The engineering team behind Land Rover’s cutting-edge concept car for the road, the  Range Rover Evoque  have won the UK’s premier prize for innovation, the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. HRH The Princess Royal presented them with the solid gold MacRobert medal and a £50,000 prize at the Academy’s annual awards dinner at London’s Royal Opera House on Tuesday 26 June 2012.

The winning team members are: Chief Programme Engineer David Mitchell, Studio Director David Saddington, Vehicle Engineering Manager Pete Cockle, Body Engineering Manager Brian Lidgard and Principal Chassis Engineer Ian Hulme, all based at  Jaguar Land Rover  in Coventry.

The Range Rover Evoque designers faced stiff competition from the two other finalists shortlisted for the award:  Andor Technology  for their highly sensitive Neo sCMOS scientific camera that enables scientists to map a genome in only a few hours, and  JBA Consulting  for their J-flow hyper-accurate flood risk modelling system.

The UK’s longest running and most prestigious engineering prize, the MacRobert Award celebrates outstanding innovation and commercial success. The 2012 finalists were selected from a longlist of over 40 nominations, drawn from every field of contemporary engineering.

Sir John Parker GBE FREng, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:

“I am delighted that this year’s MacRobert Award is being made to Land Rover for the Evoque, which has stimulated much-needed investment in the Midlands and the North West. Jaguar Land Rover is a shining example of a large company with an excellent product whose drive and confidence have generated billions of pounds worth of new business for their UK suppliers. We need this ‘pull-through’ effect across the economy to enable growth.”

John Robinson FREng, Chair of the MacRobert Award judging panel, says:

“Land Rover is bucking the trend with the Range Rover Evoque, which has been hugely successful and opened up new markets around the world. The judges were impressed with the sheer excellence of the engineering design and the team’s mission to create a future-facing product that challenges preconceptions of what a Range Rover looks like, while staying true to the qualities that made the brand famous.”

The Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, says: “The prestigious MacRobert Award showcases the very best of British engineering. It demonstrates that the UK is home to several highly innovative companies using the very latest thinking and technology to produce world-beating products and achieve commercial success.”

The Range Rover Evoque from Land Rover has carved out an entirely new market segment with its striking concept-car design which still retains the ground clearance necessary for true all-terrain capability. In order to maintain the original concept’s low profile design, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineers packaged the under-floor components, the all new front and rear suspension systems, new chassis frame and 70L fuel tank with millimetre accuracy.

Safety and weight-saving technologies can be found throughout its bodyshell and chassis, including an advanced steel monocoque frame that is reinforced with ultrahigh-strength boron steel, which enables the Evoque to achieve a slim profile without compromising strength or safety.

The Range Rover Evoque is manufactured at JLR’s Halewood assembly plant on Merseyside. Its worldwide success has created or safeguarded over 30,000 jobs throughout the supply chain. The company recently announced £3Bn worth of contracts with more than 40 UK based suppliers, many of which are based in the North and Midlands – regions hard hit by the economic downturn.

Notes for editors

  1. First presented in 1969, the MacRobert Award is widely regarded as the most coveted in the industry. Founded by the MacRobert Trusts, the Award is now presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering after a prize fund was established with donations from the MacRobert Trusts, the Academy and British industry.
    The MacRobert Award
    2012 Video
  2. Previous winners include EMI Ltd, who in 1972 developed the CT Scanner, a vital medical device that can now be found in almost every hospital in the developed world. In 2002 Cambridge Display Technologies won the MacRobert Award for their light-emitting polymer displays, which are now used extensively in televisions and smartphones. Last year’s winner, Microsoft Research, won the prize for the human motion capture system used in Kinect for Xbox 360.
  3. The judging panel for the MacRobert Award 2012 is as follows:

    John Robinson FREng (Chair)
    Previously Chairman and Chief Executive of Smith & Nephew plc, Chairman of George Wimpey plc, Railtrack plc, Low and Bonar plc, UK Coal plc and Consort Medical plc. Operating Partner, Duke Street Capital

    Keith Davis (Trustee, TheMacRobert Trust)
    Formerly Director, Strategy & Planning, The Royal Academy of Engineering

    Professor Nicholas Cumpsty FREng
    Emeritus Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London

    Professor Richard Darton OBE FREng
    Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

    Professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS
    Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Director Chief Scientist, Plastic Logic Ltd; Chief Scientist, Cambridge Display Technology Ltd

    Professor Ian Liddell CBE FREng
    Consultant, Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, Consultant, W I Liddell Engineering Ltd

    Professor Adrian Long OBE FREng
    Formerly Dean of the faculty of Engineering at Queen's University Belfast and President of the ICE 2002/03

    Professor RichardParry-Jones CBE FREng
    Chairman Designate, Network Rail

    Professor Peter Selway FREng
    Formerly Director of Operations for Nortel, Research Fellow, Imperial College London

    Ian Shott CBE FREng
    Director, Shott Consulting Ltd

    Dr Martyn Thomas CBE FREng
    Director, Martyn Thomas Associates Ltd
  4. 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.

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