Professor MacDougall did his undergraduate (B.Sc. 1959 in Engineering Physics) and graduate (M.Sc. 1962 in Radio Astronomy, Ph.D. 1964 in Radio astronomy) studies at Queen’s University. He then did Post Doctorate work for 2 years at the Radio Research Laboratories, Slough, England.
On returning to Canada he worked for 2 years at the Space Research Institute of McGill University on the HARP project where he was Supervisor of Electronics. The electronics group was developing high-G electronic packages for gun-launched probes.
After the demise of the McGill phase of the HARP project he taught in the Physics Department at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica for 8 years.He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario in 1976 as an Assistant Professor and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor and then to Professor.