Influential minds to be honoured at IET awards

The IET has named the winners of its 2015 Achievement Awards, including a prolific inventor who was one of the original developers of the compact disc.

The founder of Turing Machines, Professor Kees Schouhamer Immink, has been recognised for his inventions including key roles in the development of popular disc-based media such as CD, DVD and Blu-ray. It is estimated that an average Western household owns nine products that use his inventions.

University of California electrical engineering professor Dr Asad Madni is to receive the J J Thomson Medal for his contributions to the development and commercialisation of “intelligent” sensors, systems, instrumentation and signal processing.

Madni has led the development of intelligent micro-sensors and systems for aerospace, transportation and defense applications. Most notably, he helped to develop the control system for the Hubble Space Telescope’s Star Selector System.

Dr Alan Finkel will be the recipient of the Mountbatten Medal this year in recognition of his research in science and engineering as well as his philanthropy. Finkel is known for developing a device that has substantially increased the speed of drug research.

Bridge engineer Dr Robin Sham will pick up the Achievement Award for his work on some of the world’s iconic bridges. He was most recently involved in the construction of Scotland’s Aberfeldy Bridge, which is the first glass fibre-reinforced composite cable-stayed bridge.

He was also involved in the development of the long-span, three-pylon, continuous suspension bridge, the Taizhou Bridge over the Yangtze in Eastern China.

Professor David Hutchins, will also receive an achievement medal, for his work with ultrasound technology. Hutchins has developed ultrasound to be used in industrial applications such as nuclear safety and the prevention of accidents in deep hard-rock mines. His talents have also been deployed on the instrumentation for a future Mars Lander.

Naomi Climer, IET President, said: “We are honoured to present these talented individuals with our top Achievement medals. They have each excelled in their professions, whether in a short period of time or in careers spanning decades, and have made a vast contribution to the advancement of our industry.

“It is our pleasure and privilege at the IET to be able to reward these individuals, as pioneers of important areas in the engineering and technology industries. They should all be very proud of their achievements, with each award being extremely well-deserved.”

The winners were nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of IET judges. They will now be invited to collect their awards, worth over £1m, at a ceremony on November 18 2015.

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