RAE makes special pandemic awards

Written by: Paul Fanning | Published:

The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded 19 individuals and teams of engineers with the President's Special Awards for Pandemic Service for exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 throughout the UK.

The awards have been made to teams, organisations, individuals, collaborations and projects across all technical specialities, disciplines and career stages within the UK engineering community who have contributed to addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specially commissioned silver medals will be presented to all 19 winners later this year.

The winners are:

  • Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium
  • University College London-Ventura CPAP
  • University of Cambridge Open Ventilator System Initiative
  • University of Southampton for PeRSo
  • Babcock International Group Plc
  • Jean Morris
  • Dr Antony Robotham
  • Dr Dominic Pimenta
  • Institute for Manufacturing University of Cambridge
  • Tharsus for Bump, a social-distancing system capacity and providing data on team contact in the event of an outbreak (pictured)
  • Dr Ravi Solanki and Raymond Siems, volunteers for the charity HEROES.
  • Professor Chris Toumazou FREng FRS FMedSci of Imperial College London for developing a rapid, affordable COVID-19 test
  • Professor Zhanfeng Cui FREng and his team from the University of Oxford for the Oxford rapid viral RNA test for COVID-19.
  • Professor Harris Makatsoris from King’s College London for developing a ‘factory-in-a-box’ that allows the rapid manufacture of synthetic RNA vaccines.
  • Professor Catherine Noakes from the University of Leeds for her role in advising the NHS.
  • Sewers4COVID from the University of Exeter.
  • BOC Customer Engineering Services, who maintained the oxygen supplies to treat COVID-19 patients across the UK.
  • Matt Benson, Elliot Dervish and Jonathan Parker of Teledyne-e2v, who developed and manufactured the Handy Hook for front line NHS staff.
  • Martyn Frackelton and Ian Watkins from Mott MacDonald, who project managed both NHS Nightingale London and NHS Nightingale North West.
  • Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health crisis of our time and has presented society with multiple challenges. Engineering expertise and innovation has been central to the global fight to save lives and protect livelihoods.

    “I am also incredibly proud of engineers everywhere who have worked round the clock to maintain essential services, critical supply chains and infrastructure in unprecedented circumstances, using their training and skills to find innovative solutions to a host of problems and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives.”

    Professor Raffaella Ocone OBE FREng FRSE, Chair of the Academy’s Awards Committee, says: “Engineering skills—including innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration—have proved to be of vital importance during the current pandemic. We were delighted that the breadth of nominations for these awards reflected so much of the extraordinary work engineers have been doing.

    “While I am delighted that we are able to recognise some of these outstanding achievements with these awards I am mindful that the important work of the vast majority of engineers will remain largely outside the public’s consciousness. They are all deserving of our thanks and admiration for their continuing positive contribution to society.”


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