Nominations for the 2021 QEPrize are now open.
The judges will use these criteria to select the winner, or winners, of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering:
- What is it that this person has done (or up to five people have done) that is a ground-breaking innovation in engineering?
- In what way has this innovation been of global benefit to humanity?
- Is there anyone else who might claim to have had a pivotal role in this development?
Please read the Prize Rules & Conditions before starting your nomination.
- Nominations will be managed online.
- Nominees will receive an email informing them of the nomination.
- Referees will be invited to support the nomination, entering their references on the website.
- Completed, eligible nominations will go forward to the judges.
- Does the innovation have global impact?
- Can you identify up to 5 engineers responsible?
- Do you have enough information to write a case for nomination?
- Are you able to identify at least 2 people who are familiar enough with the innovation to act as referees?
Who can win?
This will be a single prize awarded to one individual, or a team of up to five people, responsible for a ground-breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity.
What is in the scope of ‘engineering’ that the QEPrize could be awarded for?
Engineering benefits us in all aspects of life and the boundaries are constantly changing. The QEPrize reflects this and includes all disciplines and sectors. The fruits of engineering range from nano-scale devices that get medicines to where they are needed in the body to the world’s biggest – and greenest – buildings; from the pinpoint accuracy of robots that perform heart surgery to the proliferation of ever-faster multiplatform broadband applications; from hi-tech fabrics to make the smart clothes of the future to new, clean and green sources of energy to power the world. And engineering also promotes the sharing of ideas and information, empowering the desire for freedom, security and a better quality of life.
Who is the QEPrize open to?
The QEPrize is international and open to any nationality. Nominations and suggestions are welcomed from across the world. The only limitations are that self-nomination and posthumous nomination are not allowed.
Who is involved in judging?
There is an independent international judging panel appointed for each QEPrize cycle, details of which can be found at qeprize.org/judges
What is the point of the QEPrize?
Perceptions of engineering are often outdated. If people think of it at all, they tend to associate engineering with heavy industry and civil infrastructure. This is not only a limited view of what engineering is really about, it means many young, creative people – especially women – don’t consider a career in engineering. The prize recognises and celebrates the best and also serves to illuminate the sheer excitement of modern engineering. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate how engineers and engineering are making a real difference across the world.
How did the QEPrize come about?
The QEPrize was the result of a growing realisation within political, business and engineering circles of the need for a pioneering initiative based in the UK to focus attention on engineering worldwide. Oliver Letwin MP, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office in England, took the lead in turning the idea into reality, the first requirement being a significant endowment fund to support the creation of a new and independent charitable trust, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation.
How is it funded?
An initial endowment was established with donations from the following companies: BAE Systems, BG Group, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid, Shell, Siemens, Sony, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel and Toshiba. Nissan Motor Company became a donor in January 2014 and Hitachi Ltd became a donor in 2017.
Who administers the QEPrize?
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation (QEPrize Foundation), an incorporated charity, was established to deliver the QEPrize free from any external intervention or influence. The Foundation is chaired by Lord Browne of Madingley and the CEO is Dr Hayaatun Sillem. The other Trustees are Mala Gaonkar, Managing Director of Lone Pine Capital, Professor John Hennessy, Chairman of Alphabet Inc., Anji Hunter, Special Adviser at Edelman, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of Strathclyde University and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute.
What is the mechanism for nomination?
Nominations will be open from 5 May 2021 to 31 July 2021. Nominations are to be made online via the QEPrize website: qeprize.org/nominate
The rules and conditions of the prize state that each nomination must be accompanied by two references from ‘suitable referees, who are distinguished people not employed in the same organization as the nominee, who are not the nominee’s collaborators and who are not part of the nominee’s immediate family’. What is a distinguished person?
A ‘distinguished person’ is someone who is a recognised expert in the relevant field with a profile in the academic or corporate world, as demonstrated by their publication record and/or international recognition. They must be very familiar with the technical detail and significance of the work of the nominee and able to speak with authority about the nature and impact of the innovation.
What are the key milestones?
Key milestones include: Call for nominations – 5 May 2021. Nominations closed – 31 July 2021. Announcement of the winner – 1 February 2022.
Will any of the donor companies be allowed to nominate projects for the prize?
Donor companies have no influence on the judging process, which will be carried out by an independent panel of international judges who are distinguished leaders in their fields.
Against what criteria were the judges selected?
The judges are eminent international figures representing the range of engineering disciplines, and reflecting every region of the world. The judging panel includes leading academics and heads of corporations. Together they have the authority, perspective and experience required to establish the overall winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
Won’t this prize be awarded to the most ‘media friendly’ winner rather than for engineering merit?
Judges will be looking for nominations that satisfy the following criteria: a person or up to five people who is (or who are) personally and indisputably responsible for a ground-breaking innovation in engineering, of demonstrable global benefit to humanity.
What criteria will the judges use to identify the winner?