Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering


Women of NASA LEGO set blasts off

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 10 April 2017

MIT staffer’s creation celebrating the history of women in the U.S. space program selected to become official LEGO set.

Abby Abazorius | MIT News Office
MIT News

For years, Maia Weinstock, the deputy editor of MIT News, has been creating miniature LEGO figurines to honor and promote such scientists and engineers as MIT Institute Professor Emerita Mildred Dresselhaus, Vice President for Research Maria T. Zuber, and Department of Chemical Engineering head Paula Hammond, the David H. Koch Chair Professor in Engineering. The figures are Weinstock’s playful way of boosting the visibility of scientists, in particular the work of female scientists.

Now, a set of LEGOs Weinstock created celebrating the history of women at NASA is about to blast off. On Tuesday, LEGO announced that Weinstock’s project, which spotlights five women who made historic contributions to the U.S. space program, has been selected to become an official LEGO set.

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Engineering ‘out-of-this-world’ electronics

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 7 April 2017

Engineers at Stanford’s ‘XLab’ are working on tiny electronic devices that could withstand some of the most extreme conditions imaginable.

The research group, which specialises in developing microsystems for extreme environments, hopes to study the most remote and inhospitable regions both here on Earth and in space.

Reaching temperatures of up to 480 degrees Celsius (more than 890 Fahrenheit) and doused with sulfuric acid rains, the atmosphere surrounding Venus is just the place they mean. With the metallic components in silicon-based semiconductors melting at around 300oC (572oF), today’s electronics wouldn’t stand a chance.   

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Emma Goulding: ‘Curiosity’ in the classroom

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 6 April 2017

My name is Emma Goulding and I’m a controls engineer for Siemens Aeroderivative Gas Turbines (AGT). This is a technical role where I support the fleet of AGT engines through operational support, software testing and software coding. I started my career as an apprentice in 2012, and very soon after that registered as a STEM ambassador, carrying out STEM events for local schools. I recently led the Siemens AGT ‘Innovation Month’ STEM outreach programme, where over 150 students from more than 5 different schools and clubs took part in the STEM sessions hosted by Siemens AGT.

This Siemens initiative allowed the business to engage with local schools and to host sessions encouraging young people to get excited about STEM. The project also gave Siemens the chance to showcase some of the opportunities that a STEM career can offer.

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European environmental monitoring project gets colour-vision ‘eye in the sky’

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 5 April 2017

Shortly before 11 o’clock in the evening on 7 March 2017, the tropical night air of French Guiana was rent with the roar of a Vega rocket, blasting off from its launch pad in Kourou. The payload sitting atop the rocket, a satellite developed and built by Airbus for the European Space Agency (ESA), was the missing piece in the puzzle to complete Europe’s colour-vision image of Earth.

Sentinel-2B joined its identical twin in polar orbit, unfurling its solar panels and reporting for duty just an hour after leaving Earth. Sentinel-2A, the first of the pair, launched in June 2015. Together, they make up Copernicus, the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date.   Positioned 180 degrees apart, the pair can complete a full circle of the Earth just 100 minutes. Working together, the Sentinel satellites can cover the whole world, including all land surfaces, large islands and inland and coastal waters, every five days.

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Defying gravity

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 3 April 2017

Ever since President Eisenhower established NASA in 1958, the world’s population has been hooked on pushing the boundaries of human exploration. In the 60 years that followed, humankind has travelled faster, further and more fantastically than ever before.

In early 1969, the first flight of the Concorde roared out of Toulouse, proving the colossal plane could take to the skies. Just a few short months later, the world watched as Neil Armstrong and ‘Buzz’ Aldrin took their first, tentative steps across the lunar surface. In quick succession, NASA sent missions to land on our nearest neighbours, tallying a list of firsts as they headed for Venus, then Mars, and finally set out to explore Jupiter.

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Drones to deliver drugs in remote Costa Rica

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 14 November 2016


Eight communities in remote towns of Costa Rica are set to receive drugs via pilotless aerial vehicles (drones) starting from 2017, thanks to a new programme implemented by the government’s public health authority.

The programme will link basic health centres in these remote communities with distribution points operated by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).

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Manufacturing cities on Mars

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 13 October 2016


Meet the designers with their heads in the stars, competing to build sustainable cities on our nearest neighbour; Mars. Manufacturing is evolving here on Earth as technologies like large-scale 3D printing gain popularity. Students and professionals worldwide have this year taken their innovations a step further in the Mars City Design Competition.

The contest is the brainchild of Mars City Design CEO, founder and ‘Marschitect’, Vera Mulyani. The aim; designing and innovating a sustainable city on Mars. Entrants used their designs to solve the everyday problems of living on Mars. These covered categories looking at structural design, a city infrastructure and agriculture in space.

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Students from Singapore take to the skies in world-first flying machine

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 2 September 2016


Eight engineering students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have pushed their creativity to the limit, designing a super-light, personal aircraft.  ‘The Delta’, as it has been named, is the world’s lightest electric paraglider trike, weighing in at just 49 kilograms.

The design team took on the challenge as part of the National Geographic Channel’s new series, ‘Machine Impossible’.  Their task: to create a cheap, fun and functional flying machine.

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