Range Rover Evoque wins top engineering prize
Range Rover Evoque being manufactured.
The engineering team behind Land Rover’s cutting-edge Range Rover Evoque has won the UK’s premier prize for innovation, the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award.
HRH The Princess Royal presented them with the solid gold MacRobert medal and a £50,000 prize at the Academy’s annual awards dinner in London on 26 June 2012.
The winning team members are: chief programme engineer David Mitchell, studio director David Saddington, vehicle engineering manager Pete Cockle, body engineering manager Brian Lidgard and principal chassis engineer Ian Hulme, all based at Jaguar Land Rover in Coventry.
Two other finalists were shortlisted from over 40 nominations: Andor Technology for its highly sensitive Neo sCMOS scientific camera that enables scientists to map a genome in only a few hours, and JBA Consulting for its J-flow hyper-accurate flood risk modelling system.
John Robinson, chair of the MacRobert Award judging panel, said: “Land Rover is bucking the trend with the Range Rover Evoque, which has been hugely successful and opened up new markets. The judges were impressed with the excellence of the engineering design and the team’s mission to create a future-facing product that challenges preconceptions of what a Range Rover looks like, while staying true to the qualities that made it famous.”
In its profile of the vehicle, the Academy noted how its “striking concept car design” has been achieved while maintaining the ground clearance required for it to have all-terrain capability. It credits this to the ingenuity of Land Rover engineers who succeeded in packaging the underfloor components, exhaust, suspension systems, chassis frame and a 70-litre fuel tank “with millimetre accuracy”.
The judges also highlighted the safety and weight-saving technologies, such as the ultra-high strength boron steel that helps give the vehicle its characteristic slim profile without compromising strength or safety.
New technologies were developed for this project, including magneto-rheological shock absorbers that enable continuous control of damping performance, and an evolution of Land Rover’s award-winning Terrain Response programme for optimum adjustment of suspension and transmission settings to suit the demands of different off-road conditions.
The Evoque is manufactured at JLR’s Halewood assembly plant on Merseyside. Its worldwide success has created or safeguarded over 30,000 jobs throughout the supply chain. The company recently announced £3bn worth of contracts with more than 40 UK-based suppliers.
David Mitchell, chief programme engineer for Evoque, described receiving the MacRobert Award as a high honour, adding: “We are very proud that the innovations we brought to the project have been recognised by the Academy as representing the very best in British engineering.”
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