Highlights from February: Innovation month

Potted tomato plants grow behind a small model traffic light. The green light is illuminated.

Categories: Technology

PomodoPi - a tomato-watering creation made with a Raspberry Pi - Photo by Charly Kuehnast.


29 February 2016 2 minute read

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“Innovation is the key to sustainable value creation and employment. It is crucial for overcoming challenges such as demographic change, new mobility, digital transformation, and the energy transition.” Professor Reinhard Huettl, President of Achtech (National Academy of Science and Engineering, Germany) addressed the recent Create the Future report, highlighting the necessity of innovation across the field of engineering.

This month we have been exploring the incredible breadth of human inventiveness, and showcasing the #EverydayEngineers amongst us. The #EverydayEngineers campaign, which launched at the start of February, set out to demonstrate the innovation and creativity of our readers and followers. We were amazed by the response we received, being sent photos of hacks and inventions from a computer-controlled telescope to a homemade media server, and even a tweeting, selfie-taking, Lego robot. Keep sending us your #EverydayEngineers photos, and follow us on Instagram @QEPrize for more.

Alongside the campaign, we also delved into the innovations that have changed the way we live, and took the chance to say goodbye to an icon of British engineering, the Land Rover Defender. As the last model rolled off the production line on 29 January 2016, Nick Rogers, Group Engineering Director at Jaguar Land Rover said: “Creating the Defender of tomorrow, a dream for any engineer or designer is the next exciting chapter and we are looking forward to taking on that challenge."In the first of a series of guest blogs offering an insight into the industry, award-winning science journalist Angela Saini looked at how India is harnessing innovation as a driver of development, while Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Mark Goudie offered his thoughts on how innovation is shaping the future of the renewable energy sector.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was also delighted to announce the appointment of esteemed engineer Professor Sir Christopher Snowden as Chair of the judging panel for the awarding of the 2017 prize. Speaking of his appointment, Sir Christopher said “I am honoured to be asked to Chair the QEPrize judging panel of internationally distinguished engineers. It is very stimulating to work with some of the leading engineers of our generation to select the winning nomination from among so many worthy candidates.”Finally, we took a closer look at the engineers of tomorrow, learning about the incredible Inventors! project; run by artist, designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox, and supported by arts and culture project, The Cultural Spring. The project gave children (and adults!) the opportunity to invent anything they liked, before handing over the blueprints to a dedicated team of makers to bring them to life. Mrs Dawson, mother of one of the inventors, described the results as mind-blowing, and the attention to detail second to none. She added, "This has been a very unique journey, but had it not been for Dominic Wilcox it would not have been born. Thank you."For more news updates on our monthly themes, sign up to our newsletter, and don’t forget to follow us on twitter @QEPrize.

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