Internet and Web pioneers win the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
Five engineers who created the Internet and the World Wide Web have together won the inaugural £1 million Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for their innovations, which have revolutionised the way we communicate and enabled the development of whole new industries.
Today a third of the world’s population use the Internet and it is estimated to carry around 330 Petabytes of data per year, enough to transfer every character ever written in every book ever published 20 times over.
The winners are Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf and Louis Pouzin for their contributions to the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee who created the World Wide Web and Marc Andreessen who wrote the Mosaic browser.
The announcement was made by Lord Browne of Madingley in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal at the Royal Academy of Engineering on 18 March 2013. The winners will come to London in June for the formal presentation of the prize by Her Majesty The Queen.
QEPrize announcement date – Monday 18th March
The winner of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering will be announced on Monday 18th March 2013. The announcement, at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, will be attended by HRH The Princess Royal.
Nominations for the prize closed in September 2012 and we are currently in the middle of an extensive judging process which will culminate in a final meeting in March. We are delighted that our distinguished panel of judges have been highly impressed with the quality of nominations.
We would like to offer our thanks to everyone who has been involved and we look forward to the announcement.
Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Trophy Prize Winner Announced
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering today announced the winner of its competition to design the trophy for the international award. Following an overwhelming response from young people across the UK, 17 year-old Jennifer Leggett from Sevenoaks in Kent was named the winner at a special event at the Science Museum in London on Wednesday evening where she was presented with a GBP5000 prize.
Her design was selected from a shortlist by a prestigious judging panel that included Science Museum director and Chair of judges, Ian Blatchford; architect Dame Zaha Hadid; Director of the Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota Design Museum director, Deyan Sudjic; and Engineer, Yewande Akinola.
Jennifer is one of ten young designers, all aged between 16 and 22, who were selected as finalists for the prize. She is currently studying for her A-Levels and says her tree-like trophy design is meant to symbolise the growth of engineering and represents the way in which all areas of engineering are interlinked.
After receiving the award, Jennifer said “It’s amazing to have won this competition. It’s been incredible to see how all the shortlisted designs each managed to show the connection between engineering and art whilst all being so different.”
Chairman of the QE Prize Trustees, Lord Browne of Madingley said, “I am delighted that so many young people were inspired by this unique challenge. The winning design captures the essential relationship between engineering and the natural world and is a fitting symbol for the Queen Elizabeth Prize”.
Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum and former deputy director of the V&A, said “We set a challenge for young people to come up with an iconic trophy design that best embodies the wonder of modern engineering and reflects the merging worlds of science, art, design and engineering. Jennifer has shown real imagination and talent - all the judges were enormously impressed with her design.”
Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Trophy Prize Finalists Announced
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering today announced the shortlist for its competition to design the trophy.
Following an overwhelming response from young designers across the country the ten finalists will each see their design transformed into 3D printed prototypes by BAE Systems using the latest in Additive Layer Manufacturing technology.
The winning design will be selected by a prestigious judging panel that includes architect Dame Zaha Hadid; Director of the Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota; Science Museum director and Chair of judges, Ian Blatchford; Design Museum director, Deyan Sudjic; and Engineer, Yewande Akinola. The panel will choose the final design that will be used to create the trophy for the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
The finalists, aged between 16 – 22, have been invited to London to present their prototyped trophy design to the judges on 5th December at a ceremony at the Science Museum. The winning designer will also receive £5,000.
The finalists are:
- Alexander Goff, from Exeter
- Stephen Halbert, from Wales
- Josh Hyder, from Slough
- Timothy Irvine, from Belfast
- Dominic Jacklin, from Colchester
- Michael Lavelle, from Ipswich
- Jennifer Leggett, from Tonbridge
- Christopher McGovern, from Kingston-on-Thames
- Gemma Pollock, from Wakefield
- Dominic Rowland, from Oxford
Chair of the QE Prize Trustees, Lord Browne of Madingley said, “We have had an excellent response to the Create the Trophy competition and were inundated with hundreds of creative designs from all over the country. I am delighted that so many young people were inspired by this unique engineering challenge”.
Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum and former deputy director of the V&A, said “We set a challenge for young people to come up with an iconic trophy design that best embodies the wonder of modern engineering and reflects the merging worlds of science, art, design and engineering. Each of the finalists has shown real imagination and talent - making the job of choosing an overall winner extremely difficult.”
QEPrize Team visit QEClass Aircraft Carrier
On a chilly Monday morning in October, the QEPrize team travelled from their offices in the heart of London to one of the UK's largest dockyards in Rosyth, Scotland. The purpose of the visit was to see the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier under construction and explore the links with the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
The aircraft carrier itself is a huge and collaborative display of engineering both within the ship and in the construction process. Although the ship is being partly built and assembled in Rosyth, the other pieces are being built separately around the UK; in Appledore, Glasgow, Hebburn, Portsmouth and Birkenhead. These pieces are then floated to Rosyth and slotted and then welded together, an unusual method of assembling a ship but also a way of spreading the workload around the UK and boosting regional economies. See
As part of the visit, the team also met a young mechanical fitter, Claire, who joined the project as an apprentice. Claire described her experience as an amazing opportunity to develop her interest in engineering, especially as she has now been promoted to a planner. She also suggested that, at a time when the engineering sector is growing and looking for talented young people, the focus should be on promoting the varied range of options in engineering and above all, 'making engineering sexy'.
A week before the team visited, the Carrier hosted David Cameron who described the project as “a success story that the whole of the United Kingdom can take great pride in,” and an “incredible feat of engineering.”
The ship will be taller than the Niagra Falls and will contain more steel than Wembley Stadium. It is also a 'green' aircraft carrier, desalinating for drinking water and generating its own energy, enough to power 300,000 kettles or 5,500 homes (a town the size of Swindon).
Search for an icon: Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering launches £5,000 trophy prize
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering launches a competition today in association with the Tate, the Design Museum and the Science Museum, for young people in the UK to design the iconic trophy that will be presented to the winner of the prestigious £1 million international prize.
16 to 24 year olds are being invited to submit a design that represents the wonder of modern engineering. Anyone in that age group can enter, with particular interest expected from those studying or working in art, design, fashion and technology, as well as those studying or working in engineering. The winning entry will reflect the creativity, power and importance of engineering so that the trophy is a symbol of the integral role the engineering profession plays in society.
Finalists will see their designs prototyped using state-of-the-art 3D printing. Every finalist will be invited to London to present their prototyped design in person to the panel of judges, which includes architect Dame Zaha Hadid; Director of the Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota; Science Museum director, Ian Blatchford; Design Museum director, Deyan Sudjic; and Engineer, Yewande Akinola. The winning design will be used to create the trophy for the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and the winning designer will also receive £5,000.
Using the latest programming and design technology a unique digital application has been developed for the trophy competition. Entrants will create and ‘build’ their designs in a 3D online environment. The application can be downloaded free from the Queen Elizabeth Prize website and must be used by everyone entering the competition.
Head of the QE Prize trustees, Lord Browne of Madingley said, “The aim of the Queen Elizabeth Prize is to celebrate global engineering excellence and it’s absolutely vital that the trophy embodies all that is inspirational about engineering. It’ll be quite a challenge for the UK’s young designers but I’m sure they’re up to the task.”
Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum and former deputy director of the V&A, says “Asking aspiring designers to create a trophy that will eventually be awarded to leading engineers is a clever cross-generation link epitomising the imaginative spirit of the Prize”
Zaha Hadid, the architect of the celebrated Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics Games said, “Design & Architecture should be the complete marriage of form and function. One should never be sacrificed for the other. It’s exciting to see how these young talented designers choose to embody the beauty and strength of engineering”
Renaissance of the ‘traditional’ career as students battle rising fees and a tough jobs market
On the day A-Level students get their exam results, the latest figures from UCAS and EngineeringUK indicate that more young people could be turning to traditional degree subjects to try to combat rising university fees and give themselves a better chance of getting a job at a time of record youth unemployment.
