Celebrating ten years of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) champions bold, ground-breaking engineering innovations which are of global benefit to humanity. Now, as we come to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the prize, learn more about some of our key milestones.
The QEPrize was launched in November 2011 at London’s Science Museum, initiated by the coalition government and with cross-party support from Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband.
Lord Browne at the launch of the QEPrize in 2011
Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband
The first Create the Trophy competition was held in 2012. We gave young people with interests in science, engineering, design, art, and architecture the opportunity to design the trophy for the 2013 QEPrize winners. The winner of the competition was 17-year-old Jennifer Leggett from Tonbridge, with her beautifully designed tree-like structure. Jennifer then went on to become a Chartered Engineer and is now featured in the Engineers gallery at the Science Museum.
The 2024 Create the Trophy competition is currently open for entries until 11 December 2023.
In March 2013, HRH The Princess Royal joined us for the announcement of the first ever QEPrize winners, Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Marc Andreessen, who gave us the internet and the World Wide Web.
The winners and their families gathered at Guildhall in the City of London with a host of industry and political guests, including future Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with his father-in-law, Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, one of the inaugural QEPrize judges.
TRH Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were guests of honour at Guildhall and Princess Eugenie gave a powerful speech about the impact of medical engineering on her own life through her treatment for scoliosis.
HRH The Princess Royal at the 2013 QEPrize announcement
Narayana Murthy and Rishi Sunak
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie with the 2013 QEPrize Laureates
Robots, engineering themed cocktails and haute couture wearable tech greeted hundreds of people who gathered at Tate Modern in the evening to celebrate the prize, including media, politicians and guests from across the engineering and business communities.
Celebrations at the Tate Modern
November 2014 saw the launch of the global Ambassador Network programme at Prince Philip House, including an engineering fashion show, VR, Lego and more robots.
As of 2023, our Ambassador Network represents 14 countries and over 90 different companies, from all corners of the engineering profession.
Launching of the QEPrize Ambassador Network at Prince Philip House
From the start, the QEPrize aimed to inspire young people to consider a career in engineering, with Ambassadors visiting schools and helping at events to help people learn more about the profession. The Association of State Girls’ Schools event brought 150 students from schools across London and the South East to Prince Philip House for a day of practical fun and meeting real engineers.
Association of State Girls’ Schools event
The Queen presented the 2015 QEPrize to Dr Robert Langer for his developments in controlled drug delivery. Dr Langer was presented with a trophy designed by Euan Fairholm, the winner of the Create the Trophy competition for that year.
The Queen and Dr Langer
HRH The Princess Royal announced Eric Fossum, George Smith, Nobukazu Teranishi and Michael Tompsett as the 2017 QEPrize winners for digital imaging sensors.
Later that year, HRH The Prince of Wales presented the QEPrize for the first time at Buckingham Palace.
HRH The Princess Royal with 2017 QEPrize Laureates
HRH The Prince of Wales with 2017 QEPrize Laureates
School students gathered to meet QEPrize Ambassador Vinita Marwaha Madill with our winners to hear how they developed digital imaging technology – and take a selfie!
QEPrize Ambassador Vinita Marwaha Madill with the 2017 QEPrize Laureates
To mark International Women in Engineering Day nearly 400 people gathered at the Science Museum's IMAX to watch Hidden Figures, a film about three African-American women working at NASA, whose work was practically unknown for 50 years.
In a discussion panel beforehand, the audience heard from engineers who are pioneering the latest developments in space technology, including QEPrize podcast host and Create the Trophy judge Roma Agrawal.
Screening of Hidden Figures at the Science Museum IMAX
HRH The Prince of Wales attended an engineering careers event at Dumfries House in Scotland in 2018, where QEPrize Ambassadors led an engaging session for local high school students.
HRH The Prince of Wales at the 2018 careers event, Dumfries House
The 2019 QEPrize was awarded to Dr Bradford Parkinson, Professor James Spilker, Jr, Hugo FrueHauf, and Richard Schwartz for their work on the Global Positioning System (GPS). That year's winning trophy design was created by Jack Jiang.
2019 QEPrize Laureates
The Create the Future podcast was launched in 2019 to show the profound impact that engineering had, and continues to have, on the world around us.
Now, well into season four, hear hosts Roma Agrawal MBE and 2022 Royal Academy of Engineering Young Engineer of the Year George Imafidon MBE, discuss how engineering impacts our daily lives, with a range of global experts. From baking and knitting to robots and brain imaging, the podcast highlights how broad engineering is and how it can be accessible to anyone.
Roma Agrawal and guest Andrew Smyth
The 2021 winners of the QEPrize were Professor Isamu Akasaki, Professor Shuji Nakamura, Professor Nick Holonyak Jr, Dr M George Craford and Professor Russell Dupuis for their work on LED lighting. HRH The Prince of Wales presented the trophies, which were designed by the Create the Trophy competition winner of that year, Hannah Goldsmith.
2021 QEPrize Laureates with HRH The Prince of Wales, Lord Browne and Dame Lynn Gladden
In June of this year, the Engineers gallery launched at the Science Museum, for which the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a Major Funder. The gallery celebrates our engineering heritage and showcases innovations through the global lens of the QEPrize – with current and past prize winners featured throughout. The gallery is free to enter, and you can find tickets online.
The launch of the Engineers Gallery at the Science Museum
In October 2023, the Laureates from 2022 and 2023 will be presented with their trophies at Buckingham Palace by His Majesty The King.
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