Students at the University of Southampton apply their knowledge to practical engineering problems such as race-car design using the world-renowned RJ Mitchell Wind Tunnel.

University awarded Queen's Anniversary Prize

The University of Southampton has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the work it has done in performance sports engineering.

The prize for higher and further education, recognises four decades of innovation in design, testing, and technical expertise – supporting high-performance sports competitors, including several Olympic gold medal winners, including cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and skeleton athlete Amy Williams.

Professor Don Nutbeam, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: “This is great news for the university, offering much deserved recognition for the Performance Sports Engineering Laboratory.  The award recognises the outstanding work of our academics and students in supporting competitive sport and demonstrates Southampton’s world-leading expertise in engineering and the impact we have globally.”

The Performance Sports Engineering Laboratory (PSEL) has had a major influence on competitive sailing, high-performance motor racing, cycling and winter sports, the university said.  The PSEL team of academics, consultancy engineers and postgraduate students conducts a diverse range of research covering fluid and structural dynamics, simulation technologies and sports science. 

Director of the PSEL, Professor Stephen Turnock, said: “I am delighted the long-standing achievements of the university have been recognised in this way.  We have seen our research impact at the highest level in competitive sport, but are equally proud of our graduates who excel in the ultra-competitive technology driven world of motorsport and performance sailing.  It is rare to find a team without one of our ship science, aeronautical or mechanical engineering graduates playing a leading role.”

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are the UK’s most prestigious form of recognition for a UK academic or vocational institution, with approval from The Queen and Parliament. A prize-giving ceremony will take place at Buckingham Palace in February.

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