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In Memory of

Professor Malcolm Irving

It is with great sadness that Brunel University London has to announce the passing of Professor Malcolm Irving, a retired Professor of Power Systems within the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering from 1990-2013.


Professor's story

Malcolm Irving joined Brunel in 1990 and was appointed as Director of the newly established Brunel Institute of Powers in 1991 and as a Professor of Power Systems in 1993. He joined Brunel from the University of Durham alongside past Brunel Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Michael Sterling, past Brunel Vice-Principal Professor Mansoor Sarhadi, past Brunel Senior Lecturer Dr Roger Powell as well as several other high-profile Brunel staff who joined from the University of Durham at the same time. During his time at Brunel he was also Head of the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering from 2004-2006. Malcolm came to academic prominence as the PhD student of (then) Dr. Michael Sterling at the University of Sheffield. The two then formed a highly successful research group at the University of Durham known as Operational Control of Electrical Power Systems (OCEPS) with Malcolm as the operational lead. When appointed at Brunel, Malcolm and (then) Professor Michael Sterling agreed to move major research grants and contracts to Brunel and to set up a highly successful company in order to continue to commercialise the power system monitoring and control software that they had developed. The power systems engineering software tools have been used operationally and commercially in industry for over 40 years in over 30 countries worldwide. Malcolm and Professor Sir Michael Sterling were Directors until they closed the company following their respective retirements. During his academic career he contributed to over 300 research publications including major text books concerning the application of mathematics and computing in power systems engineering. He also successfully supervised over 40 PhD students during his time at Brunel. Many colleagues remember Malcolm as an outstanding PhD supervisor, tutor and lecturer with an infinite amount of patience and supreme clarity of explanation. His research expertise and interests included: Power system optimisation; Power system operation and planning; Renewable energy systems; Reactive power & voltage control; Power systems & network communications. He was also a highly regarded and active member of the IEEE and a Fellow of the IET. Malcolm was an undergraduate in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield from 1971 and graduated in 1974. He was also a keen musician and guitarist and was in a band during his teens in Newcastle. He had had piano lessons and could play to a good standard but his highly proficient guitar skills were self-taught. In recent years following his retirement, he also started building his own guitar amplifiers. They were of an excellent standard and for a while he considered making a business out of it, but he realised that he could never match the 'economies of scale' of the likes of Marshall and decided against it. He also co-wrote a book on guitar amplifiers that was published several years ago. Malcolm leaves behind a wife Jean, son John and granddaughter Heather. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends at this time and also the many colleagues and friends he made at Brunel who will miss him greatly. Malcolm was also an active supporter and fund raiser for a local air ambulance service.

Remembered by Gareth Taylor, Colleague And Friend

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Share their Memory

Professor Malcolm Irving's Tributes

  • Thank you.
    Donated by Colin Axon
  • In memory of an old friend
    Donated by Tony Field
  • Malcolm was a great source of inspiration and a wonderful and caring colleague. I greatly enjoyed the time we worked together on an EU funded research project. Very sorry to hear of his untimely death.
    Donated by Peter Hobson
  • We all will sadly miss a kind and helpful colleague.
    Donated by Nila Nilavalan
  • We missed Prof. Irving
    Donated by Ahmed Zobaa
  • In memory of a wonderful person
    Donated by Ioana Pisica
  • As you may know Malcolm meant a great deal to me as well as many others in the power systems engineering community and was also instrumental in supporting and developing the careers of many power system engineers both in academia and industry. He will be deeply missed.
    Donated by Gareth Taylor

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