Professor McCann graduated BSc (1976) and PhD (1980) in Physics from the University of Glasgow. He then carried out six years of postdoctoral research at DESY (Hamburg), the Victoria University of Manchester (now the University of Manchester) and CERN (Geneva).
Following postdoctoral research, he spent 10 years at the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, working in research and development on explosion hazards, in-situ automotive engine measurements, and lubricant product formulation. He was founding Group Leader of Shell’s specialist Engine Measurements group, and won the Colwell Merit Award of the Society of Automotive Engineers (1995).
Professor McCann was appointed to the Chair of Industrial Tomography at UMIST (now the University of Manchester) in 1996.
He has pioneered opto-electronic systems to provide specific chemical imaging capability in combustion systems, and has developed electrical impedance tomography for medical applications, collaborating intensively with users in both academia and industry.
At UMIST, he was Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering from 1999 to 2002.
In 2010 he was appointed Associate Dean (Research) in the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
He chaired the UK Professors & Heads of Electrical Engineering (2003-2005) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2009.