2012

Tasty spoons and drinkable clouds

Inhalable chocolate, drinkable cocktail clouds and cutlery that alters the taste of meals were on the menu as two engineers from both sides of the Atlantic provided food for thought about the link between engineering and the arts.

Speaking at the event on 5 December 2012, Professor Mark Miodownik, co-founder of the UCL Institute of Making in London and Professor David Edwards, founder and director of ArtScience Labs, talked about mixing art with science, engineering and innovation, and demonstrated the impact that creative thinking can have on our daily lives, including the way we understand food and taste.

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Engineering capacity needs in sub-Saharan Africa

This event, held on 29 October 2012, launched a new report into engineering capacity needs in Sub Saharan Africa. The report makes an important contribution to the limited existing research in this area, and makes recommendations to governments, donors, professional and educational institutions and industry. Speakers included Calestous Juma HonFREng, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard University, Dr Sanzan Diarra, CEO of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers and Jo da Silva OBE FREng, Head of Arup International Development.

Engineers for Africa: Identifying engineering capacity needs in sub-Saharan Africa (2.63 MB)

UK-China energy storage technologies report

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, led by Professor Richard Williams OBE FREng and the Chinese Academy Vice President Professor Li Jinghai FREng, have co-operated on a series of workshops exploring the science, engineering and national policy requirements for developing and implementing energy storage technology. On 30 August 2012, this work has culminated in the release of a joint report based on the two workshops.

Future of energy storage: technologies and storage (1.12 MB)

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MoU signing with the Chinese Academy of Engineering

On 1 May 2012, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Chinese academies of engineering. President Sir John Parker FREng and the President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Professor Zhou Ji, signed the MOU which focuses on collaboration on policy development on topics including advanced manufacturing, sustainable energy and emerging technologies like synthetic biology.

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ERA Foundation International Lecture and Dinner 2012

The 2012 ERA International Lecture was given by Dr Charles Elachi, Director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more than 50 years, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been at the forefront of space exploration. In 1958, it built and operated the first US satellite, Explorer 1, and over the following decades sent robotic spacecraft first to the moon, and then to all of the solar system’s planets. Dr Elachi spoke about its past, present and future activities. The lecture was made possible by the support of the ERA Foundation.

Video of this event

Natural Resources in the Global Economy  - Debate 3

The third debate of the Natural Resources in the Global Economy series took place on 17 January 2012 and the motion addressed was: This House believes that when water is in short supply, engineers should prioritise human needs over environmental concerns. The series brought together engineers, industry leaders, economists and policy makers to debate some of the key challenges of securing global supplies of natural resources.

Speakers inluded: Chris Binnie FREng, Independent Consultant and water specialist; Trevor Bishop, Head of Water Resources at the Environment Agency and Dr Sue Cavill, Associate of the Water, Engineering and Development Centre.

2011

Natural Resources in the Global Economy – Debate 2

The second debate of the Natural Resources in the Global Economy series took place on 1 November 2011 and the motion addressed was: This House believes that there is no need for concern about the future global supply of strategic minerals. The series brings together engineers, industry leaders, economists and policy makers to debate some of the key challenges to securing global supplies of natural resources.

Natural Resources in the Global Economy – Debate 1

The first debate of the Natural Resources in the Global Economy series took place on 5 September 2011 and the motion addressed was:This House believes that technology will play a greater role than governments in tackling the problems caused by the non-uniform global distribution of energy resources. The series brings together engineers, industry leaders, economists and policy makers to debate some of the key challenges to securing global supplies of natural resources.

Six-Academy Synthetic Biology Symposium:The enabling technology of synthetic biology

The second symposium in the series, involving the national science and engineering Academies from the US, China and the UK, was held in Shanghai, China from 12 to14 October 2011. This examined the technical aspects faced by researchers working in this field. Professor Richard Kitney OBE FREng attended and gave a presentation entitledThe Application of Systematic Design to Synthetic Biology

International Medal 2011

Dr Andrew Viterbi, mobile communications pioneer and co-founder of Qualcomm, visited the Royal Academy of Engineering in London on Thursday 13 October 2011 to receive one of the Academy's highest accolades, the International Medal, from the Academy's Senior Vice President Sir William Wakeham. Dr Viterbi discussed the impact of his work in conversation with engineer and broadcaster Dr Mark Miodownik.

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The Future of Energy Storage Technology and Policy joint workshop with China

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Chinese Academy of Sciences held their second joint workshop of the year on The Future of Energy Storage Technologies and Policy at the Institute of Process Engineering in Beijing on 25 and 26 May 2011. Following an inaugural workshop in London in January, this event aimed to highlight key strategic needs in energy storage research and identify areas for bilateral co-operation. It was co-chaired by Professor Richard Williams OBE FREng, University of Leeds, and Professor Jinghai Li, Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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The economic and social life of synthetic biology

On 13 and 14 April 2011, the Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering hosted a two-day symposium to discuss the economic and social impact of synthetic biology. For the first time, the expertise and networks of the six science and engineering academies from the UK, China and US have been brought together, producing a unique opportunity for researchers, policy makers and firms interested in this emerging field.

ERA Foundation International Lecture and Dinner 2011

On 31 January 2011, the fifth International Lecture was delivered by Anne Lauvergeon, ranked by Forbes magazine in 2009 as the most powerful woman in France and the ninth-most powerful woman in the world. As CEO of French nuclear and renewable energy conglomerate AREVA, she had spent almost a decade at the forefront of the global energy industry. The topic of the lecture was Building confidence for a sustainable and secure low-carbon energy future in the United Kingdom. The lecture was made possible by the support of the ERA Foundation.

Video of the lecture

The Future of Energy Storage Technology and joint workshop with China

The first bilateral workshop organised by the Academy and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAS) took place in London on 27 and 28 January 2011 on the topic of energy storage technologies. The workshops explored the science, technology and policy needs for the development and implementation of electrical energy storage. The meetings considered the broad landscape and national energy policy in China and the UK, before focusing in more detail on the emerging portfolio of solutions around electrical energy storage to address issues such as power intermittency and electric vehicles. 

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Competing in the Global Economy - Debate 3

The final debate in the Competing in the Global Economy series took place on 20 January 2011 and the motion addressed was:This House believes that the best innovation happens without government intervention. This series of debates explored some of the fundamental challenges facing the UK as it strives to compete in a turbulent global economy and brought together engineers, industry leaders, economists and policymakers to debate the validity of a range of policies at the heart of UK competitiveness.

Report from the three debates in this series (1.26 MB)