Royal Academy of Engineering seeks ‘next big thing’

Posted on 16 Nov 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Entries are now invited for the 2016 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award.

Engineering businesses working on new technology that has had proven commercial success and created tangible social benefit are encouraged to enter for the prestigious award.

With a £50,000 cash prize, gold medal and national acclaim on offer, entry is open to businesses of all sizes, working in any engineering discipline.

Entries for the 2016 MacRobert Award can be submitted here. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2016.

The first MacRobert Award was presented in 1969 to engineering giant Rolls-Royce in recognition of the Pegasus engine, used in the iconic Harrier jets.

Ever since then, the award has celebrated pioneering technologies in areas as diverse as medical technology and smart transport.

The award has successfully predicted ‘the next big thing’ in engineering for the past four decades.

In 1972 it was awarded to the first CT scanner – a technology now ubiquitous in modern medicine – seven years before its inventor Sir Godfrey Hounsfield received the Nobel Prize.

The first MHI 7 MW wind turbine fitted with a Digital Displacement transmission currently on test at the Hunterston facility.
The first MHI 7 MW wind turbine fitted with a Digital Displacement transmission currently on test at the Hunterston facility, near Glasgow.

More recently, it was awarded to Touch Bionics for the i-limb bionic hand, a technology that is now having a dramatic impact on the quality of patients’ lives.

This year’s winner, Edinburgh-based Artemis Intelligent Power, was recognised for its Digital Displacement power system with digitally controlled hydraulics – a system which has the potential to transform the viability of offshore wind power and low carbon transportation.

Artemis’ system offers dramatically improved power quality and capacity when compared to existing transmission systems, an advantage that has enabled the installation of the world’s largest floating offshore wind turbine off the coast of Japan.

Managing director of Artemis Intelligent Power, Dr Niall Caldwell commented“Winning the top award from such a respected organisation has dramatically raised the credibility of Artemis’ technology.

“Doors have been opening for us at high levels in companies that we’ve long wanted to work with. Winning the MacRobert Award has also encouraged our parent company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to invest in Artemis as a strategic asset to develop new business in a wide range of markets.”

The Manufacturer spoke to Artemis Intelligent Power’s Dr Niall Caldwell and Professor Win Rampen (chairman) about intelligent hydraulics and by being presented with the 2015 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip –

Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng, chair of judges for the MacRobert Award, added: “The MacRobert Award is designed to identify technology advancements that can make a tangible difference to our lives, from step change innovations in established large companies to successful start-ups in new and emerging technology areas.

Niall Caldwell will be in conversation with Dame Sue Ion at a special event at the Academy on 1 December to discuss Artemis Intelligent Power’s award-winning technology.

“I’m looking forward to meeting some of the UK’s top innovators this year alongside a judging panel made up of some of the UK’s most successful engineers.”

The 2016 MacRobert Award judges are:

  • Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng (Chair) – consultant; chair, Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board
  • John Baxter FREng FRSE, formerly group head of engineering, BP International Ltd
  • Nick Cooper FREng, director, JN Cooper & Partners Ltd
  • Keith Davis, chairman, The MacRobert Trust
  • Professor David Delpy CBE FREng FRS FMedSci, chair, UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategic Advisory Board
  • David Gow CBE FREng, head of SMART services, NHS Lothian
  • Dr Andrew Herbert OBE FREng, formerly chairman, Microsoft Research EMEA
  • Professor Gordon Masterton OBE FREng FRSE, chair of Future Infrastructure, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
  • Peter Saraga CBE FREng, chairman of the Advisory Board, Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme
  • Dr Frances Saunders CB FREng, president, Institute of Physics; formerly chief executive, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)