Professor Sir Michael Sterling

Michael Sterling

Professor Sir Michael Sterling
(Credit: University of Birmingham)

BEng, PhD, DEng, CEng, FREng, FAEng(CZ), FIEE, FInstMC, CCMI, FRSA
Hon DEng University of Birmingham 2009
Hon DEng Brunel University 2008
Hon Doc University West Bohemia 2001
Hon Doc University Tashkent, Uzbekistan 1999
Hon DEng University of Sheffield 1995
Hon FInstMC 2003
Hon FIET 2006

He began his career as an electrical engineer in 1964 joining AEI as a student apprentice with a scholarship to the University of Sheffield to read Electronic and Electrical Engineering, graduating with a First Class Honours degree, several prizes and subsequently a PhD in computer control of electrical power systems in 1971. He then joined the staff in the Control Engineering department at Sheffield as a Lecturer and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1978. He moved to the University of Durham as Professor of Engineering in 1979, and was awarded a DEng for published research from the University of Sheffield in 1988, before being appointed as Vice-Chancellor & Principal of Brunel University in 1990, a position he held until his appointment as Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University of Birmingham in 2001, a post he held until his retirement in 2009.

He served as President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (2002/3) and of the Institute of Measurement and Control (1988), and as Chairman of numerous higher education related bodies including the founding Chairmanship of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (1992-2003). His research interest in computer control of electrical power systems led to international sales of software, the formation of a spin out company and advisory roles for the electricity industry. He was subsequently appointed to the West Midlands Regional Development Agency, 2002-2009 and the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology on which he served for a maximum term of 10 years (2003-13). Recent involvements include Chairmanship of STEMNET (2006-2011), DECC/IET Transmission Costing Group (2011-12) and membership of the DECC Science Review Panel (2011-12), a member of the Foresight Lead Expert Group on Manufacturing (2012-14) and the MoD Science Capability review (2015). He was recently appointed by China to be an Academic Grand Master to lead a national ‘111’ R&D 5 year project in smart grid technology which started in 2014 and is based at Nanjing’s Hohai University. He chaired the Russell Group of research intensive universities from 2003 to 2006, retiring as one of the longest serving Vice-Chancellors in 2009. He is currently Chairman of the Science & Technology Facilities Council (2009- ).

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