Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Creativity

From photo to finished model: the software making 3D mapping a snap

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 17 November 2017

Trik software displayed on tablet

Over the years, drones have gained popularity in the engineering and construction industry. Small and simple to fly, drones can quickly snap photos from every angle, giving a bird’s eye view of inaccessible areas. But thousands of photos are meaningless without the right tools to manage them. Drone mapping technology, or ‘photogrammetry’, helps make this task easier by converting drone photos into a 3D model. However, having only the 3D model is still not practical in most engineering work, especially in infrastructure inspection and maintenance. Trik is a specialised system, creating a 3D database. This allows engineering companies to make the most of their drone data.

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Empowering women worldwide with photography

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 8 November 2017

Photography was invented here in the UK, back in 1830s. There are so many layers to a photograph: the ability to share a story and to evoke emotions; the power to expand the viewer’s field of vision; the universal language it speaks; and most importantly, the ability to create new meanings. 180 years on, photography continues to fascinate us, yet it remains inaccessible to many parts of the developing world. This is particularly true for marginalized women and girls, where socio-economic and cultural barriers prohibit them from using digital tools. 200 million fewer women than men own mobile phones.

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Eat Me: From classroom project to pitching at the Palace

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 9 October 2017

Student entrepreneurs Siena and India are taking on the food waste challenge with their innovative, fridge scanning app. What started as a classroom project has grown to a working prototype, winning its inventors the Big Bang Fair’s Junior Engineer of the Year award and a shot at pitching their idea at St James’ Palace. We met up with them to find out more!

Tell us a bit more about the Eat Me app. How does it work?

Siena: Eat Me is an IOT solution that helps transform the relationship between the consumer and the amount of food they waste in their homes. We have built a working prototype that turns any fridge into a smart fridge. It scans best before dates, optimises menus, orders food or even alerts another user if you are running out of certain products in your fridge.

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What’s next in the world of engineering?

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 2 October 2017

Engineering is responsible for the pulleys, wheels and bows and arrows that carried us towards civilisation. It powered the SS Great Britain across the Atlantic and raised the Eiffel Tower. Without engineering, we wouldn’t have powerful computers tucked away in pockets or a direct line to outer space. Since its inception thousands of years ago, engineering has undoubtedly shaped our world. The question we’re addressing this month, however, is what happens next?

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QEPrize winner honoured with top accolade from Royal Photographic Society  

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 22 September 2017

Winner of the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Dr Michael Tompsett, was last night awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s top prize.

Established in 1878, the Progress Medal recognises the inventions, research, publication or contribution that has resulted in an important advance in the scientific or technological development of photographic imaging in the widest sense.

Tompsett received the honour for the invention of the imaging semiconductor circuit and analogue-to-digital converter chip at the heart of the charge coupled device (CCD). The CCD image sensor is found in early digital cameras and is packed with light-capturing cells called pixels. When particles of light, or ‘photons’ hit these pixels, they produce an electrical pulse. Brighter lights produce a stronger electrical pulse.

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Cycle downriver on the Thames Deckway

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 31 August 2017

Copyright 2010 River Cycleway Consortium Ltd. Early concept design Anna Hill & David Nixon 2010.

The Thames Deckway is an exciting green transport infrastructure project in London. We aim to tackle some of the big urban challenges facing our city and others like it.

With the support of Innovate UK, we are currently working towards realising our technology demonstrator in east London in 2018.

New figures from Transport for London (TfL) show that more people are cycling in the city than ever before. Despite this, currently one bicycle journey in every 515,000 ends in death or serious injury. At the same time, air pollution from vehicle emissions results in a wide range of health impacts, which significantly reduces life expectancy within the city.  Compounding on these issues, projections of future climate change paint a bleak picture. For example, with much of the transport network below ground, more than 57 tube stations would be at risk of climate induced flooding.

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Rethinking clean energy with ‘Caventou’

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 21 August 2017

In just one hour, our sun provides enough energy to supply the world’s electricity for an entire year. This, and many other arguments for solar energy, have made their way into people’s awareness since the 1960s. More recently, concerns over our changing climate have led to an increased interest. Yet solar power has still not been fully embraced. At the time of writing, solar power accounts for a meager 1% of total global energy production.

The technology to capture solar energy exists. Additionally, cheaper and more efficient solar cells are racing their way to industrialization., But ‘more efficient’ doesn’t always ensure adoption by consumers, homeowners and cityscapes. More importantly, adopting a green technology doesn’t always ensure green behavior by the those who use it!

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Soundbops: making music through play

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 16 August 2017

Music is magical!

However, access to music is limited by the need for a high level of skill and understanding. This is particularly true for young children. Most children do not start learning an instrument until they are 8 years old, with the guitar and piano being popular choices. Music makes kids more mindful, creative, intelligent, social and happy. Studies suggest 96% of all parents want their child to learn music. To introduce children to music, they are often given shrunken versions of adult-sized instruments. These are hard to play, unengaging and are not social, discouraging budding musicians. Many children drop out of piano lessons due to disinterest.

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