Rewarding greatness: the IET Achievement Awards

Recognising the exceptional achievements of those working in the engineering and technology profession, the IET has awarded the winners of its 2009 Achievement Medals.

The IET has awarded the winners of its 2009 Achievement Medals, recognising the exceptional achievements of those working in the engineering and technology profession, from the well known scientist to the fledgling engineer. Awards are presented in a wide variety of engineering sectors, demonstrating that engineering excellence is properly rewarded whatever the specialism:
Commenting on the awards IET Chief Executive and Secretary Nigel Fine said, “It is a great pleasure for the IET to be awarding the very best in the engineering industry. The prime aim of the Achievement Awards is to celebrate the huge contributions made by people who thrive on advancing technology. I would like to congratulate this year’s winners and may they continue to be ambassadors for the industry and the IET.”

The Crompton Medal for Achievement in Power is awarded to Mr Harbans Lal Bajaj from New Delhi, India, a prominent figure in the power sector. A technical member of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, Mr Bajaj held a number of senior roles including chairman of the Central Electricity Authority and advisor to the Ministry of Power in India. In 2001, he was named Most Outstanding Engineer by the IEEE and he received the Best Corporate Manager Award from the Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral in the same year.

The Oliver Lodge Medal for Achievement in Information is awarded to Prof Anthony Finkelstein from West London. The Professor of Software Systems Engineering at University College London (UCL) is widely considered an ambassador in the software engineering community. He has brought international conferences on software engineering to the UK and developed numerous activities for educators and students. Prof Finkelstein, also head of computer science at UCL, has recently worked on applications relating to diabetes and cancer research. Prof Finkelstein, with a team from UCL and Cancer Research UK, was a winner of the first Times Higher Education research project of the year. In addition to his achievements, he has won a string of ‘best paper’ and ‘most influential paper’ prizes.

The Heaviside Medal for Achievement in Control is awarded to Prof Petros Ioannou from Cyprus. From Cyprus University of Technology, Prof Ioannou has made major contributions to education and research in numerous areas including intelligent transport systems and vehicle dynamics and control. His contribution started in 1984, when he was presented with the IEEE Control System Society Outstanding Paper Award. The following year, he received the Presidential Young Investigator Award. His work is published in eight books, over 100 journals and 180 conference papers. Prof Ioannou worked on many important projects including the first design of adaptive cruise control systems, which led to the widespread deployment of the system in vehicles by most automobile companies.

The JJ Thomson Medal for Achievement in Electronics is awarded to Prof Kim-Yin Lau from the University of California. Prof Lau is one of the main contributors in the development and commercialisation of fibre-optic networks, through his establishment of a venture start-up with LGC Wireless. To date, LGC Wireless, which was acquired by ADC Telecom in 2007, has installed over 10,000 systems in 40 countries. Prof Lau’s extensive research provides today’s leading wireless coverage and capacity solutions to companies.

The Sir Monty Finniston Award for Achievement in any field of engineering and technology is awarded to Robert Williams Shanks from Warwickshire. The chartered engineer has a unique approach in encouraging young people to take an interest in engineering. For ten years, Mr Shanks has co-led and chaired the Imagineering Foundation, a successful charity, which organises fairs and engineering clubs for schools. At these events, qualified engineers encourage young people to put their engineering skills to the test. Mr Shanks is regarded as one of the most pro-active trustees of Young Engineers, an organisation that runs several popular national competitions. For the last three years, he has been the Chairman of the Midlands Manufacturing Network, which comprises local branches of major professional institutions with an interest in manufacturing. He is also the driving force behind the IET Viscount Nuffield lecture in the Midlands.

The Ambrose Fleming Medal for Achievement in Communications is awarded to Prof Chai Keong Toh from the University of Hong Kong, one of the pioneers behind ad hoc networking, a self-configuring network of mobile devices connected to wireless links. Prof Toh invented a new routing method for wireless ad hoc networks and was granted the US patent. He has written a series of books on the topic, including ‘Wireless ATM & Ad Hoc Networks’, published in 1996.

The Nuffield Medal for Achievement in Manufacturing is awarded to Andrew David Wheatcroft, a chartered engineer who is a passionate advocate for the UK’s manufacturing sector.  In 2004, Mr Wheatcroft took on the role of Technical Resource Manager at Perkins Engines, a leading supplier of diesel and gas engines. He is in charge of manufacturing strategy and leads a team of more than 80 engineers. His contribution in the manufacturing field received recognition, when he won the IMechE Manufacturing Excellence Awards in 2008.

The Coales Medal for Achievement in Transport is awarded to William Wright from Belfast, Northern Ireland. For 50 years, Mr Wright has built up a small family business into a brand that produces thousands of buses sold around the world. Wright Bus, which is based in his hometown, attracts engineers of all disciplines worldwide and has a strong relationship with universities to attract aspiring engineers. At the age of 81, Mr Wright shows no signs of slowing down. He is still involved in the business and is currently managing the next generation of hybrid diesel electric buses.

The winners received their medals at the IET Ambition & Achievement Awards ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground, on 25 November 2009.

Ambition Awards: IET awards scholarships to 37 students

Undergraduate and postgraduate students at universities across the UK have been awarded IET scholarships. In total, 23 students have been awarded a share of £42,000 as part of the IET’s Ambition Awards. The awards celebrate the achievements of talented young engineering and technology students and offer them financial support to continue their studies.

Undergraduate scholarships

BP/IET Faraday Scholarship £3,000: Jonathan Mather, University of Oxford Belling Engineering Scholarship £3,000: Rory Greig, University of Durham Cisco Systems Scholarship £1,000: Aaron Freeman-Powell, University of Oxford

IET Jubilee Scholarships £1,000: Ismail Akram, University of Cambridge Sarah Bailey, University of Oxford Lawrence Baynham, University of Cambridge Natasha Hill, University of Cambridge Matthew Keeves, University of Durham Christopher Nash, University of Cambridge Franz Ronay, University of Cambridge

National Electronics Council (NEC) Scholarships £1,000: Christopher Bridge, University of Cambridge Josef Capindale, University of Southampton

IET Hawtin Scholarship £1,000: Michael Fallows, University of Cambridge

IET Grants £1,000: Mark McLeod, University of Oxford Jonathan Steele, University of Bristol Andrew Allan, University of Strathclyde Mr Hasitha Jayatilleka, University College London Neil McCarragher, Queen’s University, Belfast Mr Rohit Parakh, University of Manchester

Postgraduate scholarships

Leslie H Paddle Scholarship £10,000: Evangelos Mazomenos, University of Southampton. Thesis title: Detection and target tracking in wireless sensor networks. Hudswell International Research Scholarships £5,000: Ruilin Pei, University of Cambridge. Thesis title: AC loss in superconducting machines.  Robinson Research Scholarships £1,250: Julian Rose, University of Bath. Thesis title: Improvements to imaging and timing applications of global positioning systems. Mr ZiJing Wong, University of Cambridge. Thesis title: Broadband and real-world vibration power harvesting using MEMS devices.

IET Postgraduate Scholarships £1,250: Matthew Ash, University College London. Thesis title: High resolution radar imaging of avalanche flows. Ali Hassan, University of Southampton. Thesis title: Emotion recognition in speech using machine learning methods.

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