Dr. MacDonald is Chairman and CEO of Day4 Energy Inc., a solar energy company of which he is co-founder. The firm is dedicated to exploiting a new photo-voltaic technology targeted at making solar energy generation cost competitive with fossil fuel. He also co-founded MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), Canada’s principal space company and served as President and CEO for 13 years and then Chairman for 16 years until his retirement. Dr. MacDonald was a faculty member at UBC and MIT for a total of 12 years. He has served on the boards of numerous technology companies and continues to do so.
An advisor to Canadian, US and other governments internationally on science, technology, trade and industrial policy, he is currently serving on the Photovoltaic Power Sys-tems (PVSP) Task8 (Very large scale Photovoltaic Power Systems) of the International Energy Agency in Paris. Additional highlights in his career in-clude service to the APEC Business Advisory Council, various science, technology and Research Councils of Canada, and B.C. He was also in-volved in the Free Trade negotiations with the US and led the industrial team leading to the formation of the Cana-dian Space Agency in 1989. Dr. MacDonald?s technical inter-ests lie in the area of photovoltaic energy systems, advanced digital sys-tems engineering, remote sensing and information processing. He led the design team for the first LANDSAT ground processing system produced by MacDonald Dettwiler. In later years, his technical activities concentrated in the areas of information extraction from advanced sensor systems and the use of integrated data sets as a means of increasing our ability to extract useful information from spaceborne Earth observation data as well as the conceptualization of RADARSAT-2.
At the pre-sent time, his technical activity is concentrated on the development of cost-competitive solar power systems and the characteristics of renewable energy power grids. Dr. MacDonald has been awarded eight honorary degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1999 he was named one of the “50 most influential B.C. business leaders