On 20th April 2016, QEPrize nominations were officially opened at a launch party at the iconic Design Museum in London. The event was attended by 250 engineers and QEPrize Ambassadors and featured an array of engineering demonstrations, including virtual reality experiences, 3D printing pens and football-playing robots.
Robotics and autonomous systems are generating an increasing number of benefits for our society. They are creating safer ways of tackling environmental disasters, improving efficiencies in agriculture and sparking innovation in how we deliver surgery and healthcare.
However, threats and risks exist. Hacking, cyber-attacks and security issues are challenging the protection of our personal data. It remains uncertain whether the roboticist, software engineer, retailer or user will be liable when things go wrong.
Guests at the QEPrize nominations launch with Litelok®, a new lightweight secure bike lock
Last week at a launch event to celebrate the opening of nominations for the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the QEPrize team showcased the latest in Innovation Design Engineering. Innovating new technologies, human-centred designs, sustainable innovation and social enterprise, Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) is an MA and MSc programme, run jointly by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College’s Dyson School of Design Engineering.
Wednesday evening saw the opening of nominations for the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering at the iconic Design Museum, London SE1. The buzzing reception was attended by more than 250 QEPrize Engineering Ambassadors, donor representatives and stakeholders, and hosted an exhibition of cutting edge engineering innovations.
Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering judges and trustees call on world governments to protect education spend in order to produce next generation of engineers
Call comes as QEPrize opens 2017 winner nominations
Some of the world’s leading engineers and business people – all members of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering’s trustee board and judging panel – have penned a letter in The Times of London, calling on global governments to preserve education and Research and Development (R&D) spending across their respective countries.
Always on the look-out for weird and wonderful science ‘stuff’, we were of course drawn to UCL’s brilliantly titled Institute of Making. Described as a ‘cross disciplinary research club’, the Institute is the brainchild of Mark Miodownik, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Zoe Laughlin and Martin Conreen.
When asked what engineering meant to him, Mark explained that it was more than just understanding how an object worked; it was taking that knowledge and applying it outside of the labs. “It’s taking the scientific base, and making it in the world. That’s how you make something wonderful, something really incredible.”
Day two of the event began with a focus on start-ups, which interestingly featured 3D printing in multiple presentations. Charlotte Downs of Cinter introduced us to 3D Hubs, an innovative concept in which a community of 3D printer users is being formed. Their aim is to widen the reach of 3D printing and allow people to easily access a printer to create their designs. A lively presentation from Paul Croft of Ultimaker followed this, showcasing the myriad ways they are using 3D printers. I was pleased to take home my very own 3D printed robot keyring from the Ultimaker machine, but Paul made sure to emphasise the fact that 3D printing is not just about plastic gimmicks any more – the focus is on using the technology creatively to enhance people’s lives.