Roy Marcus graduated with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1972. In 1974 and 1978 he was awarded the degrees of MSc and PhD for research work conducted in the field of pipeline transportation of solids. In 2004 he was awarded the degree Doctor Technologiae honoris causa from the Technikon Witwatersrand.
In 1980, he was appointed the Transvaal Industries Professor of Mechanical Engineering and shortly thereafter was appointed the Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering. In 1983, he was appointed the deputy dean of the faculty of engineering and in 1985 the dean of the faculty of Engineering.
During his stay at the University of the Witwatersrand he was responsible for the establishment of the Materials Handling Research Unit and the founding director of the first Science Park in South Africa at Frankenwald.
In 1986 Roy left the University to join Cargo Carriers where he was appointed to the post of managing director in 1987. Since leaving Cargo Carriers, he has occupied senior executive positions in several local and international companies, in the fields of venture capital, property development, management consulting, manufacturing and mining.
In 1994, under the auspices of the new democratic dispensation, Roy initiated talks with the University of Warwick which led to the founding of the Morgan University Alliance in March 1995. In 2002 Morgan was granted full accreditation and registration as a private higher education provider. This led to the formal opening of The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management.
From the inception of the new democracy till 2004, Roy played an active role in the development of the new government’s science and technology initiatives, acting as the ministerial advisor on science and technology and the chairman of the National Advisory Council on Innovation.
He currently holds the position of, chairperson of the Council of the University of Johannesburg, Chairman of Innovative Investment Corporation (Technology Commercialisation Company) Chairman of PTIP (Photovoltaic Technology Intellectual Property (Pty) Ltd.) Honorary Professor of Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, Visiting Professor at The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management. He is chairperson of the DST Audit Committee. He is a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering and a Ministerial Appointee to the Council of the University of Johannesburg.
His major interest lies in Systems and Design Thinking where he has collaborated with colleagues at the Ackoff Collaboratory, and the University of Pennsylvania. Currently he is driving several strategic interventions for several private and public sector organizations in which he is applying Design Thinking to assist these organisations to re-position themselves to be better able to meet growing demands from stakeholders.