At its AGM in London last night, Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering confirmed Sir John Parker FREng as the Academy’s new President, succeeding Lord Browne of Madingley who steps down after five years in office. Sir William Wakeham KB FREng, Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, was also confirmed as the Academy's Senior Vice President.

The UK’s top female defence engineer, a Nobel Prize winner and a racing Peer were among the new Fellows admitted to the Academy. A total of 59 new Fellows joined the Academy, representing the most eminent names in the profession from the UK and overseas.

Included in the list are nine women, more than in any previous election in the Academy’s 35-year history. Ann Lauvergeon has been elected as an International Fellow for her leadership and vision in creating AREVA and developing it into the world’s largest builder of nuclear reactors, while Frances Saunders, Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory has been made a Fellow for driving the creation of state-of-the-art equipment designed for the modern battlefield.

Elected as an International Fellow is Steve Chu, Secretary of State for the US Department of Energy and winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997. Dr Chu has spent much of his career advocating for alternative energy and nuclear power research, arguing that these are vital for combating climate change.

Also named as a new Fellow is Lord Paul Drayson, distinguished for his contributions to science policy as Science Minister, renowned as an entrepreneur, a role model for promoting engineering as a career, and now the owner of Drayson Racing.

In total, 50 UK Fellows have been elected with six International Fellows and three Honorary Fellows.

Lord Browne said: “I am delighted that the Academy’s Fellows have elected the most diverse intake of new Fellows to date, with more women than ever before. The range of skills held by all 59 will boost the expertise available to the Academy in its mission to place engineering right at the heart of society.

“I am confident Sir John is taking over the helm of a progressive and forward-thinking organisation, dedicated to improving the lives of everyone, both in the UK and across the world.”

Notes for editors

The Royal Academy of Engineering

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

Ed Holmes on 0207 766 0655