Dr Peter Collins, Emeritus Director of the Royal Society, has researched and written a book about the prehistory of the Academy. In Origins of the Royal Academy of Engineering,
Collins uses a wide range of archival material to analyse the problems that the creation of the Academy was intended to solve. He describes how a national academy for engineering was, eventually, accepted as the way forward before being launched as The Fellowship of Engineering in 1976.
An Academy dedicated to engineering had been a possibility for the best part of two decades. For far longer than that, the various professional engineering institutions in the UK had been debating how engineering could present a unified face to the world and secure the status in the national affairs that it merited. That a viable Academy emerged from such unpromising conditions was mainly down to a small group of visionary and energetic individuals.
This book tells the story behind a fascinating episode of institutional history and human behaviour. It is available for £30 at www.academybooks.uk.