date and time icon Tue, 09 Apr 2024

Professor Bill Buchanan awarded RSE Fellowship for outstanding cybersecurity work

Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) cybersecurity and cryptography expert Professor Bill Buchanan has described it as an honour to be named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The organisation, which is dubbed ‘Scotland’s National Academy’, has announced its 2024 cohort of inductees.

This year 57 individuals have been nominated for their excellence in a wide range of fields, including physics, chemistry, informatics, literature, law, social sciences, and business.

Professor Buchanan is joined on this year’s list by ENU honorary graduate Dr Mike Welch, as well as notable figures such as Armando Iannucci and Sally Magnusson.

ENU academics who have been named RSE Fellows in recent years include Professor Lis Neubeck, Professor Emma Hart, and Professor Mark Huxham.

The Fellowship is the latest in a series of accolades awarded to Bill Buchanan for his research and teaching with ENU’s School of Computing & the Built Environment.

Bill was made an OBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cybersecurity, while more recently he won Most Innovative Teacher of the Year at the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

He has also been behind several successful ENU spin-out companies, such as Zonefox, Cyacomb, Symphonic and Memcrypt.

Bill said: “It is such an honour to be acknowledged by an organisation which prides itself on recognising the finest scientific and technological minds in our country.

“Scotland is a land of innovation and enterprise. It has built its reputation on its excellence in education, enterprise, and industry.

“I believe this honour has been fully enabled through the positiveness of my University and by the City of Edinburgh.

“At every crucial part of our work, the University and city have been there – and have thus built collaborations and partnerships that would not be possible in other parts of the world.

“My love for innovation, research, and, especially, teaching will never leave me. I feel honoured to teach and research the topics that I care deeply about and to live and work in one of the most beautiful, cultured and educated cities on the planet.

“Scotland is truly the best place in the world to build the future, and our four amazing cybersecurity spin-outs are a testament to this.”

Mike Welch

Alongside Professor Buchanan, tire entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Mike Welch is among the inductees to the RSE.

He studied Business Management at ENU, before being awarded an honorary Doctor of Enterprise in 2016.

Also an OBE, Mike founded, the world’s first ‘click to fit’ online tyre retailer in 2002, selling the business to Michelin in 2015. 

Mike established The Welch Trust in 2015 to support children and young people in need of adoption and fostering, as well as kids with critical and terminal illnesses.

He said: ““Becoming a fellow is an incredible honour, and means I am following in the footsteps of two iconic figures to me.

“Robert William Thomson, the Scottish inventor who dreamt up and patented the pneumatic tyre in 1847, in the very same street that we have our home in Edinburgh.

“And Sir Tom Farmer, one of the world's foremost retailers of tyres, who mentored me and brought me to the great city of Edinburgh at the advent of the internet to build Kwik-Fit online.

“Through their example and the privilege of becoming a fellow, I feel humbled and motivated to continue my work as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.”

The Royal Society of Edinburgh – 2024 Fellows

This year’s inductees join an esteemed group of 1,800 current Fellows of the RSE.

Emmy-winning satirist Armando Iannucci and award-winning journalist and charity founder Sally Magnusson are among the latest cohort.

You can see the full list of fellows here >

The RSE described itself as an organisation which recognises, supports, and mobilises expertise from across academia, business, and public service for the benefit of Scotland and the wider world.

President of the RSE, Professor Sir John Ball PRSE, said: “It is an immense honour to extend a warm welcome to each of our distinguished new Fellows.

“Individually, they embody exceptional dedication and accomplishment spanning multiple sectors and disciplines. Collectively, they demonstrate a profound commitment and determination to make meaningful contributions through their endeavours.

“From groundbreaking research that redefines our understanding to the creative pursuits that inspire and enrich our cultural landscape, the RSE proudly embraces the brightest minds, leveraging their unique expertise and perspectives for the betterment of society.

“As Scotland’s National Academy, we remain committed to mobilising a diverse array of expertise to confront society's most pressing challenges, and I am certain that our new Fellows will prove invaluable assets to the RSE.”