Healthcare, space and energy innovations go head-to-head in the 2018 MacRobert Award

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

A pioneering breathalyser for diagnosing disease, a new generation of lighter, retractable satellite antennas, and the application of Formula 1 technology that makes supermarket fridges more energy efficient have been selected as finalists for the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award.

Owlstone Medical’s ReCIVA Breath Sampler is said to be the first device capable of capturing breath samples for analysis in a robust and reproducible way. The system can identify chemical ‘biomarkers’ in human breath for a variety of diseases, including cancer. The company aims to save 100,000 lives by enabling easier and quicker diagnosis and ensuring the correct treatment is prescribed to each patient.

Oxford Space Systems is developing a new generation of origami-inspired, innovative and cost-competitive satellite antennas and structures, that will enable satellite missions and services ranging from telecommunications to environmental monitoring.

Williams Advanced Engineering and Aerofoil Energy’s aerodynamic shelf-edge technology, Aerofoil, is claimed to significantly reduce energy consumption in supermarket and convenience store fridges. The device is inspired by Formula 1 engineering and offers substantial potential energy savings. Sainsbury’s is rolling out the technology in all 1,400 of its stores.

The three finalists are competing for a gold medal and a £50,000 prize. The winner will be revealed at the Academy Awards Dinner at the Tower of London on Wednesday 27 June 2018 in front of an audience of top engineers, business leaders, politicians and journalists.


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