After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ERA Foundation recently held its 17th annual awards dinner and lecture.
Sir Alan Rudge, Sir Christopher Snowden and the ERA Foundation Board welcomed over 100 guests to the event, on May 17, at the historic Maxwell Library at the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
This year’s annual lecture was given by Phil Smith, former CEO and Chair of Cisco, former Chair of Innovate UK and currently Chair of IQE PLC.
As the ERA Foundation notes, “Phil is a distinguished thinker and speaker on the transformational nature of our connected world, sustainability, ambition, inclusion & diversity and the critical need for STEM skills in our future generations.” Phil’s topical talk was entitled ‘Digital Thinking – The key to a Productive Nation‘, and explored the increasingly competitive environment of the expanding global digital economy.
The ERA Foundation recently held its 17th annual awards dinner and lecture at the historic Maxwell Library at the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Credit: ERA Foundation
Another highlight of the evening was the awarding of RAEng ERA Foundation Enterprise Fellowships and the ERA Foundation Clark Prize.
RAEng ERA Foundation Enterprise Fellowships were awarded to Brendan Digney (Machine Eye), Henry Harrod (Fourier Audio) and Naomi McGregor (Movetru), and the 2022 Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 ERA Foundation Industrial Fellowship was awarded to Liam Bussey (BT).
Super teachers recognised
David Clark presented this year’s ERA Foundation Clark Prize to Cath Milne and Rebecca Lofthouse, two incredible teachers from Avoch Primary School and Skipton Girls’ High School, respectively. In the words of the ERA Foundation, its Clark Prize “recognises those that gone beyond what is required in the teaching syllabus and have been able to demonstrate a strong track record of showcasing real-world engineering to students while inspiring them.”
Cath Milne from Avoch Primary School receiving her Clark Award
Avoch Primary School Head Teacher, Lynsey Third, said: “As a school we were delighted that Cath has received the recognition that she deserves with this fantastic award. Cath already offers so much support to colleagues and has been involved in supporting with the delivery of lessons, organising STEM activities across our school and ASG, she has also been involved in designing progressive planners that run from Early through to Second level. Cath has great plans for the prize money that will benefit a huge number of children and will provide excellent engineering and STEM experiences.”
The school plans to use the Clark Award prize to provide ‘Engineering’ kits’ to allow children of all ages to get hands on; training to boost areas knowledge of complex Engineering subjects like coding; and to develop new projects and resources for students around hydraulics and pneumatics, among other things.
Skipton Girls’ High School Headteacher, Mark Turner, said: “We are delighted that Rebecca has been awarded the David Clark Prize for Secondary Engineering teaching. This reflects the incredible work she has done in engaging and developing our students’ aspirations and access to high quality experiences both within and beyond the core curriculum.
“We are very thankful to the ERA for the work they do to encourage and support high quality teaching and career development in this vital area of importance to develop our engineers of the future.
“We are excited the prize will help further develop the exciting work our ‘Engineers of the Future’ programme which Rebecca is leading in the school.”
Rebecca Lofthouse from Skipton Girls’ High School receiving her Clark Award
Meanwhile, Rebecca said she will use the award prize to help her further develop the ‘Engineers of the Future’ programme, which she leads. This will including additional building materials, equipment to explore the storage and generation of electricity, architectural consultancy and allowing support from technicians and staff.
Jacqui Sandbach from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School was named as a runner up to the Clark Prize for Secondary Schools. Jacqui was recognised for her “passion in promoting engineering vocations to girls and young women, and encouraging them to be successful whilst engaging in inspiring STEM activities and events”, the ERA Foundation said. Jacqui signalled that she will use her award for the purchase of a laser cutter and a 3D printer to support the GCSE Engineering and Design Technology classes.
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