Barry Trimmer, one of the UK’s most respected radar designers, is to receive The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal for his outstanding contribution to British engineering and commercial development. As Research Technology and Engineering Director of Thales UK’s aerospace business, he is the design authority for the UK’s WATCHKEEPER Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) programme, for which the MoD recently made Thales UK its preferred bidder in this £800 million programme.

Mr Trimmer will receive his Silver Medal, which is only awarded to engineers aged under 50, at the Academy’s Awards Dinner in London on Thursday 2 June 2005.

“Barry’s leadership and vision has been central to Thales UK’s success in the WATCHKEEPER UAV programme, where we faced intense national and international competition,” says Richard Deakin, Managing Director, Thales UK’s aerospace business. “This is an entirely new defence capability and a new area of business – Barry’s innovation has enabled the company to expand into this market.”

Mr Trimmer has worked at the cutting edge of radar design for the last 25 years. He was instrumental in the antenna design for both the Searchwater radar for the Nimrod MR2, and the helicopter-based ASaC radar. In 1988 he led the technical development of a portable radar, MSTAR, for the British Army, which is in service today and in April 2005 was accepted into service in Australia. The innovative design, combines very advanced Doppler processing capability with low weight and power consumption. Over 500 MSTARs have also been licensed abroad or sold for export.

From the mid-1990s, Mr Trimmer led the generation of the key signal-processing systems for a number of new airborne radars, each significantly more complex than previous generations – two versions of Searchwater for the Mk7 Sea King helicopter, which has had outstanding success in the last Gulf conflict and has recently started trials in the advanced Nimrod MRA4, and the I-Master SAR radar for UAV applications.. He has lead the design of many of the algorithmsand has developed new engineering protocols to manage this complex work. Searchwater 2000AEW is now fully operational in the Royal Navy’s Sea Kings and has been praised for its operational flexibility.

“I feel very honoured to receive this award from the academy,” says Mr Trimmer. “Achievement is representative of a team effort, and throughout my career I have been fortunate to work with extraordinarily good teams in Thales. I also feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in the exciting fields of radar and the new emerging technology of UAV systems.”

Notes for editors

  1. The Academy’s Silver Medals, instigated in 1995, are awarded annually to engineers aged 50 or under who have made outstanding contributions to British engineering. Only four awards may be made each year.
  2. This year’s other Silver Medals go to: Simon Brueckheimer – Consultant Architect at Nortel Networks, Peter Price – Director of Engineering and Technology for the Civil Aerospace sector of Rolls-Royce, and Nigel Schofield – Technical Manager Core Technology at BOC Edwards.
  3. 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.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
or Karen Thomas at Thales UK, mobile tel. +44 (0) 7968 570642