Research into high-speed rail, nuclear decommissioning and heart valve technology have all been exhibited by the engineering researchers behind the ground-breaking projects.

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s annual Research Forum took place in London on Thursday 22 September, and was attended by Academy President Sir John Parker and Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts MP, who spoke about UK engineering in the 21st century.

Mr Willetts was joined by key figures from engineering industry and academia to hear about the multi-million pound research programmes being carried out within UK universities by researchers funded by the Academy, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and, crucially, industry.

The Academy currently sponsors 39 Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellows as well as 60 Research Fellowships, each costing around £500,000 over the five-year support period.

Among the Research Chair presentations was ‘Engineering for High Speed 2’, by Professor Roderick Smith FREng of Imperial College London, and ‘Putting the Mission into UK Nuclear Decommissioning’, by Professor Neil Hyatt of Sheffield University.

Research Fellowship presentations included ‘Modelling Prior to First-in-Man in Heart Valve Technology’ by Dr Sylvia Schievano from the UCL Unit for Child Health and ‘Using People to Form Future Wireless Networks’ by Dr Simon Cotton of Queen’s University Belfast.

In promoting excellence in engineering, the Academy has sponsored leading edge research in UK universities since the 1980s. Currently, that research is worth around £25m per annum. The posts typically last for five years and provide a route to worldwide recognition. Academy sponsored research creates much valuable intellectual property and benefits universities, UK engineering and the economy as a whole.

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.

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Ed Holmes on 0207 766 0655