Eur Ing Mark Wallace CEng, Engineering Project Manager at Wabtec Rail Limited, is to receive the Royal Academy of Engineering Sir George Macfarlane Medal, presented to an engineer who has demonstrated excellence in the early stage of their career. Mark has been recognised for his role in managing complex engineering design projects, as well as his flair and dedication to promoting careers in the rail industry. He will receive the award from Academy President Sir John Parker GBE FREng at the Academy’s AGM in London on 15 September.

After graduating from the University of Sheffield in June 2006 with a First Class MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering with French, Mark completed a graduate development programme at Interfleet Technology before joining Wabtec Rail Limited.

Here, Mark’s management and engineering skills have come to the fore, leading a multi-disciplinary team of engineers on one of the company’s most technically complex engineering design projects – modifying a 23 year old electric passenger train. The resulting design radically applies modern technology to mid-life and life-expired rolling stock, increasing its use for another 15 years. As well as incorporating new heating, air conditioning and lighting systems, the design features a flexible interior arrangement that can alternate seating layouts within 10 hours, winning plaudits from railway stakeholders and press alike.

Aware of the shortage of engineers working in the rail industry, Mark has also dedicated time and effort to raise the profile of the sector among undergraduate students. On his own initiative, he set up Interfleet Technology's University Partnership Scheme, which provides staff as industrial supervisors for third and fourth year university projects. Initially working with the University of Sheffield, Mark expanded the scheme to include both Loughborough and Nottingham Universities. Three years on, the scheme has supported 50 undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to work in the railway industry.

Mark has been involved in similar events at both primary and secondary schools. He also acts as a mentor to four of Wabtec Rail's engineering graduates, supporting them on their route to chartered status.

Mark Wallace said: “I am delighted to be the recipient of this year’s Sir George Macfarlane Medal. The rail industry has a rich legacy in the UK and is today an exciting and challenging arena to work in with many engineering problems to be solved. I hope that my work in the industry will inspire others to follow a similar career path and am proud to act as an ambassador for rail engineers.”

David Brennen, Engineering Director at Wabtec Rail Limited, said “Mark has developed and proven his potential, he exhibits the skills and qualities required to lead and manage complex engineering projects. In addition his dedication to promoting careers in the rail industry is to be highly applauded, and we are fortunate to have such a role model working in the industry.”


Notes for Editors

  1. The Sir George Macfarlane Award The Award is in memory of Sir George Macfarlane (1916-2007), one of the founding Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. It recognises the potential of younger UK engineers, who have demonstrated excellence in the early stage of their career (fewer than eight years since graduation from a first degree in engineering). This excellence is marked by a quality of leadership and/or technical and scientific attainment that is clearly seen to be outstanding by their employers and organisation.
  2. 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:

Manisha Lalloo at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0683
E:  Manisha Lalloo


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