The Royal Academy of Engineering was privileged to hold its Summer Soirée and Exhibition at the historic Rosyth Dockyard last night (4 June) as guests of Babcock, starting a weekend of celebrations of Rosyth's centenary.


Over 100 Fellows and their guests joined Royal Fellow HRH The Duke of Kent for a memorable tour of the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers being assembled at Rosyth. The Queen Elizabeth Class will form the centrepiece of Britain's defence capability for the 21st century. As part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, Babcock is responsible for the assembly and over half the detailed design of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales.


The exhibition featured displays depicting 100 years of engineering ingenuity and new technology, including the floating LiDAR (light detection and ranging) system developed by Babcock to survey potential offshore wind sites. Exhibitors included BP, Thales, BAE Systems, Strathclyde University, Fife College and Primary Engineer.


Over the past century Rosyth Dockyard has supported the pride of the Royal Naval fleet, ranging from the first submarines to the battle cruiser HMS Hood, the first nuclear submarine HMS Dreadnought through to the Invincible class of aircraft carriers – HMS Ark Royal, Invincible and Illustrious. The site, commissioned in 1915 when the Admiralty located a naval base and dockyard on the Forth, has grown significantly and now employs more than 2,300 people.


Dame Ann Dowling, the Rosyth Dockmaster, Archie Bethel and Philip Greenish inspect the Rosyth Dockyard ledger during centenary celebrations.

Archie Bethel CBE FREng FRSE, Babcock’s Divisional Chief Executive, said: “Our Centenary celebrations give us an opportunity to showcase just how much the site has evolved in the last 100 years and to celebrate engineering excellence. Rosyth Dockyard has a special place in the heart of the community employing generations of local families across the decades.  Our programme of events highlights how we have built a workforce that is skilled and capable of delivering the most complex engineering solutions and underlines our commitment to innovation and growth.”


Professor Dame Ann Dowling DBE FREng, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “Few places in the British Isles can rival the majestic engineering heritage of the historic Rosyth dockyard. Over the last 100 years Rosyth has contributed enormously both to the successful operation of the Royal Navy and to the development of our nation’s engineering skills base. Great talent – as consistently demonstrated here – is essential for great innovation, which is the gateway to sustainable growth in the modern world.”



Notes for Editors

  1. About the Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. 

    We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. 

    We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.


For more information, please contact:

Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering

T: 020 7766 0655

E:  Jane Sutton

Related articles