Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Future Cities

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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Heritage Heresy: Re-imagining Bath by breaking all the rules

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 26 July 2017

With its hilly location in south-west England and World Heritage status, development projects in Bath must contend with many practical and regulatory challenges. In our upcoming project, young people reject all the rules to commit heritage heresy and re-imagine a future city where absolutely anything is possible.

Heritage Heresy’ is an exciting weekend event being held for local young people aged 10-13 in Bath later this year. They will join up with real engineers, architects and city planners to think about the built environment around them and create new visions of Bath.

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Inspiring young minds with railways built for the digital age

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 21 July 2017

Britain’s railways have stood the test of time.  Built over 150 years ago by the Victorians, Britain’s railway network carries over 3 million people every day, making 1.3 billion journeys each year. By 2020 another 400 million rail journeys each year are forecast. And it’s not just people commuting to work or travelling for fun. Britain’s railways carry goods we need, fuel for our power stations and materials to build our environment.  But with only 20,000 miles of track, there’s a limit on how many journeys the current infrastructure can accommodate.  So, to create extra capacity, new lines are being constructed, bottlenecks removed and digital technologies developed to allow longer trains to run more frequently.

At Fun Kids, the UK’s radio station for children, we want to help children explore the engineering and technology underlying a ‘digital age’ railway. We are working on a project called ‘Engineering Britain’s railways for a digital age,’ which is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious programme. As part of the project, we will create a series of 20 short audio programmes that will look at how to run more trains more frequently, tunnelling under major cities, re-building operational stations, electrification and alternative energy, and communications between trains, signalmen and the rest of the world.

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How Collaborative Engineering Can Transform the Future of Cities

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 23 May 2017

Newspapers, magazines and social media sites are buzzing with the latest ideas and inventions that will bring the city of the future to life. For these ideas to be realised, however, innovation needs a collaborative approach.

Not only does the science of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things need to be fully developed, but so does the day-to-day infrastructure of our urban environments. Here’s how collaborative engineering can transform the future of cities.

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KENOTEQ: Breathing life into new buildings

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 22 March 2017

When it comes to building, an awful lot of material goes to waste, both at the birth and death of a project. In fact, the construction industry sends millions of tonnes of waste to landfill every year, at a huge cost to itself.

In addition to this, new laws mean that by 2020 70% of all construction and demolition waste in UK must be recycled, while none will be allowed to go to landfill. This, coupled with the cost of waste disposal, has set the construction industry on the hunt for materials that are both good for the environment and good for their bottom lines.

Dr Sam Chapman and his spin-out KENOTEQ think they have the solution to just such a problem.

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Tunnelling under the Thames

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 26 January 2017

1Darkday- Tuppaware Plastic Pipe

Engineers at National Grid Gas Distribution are kicking off the new year with their biggest project yet. Starting at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the team will sink a shaft 30m down into London’s sticky clay. Three hundred metres away in Battersea Park, another landmark site, a sister hole will mirror the first. The final stage of the plan will see engineers tunnel under the River Thames to join the two shafts together.

The ambitious project is part of National Grid’s £1 billion master plan to future-proof London’s ageing gas infrastructure. Once complete, the tunnel will be home to a brand new mains gas pipe, delivering energy to homes across the city.

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Najwa Jawahar: Making her mark on the city skyline

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 12 December 2016


To celebrate the great work of our QEPrize Ambassadors, we wanted to hear more about what they get up to every day, and how they are helping to shape the world of engineering. Najwa Jawahar has this year been named as one of the UK’s top 100 Rising Stars for her work as a structural engineer and role model for women in engineering. We met up with her to find out more.

Najwa, you’re a structural engineer, but what does that actually entail?

I am a senior structural engineer at WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff, and I specialise in the design of tall buildings. I use my knowledge of engineering and my brain power and apply them to the unique problems that I encounter on my projects.

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