New figures for Engineering UK, working with the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, show a sharp rise in the appeal of a career in engineering in the last 12 months –
- 38% of 12-16 year olds think engineering is an appealing career compared with 28% a year ago
- 62% of teachers now think engineering is an appealing career compared with 47% a year ago
According to UCAS, this year applications to university courses are down by 7.7% overall but the traditional subjects of engineering, medicine and dentistry have fallen by only 2.6% proving that long-term job prospects and a higher-than-average starting salary are influencing student choices more than ever before.
Students say that starting salary levels are the second most influential factor in their career choices, with the top factor being ‘an area they are interested in’. On this basis engineering scores highly. According to Engineering UK, in 2011 engineering graduates were one of the top five earners amongst new graduates (Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency).
Commenting on this trend, Paul Jackson, CEO, EngineeringUK said, “As university fees have risen, so students have cast a critical eye over the courses and choices that they are making at this stage in their education. At the same time that companies are telling us they need more engineers, young people, their teachers and parents are demonstrating an increase in their awareness of and interest in the fantastic careers available in engineering. This can only be good news for the future of engineering in the UK”.
Recent graduate Aamin Bukhari studied mechanical engineering and is currently working in Project Management on the Aircraft Carrier programme at BAE Systems. “My Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering allowed me to pursue my passion for Engineering. It was a challenging degree but gave potential employers the confidence that I could successfully undertake complex and challenging problem-solving roles. In addition to this it gave me the flexibility to follow a number of different career paths after I graduated, in turn maximising my employability.
After graduating I considered becoming a Business Analyst with one of the investment banks, but eventually secured a place on BAE Systems’ Project Management Graduate Scheme – a programme I’d had my eye on throughout my degree course. Since joining the company I’ve worked on some amazing and jaw-dropping projects including the Royal Navy’s current flagship, the Type-45 Destroyer and now the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy - the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.”
Last call for nominations
With exactly one month left before nominations close for the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the prize's Chair of Trustees, Lord Browne of Madingley has made a final call for engineers around the world to enter the GBP 1 million global prize.
Nominations for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering – which recognises engineering achievements which have been of global benefit to humanity - opened in February and, since then, entries have been received from across the international engineering community.
“The bar is set extremely high for our inaugural prize,” commented Lord Browne of Madingley. “We are entering the final straight as far as the nominations process is concerned and I am keen to get the message out that it isn’t too late to enter this prestigious prize.”
“What has been apparent from the entries we’ve received so far is that engineering is truly a global discipline. We have received high-quality nominations from all four corners of the globe and the judging panel will have their work cut out when it comes to choosing our first ever winner.”
The judging panel of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering consists of some of the best engineering and scientific minds in the world including Diane Greene - Director of Intuit and Director of Google, USA; Dr Charles Vest - President of the National Academy of Engineering, USA; Narayana Murthy – Founder of Infosys, India; Professor Choon Fong Shih – President of KAUST, Saudi Arabia; Madam Deng Nan - Vice Minister of the State Science and Technology Commission, China.
Paul Westbury, Chief Executive Buro Happold said: “As a passionate supporter of engineering, it has been a real pleasure to spread the word about QEPrize to the science, technology and engineering communities, all of whom have expressed great excitement at its inception and the role that it will play in raising the profile of this essential profession.”
“This prize has clearly captured the engineering world’s imagination and I personally cannot wait for the judging process to begin.”
Nominations for the QE Prize close at 17.00 GMT on September 14 and the winner, or winners, will receive the award at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in May 2013.
Queen Elizabeth Prize team celebrates the engineering behind the London 2012 Games
The Olympics is often described as the greatest show on earth and London is enormously proud to be hosting such an historic and iconic event.
With 26 Olympic Sports and 20 Paralympic Sports, 14,700 athletes, 21,000 media and almost 11 million ticket-holders, preparing for it has been – and continues to be – an inspirational and hugely challenging undertaking. In fact, the engineer in charge of delivering the Games infrastructure, Sir John Armitt FREng, has said that staging the Olympics and Paralympics is the most complex logistical operation that a country has to organise outside of going to war.
