Engineers are to be given the opportunity to engage the public in innovative new ways – by becoming buskers, radio presenters and bus conductors – thanks to 24 new projects funded through the Royal Academy of Engineering’s public engagement grant scheme, Ingenious.

How British Engineering Changed the World, supported by Ingenious, aims to highlight Britain’s contribution to the world of engineering by means of a converted Routemaster bus filled with examples of the country’s greatest inventions. Engineers will guide visitors around the exhibition in specially designed tours, as well as hosting an accompanying Innovations Café series of informal talks and workshops.

BBC Bang goes the Theory presenter Maggie Philbin and her team at TeenTech have also received an Ingenious grant for their popular TeenTech careers roadshows, which aim to inspire students to consider careers in engineering and science.

Maggie Philbin, TeenTech CEO, says: “We're delighted to receive this award which will enable us to work closely with engineers in companies and university departments, helping those who may not be used to working with teenagers to communicate their work. There are so many fascinating specialities and the best way to inspire and convince teenagers and their teachers is through engaging, hands-on activities. We'll be giving a very loud voice to engineers so they can show young people the careers which really have the ‘X factor’.”

Two other projects funded by the scheme will get engineers out of their workplaces and onto the water. The University of Southampton will train engineers to become buskers, demonstrating their work on ferry trips in the Solent region. In the West Midlands, engineers will navigate canals on a barge powered by hydrogen while discussing novel power sources with the public.

Engineers will also be given the chance to become radio broadcasters, thanks to an Ingenious project run by Fun Kids Radio, which will train and help young engineers to create engineering audio and video features for children.

Professor Sarah Spurgeon FREng, Chair of the Ingenious funding panel and Professor of Control Engineering and Head of School, University of Kent, said: "The Academy is passionate about engaging the public with engineering in all of its diverse forms and so we’re very excited to be supporting this new round of projects. We hope they will not only give the public an opportunity to connect with engineering but also give engineers the skills to talk about their work."

Ingenious is funded by the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation. A full list of projects funded by the scheme this year can be found at the following link:

Ingenious grant awardees 2013, by region and nation (213.78 KB)

Notes for editors

  1. Ingenious is the Royal Academy of Engineering's public engagement grants scheme for creative public engagement with engineering projects. The scheme is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Further information on the scheme is at:
  2. 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

Manisha Lalloo at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0683; email: Manisha Lalloo