Awards Dinner 2016 highlights

Academy President Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS welcomes guests to the Awards Dinner

Some of the world’s leading engineers, behind such innovations as 3D printed security tags, revolutionary design software and intelligent prosthetic limbs, were honoured at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s annual Awards Dinner at the Pavilion, Tower of London last Thursday 23 June.

Royal Fellows of the Academy HRH The Princess Royal and HRH The Duke of Kent joined over 350 industry leaders, engineering researchers and media guests for the event, which also celebrated the Academy’s 40th anniversary. With a theme of ‘Imagination realised’, guests heard about the work of engineers from across the UK who received prizes in recognition of their achievements shaping industry and society, culminating in the presentation of the UK’s premier prize for engineering innovation: the MacRobert Award, worth £50,000 to the winning company, Blatchford.

The evening, held with the generous sponsorship of Atkins, BAE Systems, BP, GKN, Jaguar Land Rover, Lockheed Martin and Petrofac also recognised young Rising Stars of the engineering profession, and opened with a reception allowing guests to find out more about the work of the winning engineers.

Broadcaster Katie Derham compered the event in which awards were presented by Academy Fellows including the President Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, Apple Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive HonFREng and broadcaster Professor Mark Miodownik FREng.

MacRobert Award winners Blatchford are presented with their medal by HRH The Princess Royal

Photos of the evening are now available to view online:

Awards Dinner 2016 - event photo gallery

The full list of winners honoured on the night is as follows:

Major Project Award

  • Matthew Gore, Nick James and Mark Westcott, BAE Systems – for the Intermediate Frequency Modem System (IFMS) that enabled communication with the Rosetta spacecraft on its 500 million kilometre mission to visit a comet.

News release: Speaking to spacecraft half a billion kilometres away - engineers enabling Rosetta communication win Major Project Award

RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year awards - supported by the Worshipful Company of Engineers

  • Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan, PervasID - for the PervasID system, which uses battery-free radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to enable accurate tracking of luggage and merchandise over large areas. Winner of the Sir George Macfarlane Medal.
  • Dr T Ben Britton, Imperial College London – for his work on the engineering and materials science of commercially important alloys vital to the aero-engine, nuclear and energy industries in the UK and overseas.
  • John Collins, Arup – for his work as one of the youngest top suspension bridge engineers in the country, having worked on projects including the Humber Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the London 2012 Olympic Park.
  • Orla Murphy, Jaguar Land Rover – for her work as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Audio Equalisation team and as an active advocate for STEM and women in engineering.
  • Dr Paul Shearing, University College London – for his work in the application of X-ray imaging to explore energy materials, which has helped understand aircraft battery failures.

News release: Future engineering leaders win Academy awards

Prince Philip Medal

  • Dr Jonathan Ingram, Silent Sensors Ltd - for his work developing the Sonata and Reflex systems that heralded the revolution in Building Information Modelling (BIM).

News release: Prince Philip Medal for engineer behind revolution in Building Information Modelling

RAEng ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award


  • Sorin Popa, Stent Tek – for developing a novel device to allow kidney dialysis and coronary bypasses to be performed without invasive surgery.


  • James Carroll, University of Strathclyde – for developing the X Rotor Wind Turbine that can reduce the cost of energy by approximately 30% in comparison to current offshore wind turbine designs.
  • Dr Kai Yang, University of Southampton – for developing a fabric-based electrode, to be used in wearable medical and healthcare devices, that eliminates problems associated with traditional gel-based electrodes.

News release: Three cutting edge technology spinouts tipped for global success by the Royal Academy of Engineering

Silver Medals

  • Dr Damian Gardiner, iLumink – for developing technology to print liquid crystals on to any surface, producing highly secure and economical security tags.
  • Dr Demis Hassabis, Google DeepMind – for developments in artificial intelligence leading to a number of breakthroughs, including the AlphaGo project that successfully beat the world’s number one Go player.
  • Professor Tong Sun, City University London – for her work in the use of optical fibre sensors to monitor sensitive equipment, particularly in extreme conditions.

News release: Star engineers to receive prestigious Academy Silver Medals

Rooke Award

  • Professor Danielle George, University of Manchester – for her public promotion of engineering, including via a citizens’ engineering project encouraging school groups and individuals to build a robot to play as part of a touring orchestra.

News release: On its way to a town near you - the UK's first robot orchestra

MacRobert Award - supported by the Worshipful Company of Engineers


  • Blatchford – for Linx, the world’s most intelligent prosthetic limb.

News release: World’s most intelligent prosthetic limb wins UK’s top innovation prize


  • Jaguar Land Rover – for the world-leading Ingenium engine family, designed and built from scratch.
  • Siemens Magnet Technology – for developing a new 7 tesla magnet for MRI scanners, which could help achieve earlier diagnoses for neurological conditions.

News release: Three game-changing technologies recognised by UK’s top innovation prize

Rising Stars

  • Sarah Blick, Atkins
  • Rahma Farrag, Atkins
  • Ian Jamson, BAE Systems
  • Peter Pollock, BAE Systems
  • Tom Byrne, BP
  • Alex Kelly, BP
  • Dieter Huber, GKN
  • Dr Linda Larsson, GKN
  • Gillian Browne, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Heather Lacy, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Daniel Iddon, Lockheed Martin
  • Ben Ritchie, Lockheed Martin
  • Jeen John, Petrofac
  • Samuel Lisney, Petrofac

Next year’s Academy Awards dinner will be held on Thursday 29 June 2017 at the Landmark Hotel, London.

Notes for editors

  1. 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:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
Aaron Boardley