18th January 1999




An award-winning engineer will be honoured by the University of Lincoln at a graduation ceremony in Hull on 29th January.


Professor Alistair MacFarlane CBE is to be presented with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to higher education and his outstanding efforts to advance knowledge in the field of electrical science.


His extensive research has won him many prizes and awards, including the Faraday Medal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1993 for his work on feedback theory and its applications to automatic control. He was made a CBE in 1987.


Professor MacFarlane is particularly interested in the use of information technology to support learning. He chaired the working group set up by Scottish university principals which produced the report ‘Teaching and Learning in an Expanding Higher Education System’ (1993). Its main recommendations were the need to raise the status of teaching in higher education and to explore the potential of IT in the support of learning. Both points were taken on board by the recent Dearing Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education.


Before his retirement in 1996, Professor MacFarlane was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.  His academic career began at the University of London in 1959. He joined the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1966 and was promoted to Professor of Control Engineering 1969.  In 1974 he was elected Chair of Engineering in the University of  Cambridge.


Alistair MacFarlane is also a non-executive director of British Nuclear Fuels plc, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London. He lives in Edinburgh, the city where he was born in 1931.


Around 300 students are expected to attend the graduation ceremony at Hull City Hall.


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More information on the graduation ceremony will follow soon. A photograph of Professor MacFarlane will be made available later this week. For further details contact:


Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042