Leading digital communications figure receives Honourary Degree



Professor Sir John McCanny

Professor Sir John McCanny, an international authority on digital communication security and entrepreneur has been recognised by Heriot-Watt University.

He was welcomed to the University's Edinburgh Campus today (Tuesday 18 June) where he received an Honorary Degree in recognition of his outstanding contribution to UK science.

Professor Sir John was the driving force behind the Northern Ireland Science Park, which today hosts 200 companies and 3000 employees as well as its £37m research flagship, the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology. He also led the initiative that created the £65m Centre for Secure Information Technology, the UK's Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Cybersecurity and has co-founded two successful high technology companies.

Professor Sir John said on his award: “I am deeply honoured to receive this Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Heriot-Watt University. Heriot-Watt has a world-class reputation for its research in digital signal and video processing, a field I was very active in formative parts of my career. It also has also been very successful in the translation of university research into economic impact and industrial application something I have been passionate about, not least in helping to transform what was a derelict former shipyard site into the thriving advanced technology hub.”

Professor Sir John received a CBE in 2002 and a Knighthood in 2017 for services to Higher Education and Economic development.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt, said: “Heriot-Watt University is renowned for its research in Digital Signal Processing, the application of mathematics to manipulate signals that underpins all modern communication and entertainment devices.

“Professor Sir John is known for his research in this field and it is fitting that he be recognised with an Honorary Doctorate from the University.”

Graduations are the most important event in the University's academic calendar and mark a key milestone for both students and staff. They offer a global university community, the opportunity to celebrate the success of all students and Honorary Graduates.