDonald is one of Scotland’s most accomplished engineers, and co-chairs the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board with the First Minister. He is Chair of the Independent Glasgow Economic Leadership Board and holds senior business appointments with the Weir Group, Scottish Power, the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and the National Physical Laboratory.

Born in Glasgow, Sir Jim studied for his first degree in electrical engineering at the University of Strathclyde and started his engineering career as a graduate apprentice on the Scottish Electrical Training Scheme. He worked in the electrical utility sector for seven years and returned to the University of Strathclyde in 1984 as a University Grants Commission New Blood Lecturer in Electrical Engineering. He was appointed to the Rolls-Royce Chair in Electrical Power Systems in 1993 and became Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde in March 2009.

In HM The Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List in June 2012, Sir Jim was awarded a knighthood for services to education, engineering and the economy. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross in the 2024 New Year Honours list for services to engineering, to education and to energy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics, and the Energy Institute, of which he has also been President. He chairs two of the pan-Scotland research pools in energy and engineering and also chaired the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Committee for three years.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh
22-26 George Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 2PQ United Kingdom
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0131 240 5000

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