Skip to page content


Special Achievement Award


Picture of Stephen Payne OBE recieving a silver gilt medal from Lord BroersStephen Payne OBE RDI FREng

Stephen Payne OBE has been awarded a Special Achievement Award from The Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of his achievements in designing and project managing the construction of the super liner Queen Mary 2. The efforts of Stephen Payne – one of the world’s leading passenger ship designers – have had a profound impact upon engineering. The QM2 is the world’s largest liner and Stephen introduced several innovations to the structure and steering, including doing away with the rudder.

Prior to his leading role on Queen Mary 2 – the first true liner, rather than a cruise ship, to be built since the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969 – Stephen Payne was involved with the design and construction of over 30 cruise ships for Carnival Corporation.

The height of a 21 storey building and costing 800 million dollars, the QM2 is the largest and most expensive liner ever built. The logistics of project managing the building of this economically viable giant fell to Stephen Payne and he came up with many novel ideas including using two forward non-azimuthing pods and two aft fully-azimuthing pods that powered and steered the vessel without the need for a rudder.

The ship exhibits all the necessary characteristics for year-round high-speed sustained operation on the North Atlantic run. Attributes include enhanced strength, enhanced sea keeping characteristics, enhanced speed potential and enhanced range – all encompassed within the need to generate sufficient income to warrant the construction and operation of such a ship.

Academy President Lord Broers presented the silver gilt medal to Stephen Payne, said “As Chief Designer, and then the Director of Project Management for the liner’s construction, Stephen was responsible for the commercial success of the ship, from conception to execution”.

Following on from receiving his medal at the President’s New year Reception 2006, Stephen Payne has written an article on his work constructing the QM2 for the Academy’s quarterly magazine Ingenia.



[top of the page]