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Crichton Conversation with Professor Peter Grant OBE

Professor Peter Grant OBE FREng FRSE FIEE FIEEE FHEA

Tuesday 7th November 2023, 7:30 pm

Celebrating James Clerk Maxwell

We are delighted to welcome Professor Peter Grant as the first speaker for the 2023-2024 series of Crichton Conversations. Peter received a BSc from the Heriot-Watt University and following an Edinburgh PhD, has been awarded three honorary Doctorates from the Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh Napier and the University of Edinburgh.

Following 5 years in industry he moved to the University of Edinburgh where he was later appointed to merge the four separate Engineering Departments into a single budget center, serving as the first head of the School of Engineering, 2002-08. In 2007 he was appointed as the 8th Regius Professor of Engineering at Edinburgh and later received an OBE.

His research in signal processing for communication systems, has received several best paper prizes, culminating in the 82nd (2004) Faraday Medal award by the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

He was President of the European Association for Signal Processing, 2000-02, and holds Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He served for 14 years as a Trustee of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation, 2008-2022.

Peter’s presentation introduces James Clerk Maxwell, born in 1831, the most important scientist in the era between Newton and Einstein. First we explore Maxwell’s family background and his inquisitive childhood before introducing several of his many scientific advances starting with his work on oval curves when he was only 14 years old and his later prediction of the form and nature of Saturn’s rings. The presentation then concentrates on his two major advances: colour reproduction and his set of 20 equations on the “Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field”, providing the first theory governing electromagnetic wave generation which is so important in today’s world. Maxwell’s legacy is commemorated at the former family estate, Glenlair, and the small museum in his birthplace, 14 India Street, Edinburgh.

This lecture has been generously sponsored by the Glenlair Trust

The Crichton Conversations will take place in the Duncan Rooms, Easterbrook Hall, Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4TA. Doors open at 6:30pm with tea and coffee available, the lectures- will start promptly at 7:30pm.

To book a place, please contact: Crichton Foundation, Grierson House, Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4ZE
Tel: 07871 475930 or 01387 203908       Email:

There is no charge to attend however, your support is vital to allow us to continue to achieve our charitable aims and make a real difference for the students of the Crichton Campus. Donations are always welcome and can be made in the following ways:

Cash: a collection box will be available at the event
Online: BACS payment to Clydesdale Bank, sort code: 82.62.12, account no:  50382367
Phone: Please call 07871 475930 to make a donation by debit or credit card, you will also be able to make a donation by card in person at the event
Post: Please send your cheque (payable to Crichton Foundation) to

Crichton Foundation, Grierson House, Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4ZE

The Foundation wishes to thank its sponsors and partners for the lecture series:
The Glenlair Trust
Open University in Scotland
Scotland’s Rural College
The Crichton Trust
The University of the West of Scotland
Along with other, anonymous donors

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