Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London, Sir Christopher Gent, Deputy Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, and Ray Dolby, inventor of cinema’s favourite sound system, have been elected Honorary Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Some of Britain’s brightest minds will join the UK’s engineering elite following the Academy’s AGM on 7 July, where 37 new Fellows and two Foreign Members were also elected.

“Engineering is a hugely important discipline that underpins almost every aspect of our lives so it’s a great honour to be recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering, which represents the UK’s most distinguished engineers,” says Sir Richard Sykes. “Throughout my career in the biosciences industry I have seen how engineering is playing an increasingly prominent role in improving medicine and healthcare.”

The new Fellows include: Professor Nigel Slater of the University of Cambridge, who was behind “Heartily Healthy”, the first ever cholesterol-lowering alternative to cheese, launched earlier this year.

Professor Jonathan Cooper of the University of Glasgow is working on the world’s first “lab-on-a-pill”, a sensor-loaded tablet that patients will swallow so that it can collect data from the inside as it passes through the body.

Professor Maria Petrou’s imaging work at the University of Surrey has made it possible to detect long-buried pipelines through minute changes in satellite images of vegetation on the surface that has been disturbed. She is one of only two women elected this year.

Patrick Bellew has pioneered energy-saving building designs with his company Atelier Ten, particularly thermal energy storage systems like the one he developed for the Earth Centre in Doncaster.

Other well-known figures elected include Laurence Williams, the HSE’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations; Keith Beattie, Chief Engineer at London Underground; Brian Phillipson, who led the Eurofighter design and manufacturing team; and Wilfred Corrigan, who founded the LSI Logic Corporation, now a world leader in silicon chip design.

“I’m delighted to welcome such a distinguished group of new Fellows to our Academy,” says President Lord Broers. “We have people joining us this year with such a broad range of expertise, from nanotechnology and medical instruments to power generation and aerospace, that they will greatly enhance our ability to advise Government and foster new engineers.”

The complete list of New Fellows 2004 is:

AINSWORTH, Robert Anthony
Assessment Technology Group Head, Plant Integrity Branch, British Energy Generation

AMARATUNGA, Gehan Anil Joseph
Professor of Engineering and Head of Electronics, Power and Energy Conversion, University of Cambridge

Emeritus Professor, School of Engineering, University of Warwick

Chief Engineer (Main Board Director), London Underground Ltd (LUL)

BELLEW, Patrick
Principal, Atelier Ten, Environmental Engineers and Building Services Engineers

BISHOP, Christopher
Assistant Director, Microsoft Research, Cambridge; Professor of Computer Science, University of Edinburgh

BOWEN, W Richard
Consultant; formerly Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director Of Centre for Complex Fluids Processing, University of Wales, Swansea

Director of Engineering, First Group (Rail)

BYHAM, Geoffrey Malcolm
Head of Engineering, Westland Helicopters Ltd

CHALLIS, Richard Ernest
Head of School of Electrical Engineering, University of Nottingham

COLES, John David
Chief Executive, Warship Support Agency, Ministry of Defence;
Head of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors

Professor of Signal Processing, Imperial College London

COOPER, Jonathan Mark
Deputy Head of Department and Professor of Bioelectronics and Bioengineering, University of Glasgow

CORRIGAN, Wilfred James
Chairman and CEO, LSI Logic Corporation

FLETCHER, David John
Group Director, Easynet Group; Chairman, IRISYS Ltd

HANZO, Lajos
Professor of Telecommunications, University of Southampton

HAYHURST, David Robert
Professor of Design, Manufacture and Materials, UMIST

HUTCHINSON, John Neville
Consultant; Emeritus Professor of Engineering Geomorphology and Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College London

JONES, Allan Robert
Executive Manager, Environment and Combustion, Power Technology Powergen UK plc

LOCKETT, Michael James
Corporate Fellow, Praxair Inc

McKEOWN, Nicholas William
ST MicroElectronics Faculty Development Chair, Stanford University

NELSON, Andrew William
President and Chief Executive, IQE plc

PARKER, Richard Jonathan
Director of Engineering and Technology, Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce Plc

Professor of Image Analysis, University of Surrey

Programme Director, Eurofighter GmbH Ltd

ROTTER, John Michael
Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Edinburgh

SEVILLE, Jonathan Peter Kyle
Professor and Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Head of the Formulation Engineering Research Centre, University of Birmingham

Managing Director, SciMed Limited

SLATER, Nigel Kenneth Henry
Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge

SONG, Yong-Hua
Professor of Electrical Energy Systems, Brunel University

SYMS, Richard
Professor of Microsystems Technology, Imperial College London; Director, Microsaic Systems Ltd

VAN RIJSBERGEN, Cornelis (Keith) Joost
Professor of Computer Science, University of Glasgow

WALKER, Stephen Charles Alexander
Investment Director, Thames Water plc

WELTON, Michael William
Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty plc

WILLIAMS, Laurence Glynn
HM Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations; Director, Nuclear Directorate, Health and Safety Executive

WITTY, Robert William
Chief Technology and Programmes Officer, National Air Traffic Services Limited

WRIGHT, David John
Non Executive Director, Alvis PLC and Raytheon Systems Ltd; formerly Executive Director, GKN


Founder and Chairman of Dolby Laboratories Inc.

GENT, Sir Christopher
Deputy Chairman, Glaxo SmithKline

SYKES, Sir Richard
Rector, Imperial College London


Chief Technologist, Rio Tinto Ltd; Chief Scientist of Australia

Vice-Provost, Trinity College Dublin; President, The Irish Academy of Engineering

Notes for editors

  1. 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. The Academy now has 1250 Fellows, 26 Honorary Fellows and 83 Foreign Members.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton or Claire McLoughlin at the Royal Academy of Engineering