Michael McKay first joined Scouting as a Cub Scout in Sackville, New Brunswick, in the early 1970s and has been involved in Scouting at various points over the last 40 years. His professional career started with the Canadian Forces at the Royal Military College where he studied engineering and went on to become an Aeronautical Engineer.
In 1992, Michael was selected as one of four of Canada's astronauts from 5,300 candidates, along with Julie Payette, Dave Williams and Chris Hadfield. He had to withdraw for medical reasons but remained active in the program until 1997, participating in several missions and working with the projects that were delivering the Space Vision System and the robotic arms for the International Space Station.
After leaving the military in 2001, Michael worked in the private sector, and has held the CEO role in two organizations. In 2005, he became the CEO of PixeLINK, a company that manufactured digital cameras for industrial applications. In 2009, he became the CEO of the Ottawa Flying Club/Flight College, a non-profit organization that provides professional flight training to commercial pilots. All told, he has 26 years of management and leadership experience. Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering Physics degree and a Master of Electrical Engineering degree from the Royal Military College and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Ottawa.
Michael is married with two daughters and lives in Ottawa. He continues to be involved in Scouting and is currently a volunteer leader with the 17th Southminster Scout Troop. His sport passions include cycling and gliding, which he enjoys at the Gatineau Gliding Club.