Queen’s Award win for Pearson Engineering’s IED technology

Posted on 23 Apr 2012

Pearson Engineering has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for designing a range of counter-mine and counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) equipment.

At the centre of the company’s range of products is the Self Protection Adaptive Roller Kit (SPARK) system that negates IED threat for soldiers and vehicles, and has saved many lives in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The SPARK equipment is a modular mine roller system mounted on tactical wheeled and tracked vehicles. It is designed to trigger IEDs in front of the host vehicle, protecting it and its occupants. The lightweight equipment has minimal impact on vehicle mobility allowing speeds of up to 60mph, sharp turns and reversing.

Pearson Engineering is a part of the Reece Group, a family-owned business established in Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1980s by Professor Alan Reece.

John Reece, currently the chairman of Pearson Engineering, said: “The culture developed at Pearson over many years is one of continually looking to provide new and innovative engineering solutions. We have always invested heavily in R&D; we see this as essential in developing a successful business.”

The original business model of Pearson Engineering entailed taking the cream of Newcastle University engineering talent and creating a company focused on developing innovative engineering solutions in steel.

Initial products were based on earth moving plough technology which was developed into specialist equipment used to lay cables and pipe work under the ocean for the telecommunication, and oil and gas industries.

Pearson Engineering took the technology into the defence sector developing mine clearance equipment including full-width and track-width mine clearance ploughs.

Reece continued: “We are now investing in new mine clearance systems as well as a range of mobile bridge laying equipment that is faster to deploy, more flexible and more reliable than that in the market place. We are looking to expand and we are planning on investing in businesses with the same product development ethos, thereby creating employment and wealth in manufacturing in the North East.”