Irish Academy of Engineering presents Parsons Medal to Prof Sir McCanny at a ceremony in Belfast
The IAE presented the Parsons Medal to Prof Sir McCanny at a ceremony in Belfast, onboard HMS Caroline, on 25 October. A crowd of esteemed engineers, academics and Prof Sir McCanny’s friends and family attended the day’s festivities.
Prof Sir McCanny is emeritus professor in electronics and computer engineering at Queen's University, Belfast (QUB) and was Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT). He received a knighthood in the 2017 New Year's Honours in recognition for his services to higher education and economic development, and has published five research books, 360 peer-reviewed research papers, and holds more than 20 patents. He received a record level of funding for his research between 1984 and 2017, which amounted to approximately £110m.
Throughout his career, Prof Sir McCanny made a significant contribution to innovation. He and his researchers have developed data-storing technology, with much of Prof Sir McCanny’s focus being on the use of silicon to produce chips for digital and video signal processing. Films including Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List have used technology developed by Prof Sir McCanny and his research students.
As well as ECIT, Prof Sir McCanny was also responsible, within QUB, for developing the vision that led to the creation of the non-profit Catalyst Inc Science Park in Belfast. Developed from a brownfield site, there are now more than 200 companies employing 3,000 people, paying in excess of £115m per annum in salaries. Additionally, Prof Sir McCanny spearheaded the Centre for Secure Information, a world-leader in cyber security. Established in 2009 and part of QUB, this helped create a new business cluster in Belfast that today comprises more than 40 companies and employs in excess of 1,400 people.
The IAE is an all-island body promoting excellence in engineering and technology for the betterment of the island of Ireland. This year’s Parsons Medal ceremony took place in Belfast in honour of Prof Sir McCanny, onboard HMS Caroline, a C-class light cruiser that saw action during WW1. HMS Caroline was the ideal venue for the ceremony, as she was powered by four Parsons steam turbines – invented by Sir Charles Algernon Parsons, eminent Irish engineer, and namesake of this medal. The medal was presented by his descendant, the Earl of Rosse, Sir Brendan Parsons.
Speaking at the event, President of the IAE, Prof Tony Smyth said: “I think you will agree that Sir John is an inspiration for the wide range of work he has undertaken and his commitment to engineering and technology.”
Honorary Secretary of the academy, Bill Grimson was the next to speak, saying: “The IAE is pleased to award the Parsons Medal to Sir John McCanny in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the advancement of the application of engineering, science and technology that result in significant social and economic impact.”
Prof Sir McCanny said he was deeply honoured to be presented with the Parsons Medal, adding “this very much represents the pinnacle of achievement for an engineer in Ireland.”. He paid tribute to the support and contributions of his colleagues at Catalyst Inc, Norman Apsley and newly appointed CEO, Steve Orr, the team at the Institute of Electronics Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), and his family and friends. He also thanked the IAE for the award, and Sir Brendan Parsons, who presented to medal to Prof Sir McCanny.
Read more here: http://iae.ie/news/parsons-award-ceremony-2018/
Media enquiries to Helen McCrory: H.McCrory@qub.ac.uk