David Meldrum studied physics and mathematics at St Andrews and Cambridge, subsequently becoming physicist in charge of the ice-penetrating radar programme at the Scott Polar Research Institute, and a physics tutor at Churchill College, Cambridge. He moved back to Scotland in 1978 to join the marine physics group at the Scottish Association for Marine Science at Dunstaffnage, and in 1989 became head of the technology development section. Two years were spent on secondment to CLS Argos in Toulouse, part of the French Space Agency (CNES), as technical co-ordinator of the IOC/WMO Data Buoy Co-operation Panel, a group of which he became chair from 2004 until 2009. He has recently been elected as vice chair of the IOC/WMO JCOMM Observations Programme Area, with special responsibility for the polar regions, and was recently based in Paris at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. Current research interests include satellite communication and positioning systems, autonomous seabed landers and data buoys, and the development of smart sensors and intelligent instruments. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers and reports in glaciology, oceanography, satellite communications and technology development, and was awarded the UK Polar Medal in 2012.