From education to employment

Academy recognises pioneering engineers’ leading innovations from polymers to medical devices

The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced 16 winners of its 2020 medals and awards

Professor Dame Julia Higgins DBE FREng FRS is awarded the Sir Frank Whittle Medal for her sustained excellence in designing, analysing and modifying polymer materials. She is internationally recognised as one of the preeminent polymer engineers of her generation. Julia Higgins’ work has provided some of the tools to help design processes and control properties for these difficult to mix materials. Her work is also very relevant to the current problems of recycling plastics and why so much effort has been put into separating the different plastic materials in our waste bins.

Awards given by the Royal Academy of Engineering celebrate engineering excellence and seek to recognise and reward the very best of engineering talent, from those whose achievements have a huge impact on society to early career engineers disrupting their fields of expertise.

Recognised for demonstrating excellence early in his career, Sorin Popa, CEO of Pathfinder Medial, is awarded the Sir George Macfarlane Medal for inventing and developing a novel device to allow haemodialysis and even arterial bypasses to be performed without invasive surgery.

The winners

The full list of medal and award winners announced today are:

Prince Philip Medal, awarded to an engineer who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering as a whole through practice, management or education

  • Bob Stuart, Founder, MQA Ltd

Prince Philip Medal

President’s Medal, awarded to an Academy Fellow who has greatly contributed to the Academy’s work and aims

  • Dervilla Mitchell CBE FREng, UKIMEA Chair, Arup

President’s Medal

Silver Medals, awarded for an outstanding personal contribution to UK engineering by an early to mid-career engineer resulting in market exploitation

  • Dr Marko Bacic, Engineering Associate Fellow – Control Systems & Gas Turbine Functionality, Rolls-Royce
  • Michael Bronstein, Chair in Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition, Imperial College London & Head of Graph Learning Research, Twitter
  • Esther Rodriguez-Villegas, Professor of Low Power Electronics, Imperial College London
  • Jamie Shotton, Partner Director of Science, Microsoft

Silver Medals

Colin Campbell Mitchell Award, awarded to engineers who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of any field of UK engineering

  • The team from Reaction Engines for the hot heat exchanger test programme for the SABRE engine

Colin Campbell Mitchell Award

Rooke Award, awarded for the public promotion of engineering

  • Susan Scurlock MBE, CEO and Founder, Primary Engineer

Rooke Award

Major Project Award

  • For the Queensferry Crossing: Iain Murray, Managing Director BEAR Scotland, Jacobs; Peter Curran, Project Director, Ramboll; Mike Glover OBE FREng and Richard Hornby, Directors, Arup; and Lawrence Shackman, Head of Rail Projects, Transport Scotland

Major Project Award

Sir Frank Whittle Medal, awarded for outstanding and sustained achievement in any engineering discipline

  • Professor Dame Julia Higgins DBE FREng FRS, Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College London

Sir Frank Whittle Medal

Sir George Macfarlane Medal, awarded to a UK engineer who has demonstrated excellence in the early stage of their career

  • Sorin Popa, CEO, Pathfinder Medical

Sir George Macfarlane Medal

RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineers of the Year, supported by the Worshipful Company of Engineers

  • Andrea De Luca, CEO, Flusso
  • Dr Richard Colchester, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow, University College London
  • Sorin Popa, CEO, Pathfinder Medical
  • Dr Boyang Shen, Research Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Amy Wright, Senior Civil Infrastructure Engineer, Design ID

RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineers of the Year

Professor Raffaella Ocone OBE FREng FRSE, Chair of the Academy’s Awards Committee, says:

“Engineering underpins our daily lives, and these awards acknowledge and celebrate engineers and engineering achievements that are often hidden from public view.

These engineers help to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges in fields spanning medical, civil, digital, and materials, and deserve to be celebrated for the work they do.”

Note to editors

For more information, please contact Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

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