Prized pioneers

Now in their second year, The Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards have once again celebrated the achievements of universities and technology companies throughout the country.

Now in their second year, The Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards 2008 have once again celebrated the achievements of universities and technology companies throughout the country.

In conjunction with its main sponsor, BAE Systems, The Engineer presented winners in eight categories with awards for this year’s most innovative and successful projects. BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, hosted the awards, which were held at the Royal Society on October 3. 

The Hotfire Project, run by UCL, LoughboroughUniversity, Lotus Engineering and Continental Powertrain, won this year’s Automotive Award for collaboration in the automotive sector. The group has developed a concept-car engine that combines direct spark ignition and variable valve operations to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The award for Energy Technology went to Suleiman Sharkh, senior lecturer in engineering sciences at SouthamptonUniversity, and Mike Yuratich, managing director of TSL Technology. Their innovative use of rare earth magnets in their new design of rim-driven marine engines has been a breakthrough for underwater engine performance.

Nottingham University won the category for collaboration in the Environmental Technology sector. Prof Sam Kingman from the university’s Department of Chemical Engineering led the award-winning team in exploiting a peculiarity of microwave radiation that selectively evaporates seawater for the removal of oil and waste rock.

Precision Acoustics, SouthamptonUniversity and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Trust won the Medical and Healthcare Award for advances in kidney stone therapy. The research consortium developed a passive acoustic sensor that could improve the care of patients by measuring the impact of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

The award for the 2008 Business Support of Universities went to Strata Technology, Engineering and Quality Systems and NottinghamUniversity for their collaboration on the adaptation of the Hydrogen Pyrolysis (HyPy) system. The partners have worked together to develop new applications for HyPy, including the detection of banned substances in athletes and its use in mapping out oil deposits.

Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute won the category for University Support of Business with their innovations in the fields of sports engineering. The institute has taken on a range of projects including the creation of customised soles for athletic spikes and in-water monitoring systems for elite swimmers.

The final award of the event, The Engineer Special Award for Outstanding Achievement, was awarded to BAE Systems’ collaboration with Cranfield and LancasterUniversities. The team also triumphed in the Aerospace and Defence Award category for their work on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in defence and reconnaissance.

As the UK’s leading magazine and website for technology and innovation, The Engineer continues to recognise some of the most successful and groundbreaking collaborations in this field.

Speaking at the event, Andrew Lee, editor of The Engineer, said: ‘These awards are all about recognising and rewarding collaboration between the UK’s most innovative technology-led companies and its world-class academic sector. The innovation on show here today will help secure a brighter future for the part of our economy that’s about designing, developing, building and selling real things that people want and need.’

Please click here to read The Engineer Awards Supplement.