CEO for leading power research centre appointed

A senior power sector professional and engineer with 30 years’ experience in the industry has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the University of Strathclyde’s Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC).

David Rutherford has taken up the new post at the world-class research and innovation facility. The PNDC, which is based in Cumbernauld, enables researchers to work in collaboration with industry partners to find solutions to the increasing worldwide demand for secure, reliable and environmentally friendly energy supplies.

David – himself a Strathclyde alumnus – has joined the University after six and a half years with global consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, part of the Balfour Beatty Group.

David RutherfordDuring this time, he held profit and loss responsibility for the consultancy firm’s power operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was also recognised as the Global Head of Power for the broader Balfour Beatty organisation with strategy development and implementation responsibilities.

In his earlier career of more than 20 years with ScottishPower, David joined the industry as a graduate trainee and his career culminated as the company’s Director of Energy Networks. He has knowledge of asset management, capital investment, operational performance and regulatory processes associated with transmission and distribution businesses.

Mr Rutherford said:

“I am excited about my appointment to this role, as the PNDC has a tremendous opportunity to find the solutions to problems transmission and distribution companies are starting to uncover as distributed generation becomes a significant reality.

“This facility and the team’s technical capability stand out as being at the forefront of enabling the power networks of tomorrow by de-risking innovative solutions in readiness for rapid deployment at scale. I am both passionate about what we may achieve and proud to be associated with such a world-class facility.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said:

“I am delighted that David has joined the PNDC to lead our operations and he brings with him a wealth of experience in the power and energy sector.

“The PNDC embodies Strathclyde’s intimate and strategic approach to industry collaboration. With major partners in power and energy, covering a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise, the Centre is developing the next generation of electricity networks. The Centre’s vision is to not only meet the growing demand for secure energy supplies but also to create sustainable, low-carbon energy systems.”

Mr Rutherford currently holds a non-executive role with energy firm SSE as a Transmission and Distribution Significantly Independent Director. He is also a board member of Barking Power Station.

The PNDC is a collaborative venture founded by the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Funding Council and founding members ScottishPower Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution. Its industry membership continues to grow and now includes S&C Electric, Omicron and Locamation.


David Rutherford is pictured above

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