British Engineering Excellence Awards – Winners 2010

Engineer Andrew Burrows of i20 Water has won the Grand Prix at the 2010 British Engineering Excellence Awards, held today at London's Globe Theatre.

The winner of the British Engineering Excellence Grand Prix was selected by the Judges from winning entries in the Awards programme. The winner demonstrated significant achievement in terms of application of new technology, innovative design and market achievement. Burrows, a chartered engineer, member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and an active member of the International Water Association, won the accolade for his design of the i20's Smart Water System, which can reduce water leakage by 20%. He designed an intelligent valve, controlled by a central server which learns the behaviour of the network and constantly adjusts the pressure to the optimum. 50 systems installed in Malaysia during July 2010 are each saving 250 tonnes of water per day. Other systems are currently in operation in Spain, Italy and the UK. Judges described i20's intelligent, pressure-adjusting water valve as "A great example of creative problem solving". They were impressed by the way in which an intelligent and rigorous design was cutting water leakage without any need for digging up roads, describing it as "an elegant solution to an urgent worldwide problem arrived at by thorough process and methodology". The Awards programme drew entries from all corners of the UK's engineering community – ranging from single employee design houses to multinational organisations. Ed Tranter, executive director of Awards organiser Findlay Media, said: "There's never been a more important time for engineering excellence to come to the fore and these Awards have demonstrated that innovative engineering design is alive and well in the UK. With a shortage of new engineers coming into the industry, it is crucial that we raise the profile of engineering in the UK to attract the brightest and the best. I'm proud to say that the exciting, cutting edge design showcased today will do exactly that." Winning companies are: Design Engineer of the Year Sponsored by element 14 Andrew Burrows, i20 Water The Judges agreed that Burrows' solution was effective, ingenious and genuinely globally significant, dealing as it does with the pressing worldwide problem of water shortages. Young Design Engineer of the Year Sponsored by RS Components Mairead Kelly Judges were pleased to recognise Mairead's achievements both as an engineer and as a guide and mentor to younger people entering the industry. She has been with Dialog's Edinburgh design team since July 2008 and in that time, has been directly involved with two key innovations, as well as being joint leader of a discrete time Sigma-Delta a/d converter stereo project. Judges said of her: ""The energy and enthusiasm of this person shines through in her entry: she's clearly a human dynamo!" Consultancy of the Year Sponsored by Prototype Projects Drive System Design Drive System Design (DSD) is an innovative consultancy specialising in transmissions and driveline technologies, supporting a range of industries with industry-recognised experience and expertise. Judges described the secret of Drive System Design's success as "solid expertise well sold" and were impressed that the company had "achieved traction in a highly competitive market very quickly". Having started in 2007, DSD has rapidly carved a niche for itself in the automotive industry, establishing itself as, amongst other things, the 'go to' consultancy for electric vehicle design. Small Company of the Year In association with Technology Strategy Board OC Robotics OC Robotics is currently the only commercial supplier of snake-arm robots and has built robots for a wide range of industries, with customers including the UK Ministry of Defence, US Department of Defense, Airbus and Ontario Power Generation. OC Robotics' position in the robotics industry belies its status as a 16-employee company. Its robotic 'snake-arm' technology has applications in the aerospace, medical and nuclear industries and can be adapted to fit almost any environment, space or task. "Its sales against much bigger players in its market niche make it a winner", said the judges. Start Up of the Year Sponsored by Cambridge Consultants JAOtech In just three years, JAOtech has established itself as the market leader in the design and manufacture of a world-class, innovative range of patient bedside embedded Smart Terminals for the healthcare market. Its sheer business success in a highly competitive market gave JAOtech the edge over its competitors. Formed in 2006, the company's outstanding design for smart bedside terminals for hospitals will see it ship 30,000 worldwide this year, putting it firmly in the vanguard of the e-Health revolution. Judges said: "Engineering is about solving problems and making money out of the solutions and that's what JAOtech has done." Green Product of the Year Sponsored by National Instruments T-Series Burners from Dunphy Combustion The T-Series from Dunphy Combustion is a range of ultra low NOx T-series burners that offers massive reduction in NOx emissions, electrical energy reductions, the elimination of flue gas re-circulation and duct work and a reduction in noise pollution. This innovative impressed judges with their relatively low capital cost and significant environmental benefits. Reducing the electrical energy required to run the equipment by around 65%, cutting carbon emissions by 11% and NOx emissions by 80%, Dunphy Combustion's product was described by judges as "an apparently obvious improvement with a really broad impact that optimises the efficiency of existing technology." New Mechanical Product of the Year Sponsored by WEG Motors JRI Vaios Shoulder System The Vaios shoulder system is a modular prosthesis offering a comprehensive range of components for shoulder replacement surgery. The system offers improved fixation and lower bone erosion, as well as easier instrumentation. The Vaios Shoulder System had "captured a strong position in a really important and competitive market" according to the judges. The modular nature of this prosthesis has overcome a number of clinical problems associated with shoulder replacement whilst also significantly reducing inventory and cutting costs. New Electronic Product of the Year Sponsored by Digi-Key Atmel MXT224 touchscreen controller The maXTouch mXT224 is a 224-node, highly configurable touchscreen controller which, thanks to its optimal and scalable architecture and high Signal-to-noise ratio, is now widely used in smartphone design. Judges were impressed that British technology has become the de facto standard for the majority of smartphone design thanks to the maXTouch mXT224 capacitive touchscreen from Atmel. They expressed admiration for the product's high signal-to-noise ratio, high data refresh rate and low power consumption, saying "The product's success with a range of highly credible companies is testimony to the quality of the design". Mechatronic Design of the Year Sponsored by Rockwell Automation Kohler Mira's DRV80 Mixer Valve The DRV80 Mixer Valve is an electronically-controlled thermostatic mixer valve able to monitor its own operation and diagnose faults, but also to monitor a number of the hot water system parameters and provide system maintenance information. "An elegant, inspired and accurate solution with a really significant financial and environmental impact," is how judges described this electronically-controlled thermostatic mixer valve. Its accuracy of control and functionality allow it to provide water at regulated temperatures for whole buildings, while its ease of installation and web-enabled comms unit mean it has already achieved significant commercial success. Judges' Special Award Supported by Bloodhound SSC Dexela The judges agreed that Dexela's technological and commercial success more than belies its 13-employee status and relatively short time in the market. Judges were impressed by Dexela's array of orders for its CMOS X-Ray detectors in the first year of production bore ample testimony to the quality of the engineering that underpins the product. As one judge put it: "It's a product that works and has proved its worth across the world."