Visitors to London for the Games will see flags and bunting, spectacular venues, and athletes at their physical peak. Those of us who have been here longer and have watched the Olympic Park being built from the ground up, know there could be no gold medals, no running tracks, and no soaring moments of national pride without the engineers who have designed, constructed, tested, refined and tested again every structure and item of equipment connected with these wonderful games.
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African youth challenged to study engineering
Africa's youth should use engineering to solve the continent’s economic and environmental challenges, according to Calestous Juma, member of the judging panel for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and professor at Harvard Kennedy School.
He said engineering was becoming increasingly important as illustrated by the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. “The £1 million award seeks to do for engineering what the Nobel prizes do for science.”
Prof. Juma made the challenge while receiving an honorary Doctor of Science (Agricultural Engineering) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi on June 22.
He was addressing a crowd of more than 6,000, which included a graduating class of 2,652 JKUAT students. “Engineering is both a field of professional endeavour and a way of thinking, because of its focus on problem-solving.”
“More important,” he added, “engineering is the ultimate expression of human optimism.” He gave the case of mobile telephony. “When the Swedish firm Ericson built its first mobile telephone in 1956 it weighed 42 kilograms. Mobile phones would not have become as ubiquitous as they are today if it was not for optimism among engineers”.
He said when Motorola released its first cell phone in 1983 it weighed four kilograms and cost nearly $4,000 (or $9,500 at current prices). “The mobile revolution had its detractors. The incumbent landline industry stood in the way. The dramatic benefits of mobile phones was foreseen only by a handful of people, but driven by dedicated policy makers and entrepreneurs. Its triumph is the handiwork of optimists in the engineering and business worlds.” he added.
Prof. Juma said another engineering revolution, agricultural biotechnology, is knocking at Africa’s door. “It promises to do for agriculture what mobile technology has done for communication.”
He said of the 16.7 million people who grew biotechnology crops in 2011, 15 million or 90% were small resource-poor farmers in developing countries. “Over the 1996-2010 period, the global farm income gain was $78.4 billion, half of which went to developing countries. In 2010 alone, the net farm level economic gain was $14 billion, equal to an average rise in income of $100 per hectare.”
Prof. Juma said there is growing evidence that biotechnology crops are beneficial to the environment. “If biotechnology had not been used in 2010, the world would have required an additional 23% of the arable land of Brazil to maintain the same level of soya bean, maize and cotton output. This is equivalent to 25% of the total area cereal production in the European Union or 8.6% of US farmland.”
He called on the new graduates “to dedicate their lives to making biotechnology promote economic inclusion, in the same way that mobile technology has done for money transfer and banking.”
Millennium Technology Prize winners announced
Last week, Linus Torvalds and Shinya Yamanaka were revealed as the joint recipients of the Millennium Technology Prize. They were selected as finalists in April, and for the first time in the prize’s history, both were named as winners by the President of the Republic of Finland. The two winners will share the €1.2m prize
Linus Torvalds created Linux, an open-source operating system which is a free and contributor-driven software used to operate a PC (much like similar non-open-source software from Microsoft and Apple). Open-source, or freely accessible, software has become increasingly important in our tech-driven society and Linux is now used on millions of computers around the world. At the Awards Ceremony, Torvalds paid tribute to the great number of people who helped contribute to Linux’s development. The first winner of the Millennium Technology Prize in 2004 was another technology superstar, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of HTML.
Shinya Yamanaka has been recognised for the discovery of a technique that enables adult skins cells, the unique constituents of skin, to act like ‘embryonic stem cells’ which have the potential to develop into different types of cell. They can, for example, be used to repair damage around the body. This has significantly altered stem cell studies, creating new and important opportunities in medicine and biomedical research. Dr Yamanaka said that he was honoured to receive such a prestigious award and also humbled to be following ‘such great innovators’ in winning the prize.
The Millennium Technology Prize is the world’s most prestigious prize in the field of technology and complements the Queen Elizabeth Prize’s aim to be the pre-eminent award in the field of engineering. We offer our wholehearted congratulations to both winners.