Innovation in Action was the theme of the Academy’s 2009 Annual Soiree and Exhibition hosted by Cranfield University. More than 200 guests attended the event in the presence of the Senior Fellow, HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

Cranfield University brought together over 40 exhibits, bringing together expertise from both of its campuses and all its schools, to showcase the breadth and depth of its extensive experience. Highlights included a unique vertical wind turbine, in the design of which Cranfield is a partner, as well as the award-winning Grand Challenge robot which is set to help frontline troops detect hostile forces.

Philip Greenish CBE Chief Executive of The Royal Academy of Engineering, said; “The Soiree looks to showcase the best of British engineering and the partnership between academia and industry. Cranfield University, with its state of the art facilities and world class research resource, has been the perfect host”.

Professor Sir John O’Reilly FREng, Cranfield University Vice-Chancellor, said: “Cranfield was proud to host this year’s Academy Soiree. It was an honour to open our facilities and showcase our world-leading research to our esteemed guests. The whole event was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have worked so hard to enable this event to be such a huge success.”

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. Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate institution with a worldwide reputation for excellence and expertise in aerospace, automotive, defence, engineering, environment and water, health, management and manufacturing. The University is made up of the following Schools: Cranfield Health, School of Management, School of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering, and Cranfield Defence and Security at Shrivenham. For more information visit

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For further information please contact: Naomie Stanford-Jones, Press Officer, Cranfield University, tel: +44 (0) 1234 754999

For more information or to receive images please contact Tonia Page, PR Consultant, The Royal Academy of Engineering on 07770 845984