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.
“Overall, anybody involved in the advancement of the art and science of the engineering discipline will find this book inspirational, in terms of what can be accomplished by a few dedicated people and a comfort in the knowledge that others have trodden similar, at times frustrating, paths.”
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.
“Peter Collins’ account of [the Academy's] turbulent gestation and early years is both entertaining and informative.”
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