From education to employment

Sir Ralph Robins Medal for Engineering Leadership and the Sir Ralph Robins Scholarship launched

Two prestigious awards programmes were launched on Monday night by the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The Sir Ralph Robins Medal for Engineering Leadership is intended to promote engineering excellence by recognising early- to mid-career engineers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership. The Sir Ralph Robins Engineering Scholarship will provide scholarships to young engineers who have displayed significant potential. Candidates from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds will be particularly encouraged to apply.

Sir Ralph Robins at the announcement

Both awards have been established in recognition of the exceptional contribution to engineering and industry of Sir Ralph Robins FREng. Sir Ralph was Chairman of Rolls-Royce plc for many years and served on the board of a number of major UK and international companies. Initial funding has been raised by friends and former colleagues of Sir Ralph, who wished to mark the 30th anniversary of his momentous decision to launch the Rolls-Royce Trent engine.

The Sir Ralph Robins Medal for Engineering Leadership will be managed and awarded by the Royal Aeronautical Society. This gold-plated silver medal will be awarded annually for 25 years to an individual in their early- or mid-career who is judged by the Society to have been most successful in leading and delivering a significant aerospace engineering project.

The Sir Ralph Robins Engineering Scholarship will be managed and awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Up to three £10,000 scholarships will be awarded each year to undergraduates who show exceptional engineering potential. The individual chosen by a selection committee will receive much-needed funds for university fees, mentorship and support in creating a career development plan, and annual training and networking sessions for a three-year period.

A further fundraising programme is now being undertaken to ensure the longevity of the Sir Ralph Robins Engineering Scholarship. Rolls-Royce plc has agreed to contribute £200,000 to the scholarship fund and to support the programme with the offer of internships to those individuals awarded scholarships under the scheme.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President, Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“We are delighted that friends and colleagues of Sir Ralph Robins have chosen to honour his contribution to engineering in this way. This is a unique opportunity to support the next generation of leading engineers, and ultimately address the engineering skills shortfall by encouraging more exceptional students to pursue a career in engineering. This is a fitting tribute to Sir Ralph.”

Simon Henley MBE CEng BSc FRAeS FAPM, President, Royal Aeronautical Society, said:

“We are honoured to accept responsibility for awarding a medal to mark Sir Ralph Robins’ extraordinary influence on the engineering profession. The Royal Aeronautical Society has a long heritage of celebrating aeronautical engineering achievement. We therefore look forward to recognising the excellence and success of the next generation of industry leaders as they follow in the footsteps of Sir Ralph.”

Applications for the Sir Ralph Robins Scholarships are open until 14 January 2019.

For more information and to apply click here

Contributions to the fund are now invited. If you would like to support this initiative, please contact Fiona Stewart at the Royal Academy for Engineering at [email protected] or 020 7766 0652.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Royal Aeronautical Society is the world’s only professional body dedicated to the entire aerospace community. The Society promotes the highest professional standards in all aerospace disciplines; provides specialist information; acts as a central forum for the exchange of ideas; and plays a leading role in influencing opinion on aerospace matters. For more information about the Royal Aeronautical Society visit

The Royal Aeronautical Society honours, medals and awards are the most prestigious and long-standing awards in global aerospace honouring achievement, innovation and excellence.For more information about how the Society recognises and celebrates achievement across the aerospace, aviation and space communities visit

  1. As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession.

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

For press enquiries contact:

Simon Whalley MCIPR, Head of External Affairs, Royal Aeronautical Society

T: +44 (0)20 7670 4362

M: +44 (0)7919 213 597

E: [email protected]

Follow us: @AeroSociety


Vicky Runcie, Communication Manager, Royal Academy of Engineering

T: +44 (0) 20 7766 0620

E: [email protected]

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