The Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the knowledge and experience of some of the best and brightest engineers, inventors and technologists in the UK and from around the world to promote excellence in engineering and to enhance and support engineering research, policy formation, education and entrepreneurship and other activities that advance and enrich engineering in all its forms.

The Fellowship
Nomination procedure
Deadline and submission
Assessment process
List of Panels
Selection process
Election process
The ideals of Fellowship
The role of Fellows at the Academy
Diversity of nominees and proactive membership
 

The Fellowship 

This supreme collective of engineers is the Fellowship; the Fellows are the heart of the Academy and critical to all its activities.  Today there are just over 1,500 Fellows in total, principally comprising Fellows (born or resident in the UK), but also International Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Emeritus Fellows.  No more than 50 New Fellows are elected in any one year.

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Nomination procedure

The Academy is not a membership organisation, nor is it a professional institution that exists to maintain standards within one sector of engineering only.  It is a national academy which aims to bring together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.

No one applies to become a Fellow; instead, candidates for Fellowship are peer-nominated by two existing Academy Fellows.  A nomination is largely written by one Fellow, the proposer, who will often work with the nominee to construct the detailed information provided in a citation, which provides an account of the candidate’s principal personal engineering accomplishments.  

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Deadline and submission

Nominations for Fellowship are submitted online in the Fellows' private area of the Academy website.  The annual deadline for submission each year is 1 May

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Assessment process

Each nomination is sent to one of 11 Membership Selection Panels, specialising in a specific sector of engineering.  Each panel is broadly balanced with membership from both academia and industry and comprises up to 15 Fellows with expertise in that sector.

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List of Panels

  1. Civil, construction and environmental
  2. Materials and mining
  3. Chemical and process
  4. Aerospace
  5. Transport and mechanical
  6. Manufacturing and design
  7. Electrical and electronic
  8. Energy and power
  9. Medical and bioengineering
  10. Computing and communications
  11. Special (including engineering management and multi-disciplinary)

Membership Selection Panels - further details (137.06 KB)

Every new nomination received by a panel is allocated to two panel members who are tasked with the job of checking and confirming the information in the nomination and with identifying and approaching a variety of additional nomination assessors (often other Academy Fellows) for further information and advice.

All candidates are judged according to the Academy’s engineering excellence criteria:

The full citation of personal achievements in engineering must highlight the candidate’s individual engineering excellence at some time in his or her career, identifying related outcomes. It should not simply list posts. Possible examples include:

a) management of a major organisation, involving ultimate responsibility for the technical decisions taken and application of excellent engineering practice

b) for those in industrial, commercial, government or military organisations, research or development resulting in significant new products, processes or practices is valid evidence. Evidence shall be presented, communicated and evaluated so as to accommodate security considerations

c) nominations from academic and research institutes should identify inventions or innovation resulting in successful products, processes or practices, in addition to providing evidence of a successful academic career

d) consulting engineering evidence should focus on technical contributions to major projects and new practices

e) leadership of an engineering school must be complemented by major engineering achievements

f) influential contributions to major committees and agencies concerned with engineering policy or practice

g) any evidence anticipating likely contribution to the Academy’s work.

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Selection process

In any year there are many more nominations under consideration than there are places for election.  Each panel will individually select the best of their nominees and collectively these shortlisted candidates are pooled together for a final selection by the full Membership Committee.  The Membership Committee is made up from the chairs of each of the selection panels, in addition to the Membership chair (who is an Academy Trustee), and the chair of the International Committee.  Following this final selection process, a group of no more than 50 names is put forward for election.

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Election process

The annual election for Fellowship is conducted online and is managed by an independent body, currently the Electoral Reform Society.  To be successfully elected, each candidate must receive in excess of 85% support from the voting Fellows.

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The ideals of Fellowship

Fellowship of the Academy is considered to be one of the highest national honours that an engineer may receive.  However, Fellowship itself must not be considered as a mere award or trophy.  Every person admitted to the Fellowship subscribes to an obligation to promote the charitable aim of the Academy:

“the pursuit, encouragement and maintenance of excellence in the whole field of engineering to useful purpose in order to promote the advancement of the science, art and practice of engineering for the benefit of the public.”

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The role of Fellows at the Academy

In pursuit of this charitable aim, Fellows engage in a vast variety of activities with and on behalf of the Academy. These include supporting engineering research, policy formation, education and entrepreneurship and public engagement. 

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Diversity of nominees and proactive membership

In keeping with a modern engineering organisation, the Academy seeks to maintain a Fellowship which is relevant, representative and diverse, properly reflecting the range and variety of the outstanding engineering being done across the UK and internationally.

In order to maintain the appropriate level of diversity, the Academy manages a proactive nominations panel, which actively seeks to support and sustain a greater number of nominations from under-represented groups and sectors who may not otherwise by put forward.

If you have any questions regarding nominations and membership, please contact the Membership team  

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