The inaugural Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Brasiers Company Prize has been awarded to Professor Judith Driscoll, Professor of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge. Her research has revolutionised the properties of high temperature superconductors, enabling them to carry much higher currents in a magnetic field. The £2,000 prize was presented at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London on Monday 18 January.

By creating nanostructured superconducting thin films, Professor Driscoll has merged the properties of composite materials and electronic materials. This has transformed conventional thinking and generated hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment in research on these new materials.

Her methods are now becoming widely used throughout the superconductor industry. Emerging applications include generators in wind turbines, motors and MRI, as well as in very high magnetic field magnets for basic science experiments.

The Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Brasiers Company Prize will be awarded every two years for excellence in materials engineering, demonstrated in the successful application of novel materials science and technology in practical engineering systems.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Professor William Bonfield CBE FREng FRS FMedSci present the prize to Professor Judith Driscoll (centre)

Professor Driscoll said: “I am very honoured and excited to have been awarded the inaugural Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Brasiers Company Prize.”

Nigel Perry FREng, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering Awards Committee, said “we are delighted to award the inaugural Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Brasiers’ Company Prize to Professor Judith Driscoll for inventing a simple new way to nanoengineer superconductors and other functional materials, achieving much enhanced properties by doing this, and to have delivered many industrial applications from this.”

Professor William Bonfield CBE FREng FRS FMedSci, Chairman of the Armourers and Brasiers Materials Science Committee, said “Professor Judith Driscoll has made an exceptional contribution to device materials, and we are delighted that she has received the recognition conferred by this prestigious new award”. 

Notes for editors

  1. The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company Prize. The Prize is awarded for excellence in materials engineering, as demonstrated in the successful application of novel materials science and technology in practical engineering systems. The 2015 award is the first administered by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the award will be made biannually.
  2. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession
  3. Armourers and Brasiers’ Company is a livery company of the City of London. Founded in 1322, it is one of the most significant private sponsors of Materials Science in the UK, providing support at all stages of education from primary schools to post-doctoral level. Materials Science is the modern academic discipline most closely aligned to the Armourers and Brasiers’ historic trade of innovation and manufacturing in metals.

For more information please contact:

Juniour Blake at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0653
E:
Juniour Blake