The Royal Academy of Engineering has celebrated its 30th anniversary with a reception at Buckingham Palace in the presence of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In a message endorsing the Academy’s mission, the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, wrote “I am impressed by the successes it is achieving. It is important that we all support its efforts to develop and sustain excellence in UK engineering”. Focusing particularly on the importance of inspiring the next generation, he highlighted the “need to reach out to young people who typically have never had engineering on their radar screen”.
Read the full text of the Prime Minister’s message (31.62 KB)

More than 300 guests attended the Palace Reception where they were welcomed by the Duke of Edinburgh – the Academy’s Senior Fellow and the inspiration behind its creation in 1976 – and received news of the Academy’s future plans to help strengthen the contribution of UK engineering to sustainable wealth creation and quality of life. Three past Presidents of the Academy – Sir Denis Rooke CBE, Sir William Barlow and Sir David Davies CBE – attended the event where they were joined by colleagues from the Fellowship along with representatives from industry, academia, charitable trusts, government and sister academies from overseas. The Senior Fellow, who was joined by one other founding Fellow, Sir Hugh Ford, gave a speech as did the current Academy President, Lord Alec Broers, and the newly appointed chair of the Academy’s Fundraising Appeal, Sir John Parker, Chairman of National Grid.

In addition to his speech, the Senior Fellow provided a contribution to the Academy’s new Development Appeal brochure  Investing in a stronger future (140.99 KB)  in which he wrote: “There is no doubt in my mind that our future prosperity and comfort depends on the talents and ingenuity of engineers. I am, therefore, satisfied that [the Academy’s] appeal for substantial support is fully justified”.

Read the full text of the Senior Fellow’s message (33.15 KB)

The Palace event provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Academy and the Fellowship, to thank those who have enabled its success and to introduce the Academy to corporate guests who may be able to help in the future. Lord Broers and Sir John Parker used the occasion to set out the Academy’s needs and aspirations for the next few years, the reasons for seeking partners and support for its work, and why this is increasingly important for the UK. In particular they focused on the Academy’s commitment to extend its education programmes for young people and to acquire a new home suitable for the UK’s national academy of engineering.

Lord Broers said: “Inspiring the next generation of excellent engineers is one of the most exciting aspects of the Academy’s activities at the moment. The national need for us to get more youngsters into every level of the profession is real and I am sure it is something that all of you support.”

Sir John Parker said: “I am a strong believer that the Academy is delivering on the ground what is needed by industry, business, and indeed for our future well-being as a society…. We believe that the time is now right for substantive action and the Academy has bold plans for its future… I have agreed to chair the Academy’s Fundraising Appeal and we shall be working to develop meaningful partnerships that work for companies directly and which benefit the UK too.”