A fundraising campaign to transform the Royal Academy of Engineering’s historic central London home into a Forum for Engineering, and enable the Academy to increase the reach and impact of its education and engagement activities, has celebrated reaching a significant milestone.

At an event on Wednesday night (4 May), it was announced the Academy had secured donations of £10m to the ‘making things better’ Campaign, publicly launched just over a year ago.

The Campaign, which plans to raise a total of £16.5m, will see an extensive redevelopment of the Academy’s Carlton House Terrace building into a Forum for Engineering, providing a new 170-seat lecture theatre as well as exhibition and meeting spaces, to inspire and engage people about engineering.

In addition to the transformational plans for the building, the Campaign will also enable the Academy to sustain and develop projects to attract young people into all levels of engineering, diversify the engineering talent pool, encourage innovation and build further links between industry and academia.

Donations to the Campaign have been received from companies, charitable trusts and foundations, as well as many Academy Fellows and friends. A significant personal donation from the Academy’s President, Lord Browne of Madingley, was also announced last night.

Lord Browne said on the night: “I believe, and I’m sure many of you will agree, that bringing engineering to the centre of society remains of the utmost importance.

The Academy, along with its many partners in business and the broader engineering community has been working hard to achieve this. It is too early to claim outright victory, but I am delighted to observe that our combined efforts are bearing fruit.”

Sir John Parker FREng, Chair of the making things better Campaign added: “Engineering is by its very nature a collaborative profession. Many of the world’s past and current major projects have been so successful because of the capacity of engineers to work together. So when the engineering community speaks with a single voice, it is drawing on one of its greatest and most enduring qualities.

“I like to think that the Forum is very much in this tradition in that it will bring people together – to work, to debate, to inspire – to further excellence in engineering and to support the needs of a stronger economy and society.

“The Forum will help catalyse the considerable efforts being made to this end by the Academy, its partners and the broader engineering community. It will bring people together to debate, share knowledge, inspire new generations of engineers and celebrate our fantastic engineering achievements.”

To mark the occasion, a sculpture by artist Sam Keil was unveiled at the Academy. The 7’ tall bronze eagle and plinth was donated by Sam, who has a love of physics and who taught herself quantum mechanics. The eagle will be prominently displayed in the Academy.

Construction on the Academy’s new Forum will begin this summer and is set to be complete by May 2012.

Notes for editors

  1. The Royal Academy of Engineering

    Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  2. Campaign Donors

    Major corporate donors include:

    - Babcock International, BAE Systems, BG Group, BP, National Grid, Petrofac, Rolls-Royce Group, Shell

    Major Trusts and Foundation donors include:

    -The Michael Bishop Foundation, The ERA Foundation, The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation

    Major individual donors include:

    -H H Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi (Ruler of Sharjah), Lord Browne of Madingley, Dr Willem Frischmann FREng

For more information please contact

Ed Holmes on 0207 766 0655