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£1 million engineering prize welcomed

Posted 21 November 2011

Our students learn how to be engineers and we look forward to them channelling their enthusiasm into achieving great things during their professional careers."

Professor Simon Blackmore

As the UK’s only higher education centre for agricultural engineering and off-road vehicle design, Harper Adams University College has welcomed the launch of The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. 

“This will help raise the profile of the engineering sector and show young people that society really values the work of engineers” says Professor Simon Blackmore, the new Head of Engineering at the University College.  “With a record number of students entering engineering this year and the very high employment rate afterwards, we are playing our part in developing the engineering sector. Harper students not only learn theoretical and practical skills but are readily employed afterwards. 

“Engineering is a practical science but a lot of fun as well”, Prof Blackmore adds. “Our students learn how to be engineers and we look forward to them channelling their enthusiasm into achieving great things during their professional careers. It would not surprise me if one of them were to be nominated for The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in the future.

“The Engineering Department at Harper Adams is refocusing its teaching and research efforts into the high-technology, “smart” side of agricultural and off-road engineering and has recently appointed two new members of staff to teach mechatronics and artificial intelligence. “We expect to see the marked development of agricultural robots within the next ten years”, Prof Blackmore concludes.  

The £1 million prize, to be awarded biennially in the name of Her Majesty The Queen, will celebrate an outstanding advance in engineering that has created significant benefit to humanity. It will be awarded an individual or team of up to three people, of any nationality, directly responsible for advancing the application of engineering knowledge. As well as recognising and celebrating the best, the Prize will provide an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate how engineers and engineering are making a real difference across the world.

The Royal Academy of Engineering will deliver the Prize on behalf of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, chaired by Lord Browne of Madingley FREng FRS. 

Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn comments: “As Lord Browne said as the launch of this prestigious prize, engineering underpins every aspect of our lives. At Harper Adams, we specialise in engineering which, essentially, helps feed the population and in which significant technological advances are being made, which we aim to translate to agricultural practice.”

A Royal Academy spokesman added: “The Prize is the result of a growing realisation in the worlds of business, engineering and policy of the need for a pioneering initiative based in the UK to focus attention on engineering worldwide. 

“A number of major engineering companies have donated to an endowment fund, which is being managed by an independent charitable trust. As well as the search for the winner, the Prize will provide a high-profile, global communications platform to explore the breadth, creativity and impact of engineering of all kinds around the world.” 

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