Environmental testing facility, Leonardo Company, Edinburgh

Engineering & Technology Photographer of the Year 2018: Winners

Image credit: Mike Glendinning

Led by the Gadget Show’s Georgie Barrat, a selection of photos have been chosen to challenge public misconceptions of engineering.

The IET received over 400 photos from young people and adults around the world, who submitted photos to five categories:

  1.     Design and Production
  2.     Digital
  3.     Environment and Energy
  4.     Structures
  5.     Transport

The winners

Adult entrants

  • Kathryn Graham winner of the Design & Production category
  • Callum Woodford winner of the Digital category
  • Mike Glendinning winner of the Environment and Energy category
  • James Birchall winner of the Structure category
  • Peter Thomas winner of the Transport category
  • Smart phone: Sudip Maiti, winner of the best smart phone photo across all categories

Youth entrants

  • Rosina Canty winner of the Design and Production category
  • Jodie Culmer winner of the Digital category
  • Ben Steel winner of the Environment and Energy category
  • Nathan Phua winner of the Structure category
  • Mackenzie Hall winner of the Transport category

The overall winner was announced as Mike Glendinning for his photo ‘Engineers are hot stuff’, which captures an engineer in the environmental testing facility at Leonardo in Edinburgh. The facility provides extreme environmental testing on complex electronic systems to check they are ready for real world use.

Dr Ozak Esu, IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year and one of the judges of the competition, said: “Engineering is exciting and fast-changing – shaping the world around us and improving the quality of our everyday lives. And yet traditional images of engineering and engineers still focus on one area of the industry with hard hats and dirty overalls.

“We launched our photography competition again this year to help banish this outdated image and we received some brilliant photographs from across the world – I’d like to congratulate our winners and highly commended entrants.”

Georgie Barrat, Gadget Show host and fellow judge, added: “The image of engineering in the media is really outdated and doesn’t reflect how exciting, creative and varied engineering careers can be – and this certainly won’t attract the next generation of talent, especially girls. We’ve selected some fantastic images that show first-hand how varied, exciting and life changing engineering really is.”

Overall winner

Energy and Environment (adult)

Winner: Mike Glendinning

Modern, sophisticate electronic systems can fail due to the extreme conditions they are used in, and where failure is not an option someone needs to be able to create real world conditions to ensure failure is minimised. That’s what professional environmental engineers do.

Environmental testing facility, Leonardo Company, Edinburgh

Image credit: Mike Glendinning

Image taken: Environmental testing facility, Leonardo Company, Edinburgh

Category winners

Design and Production (adult)

Winner: Kathryn Graham

I was asked to photograph the team who built the LVP1 satellite at SSTL. As they were gathering for the shot, I like to take some natural shots around the spacecraft. During this time I noticed the teams reflections on the satellite and I thought it would make an interesting picture.

Surrey Satellite Technology Clean Room

Image credit: Kathryn Graham

Image taken: Surrey Satellite Technology Clean Room

Digital (adult)

Winner: Callum Woodford

Virtual reality is changing the way media is consumed and created as well as aiding science. Architectural design is being radically reformed by immersive virtual environments allowing for rapid prototyping and real time feedback. Mass participation is paving the way to a more community- driven and interactive future.

Virtual reality

Image credit: Callum Woodford

Image taken: University of Sheffield

Structure (adult)

Winner: James Birchall

Above the clouds on the Summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, The Subaru Telescope waits for the sun to set before a night of star gazing. Engineers are vital to the design, construction and operation of this cutting edge technology which helps further our understanding of the universe.

Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii

Image credit: James Birchall

Image taken: Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii

Transport (adult)

Winner: Peter Thomas

I am an Aircraft Mechanic working in British Airways Maintenance Cardiff. I am also an amateur photographer. Early one morning we had a visit from a Boeing 787-8 dream-liner for a trial fit in one of our maintenance bays. It was a beautiful morning with the onset of a sunrise so, I took the opportunity to take some images of the aircraft being towed into the hanger with a full complement of observers and two zip-ups - one to each wing whilst the aircraft was being docked.

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff

Image credit: Peter Thomas

Image taken: British Airways Maintenance Cardiff


Winner: Sudip Maiti

A girl educates her grandmother about the benefits of solar energy.

A girl educates her grandmother about the benefits of solar energy

Image credit: Sudip Maiti

Image taken: Kolkata, India

Design and production (youth)

Winner: Rosina Canty

Conentrically turned bodies manufactured to create something bigger and useful that positively impacts our lives. The precision that goes into perfecting the detail destroys common misconceptions about design production. It was my first time in an engineering environment and I found the photo opportunity quite cool.

Ultra Precision Engineering in Haverhill, Suffolk

Image credit: Rosina Canty

Image taken: Ultra Precision Engineering in Haverhill, Suffolk

Digital (youth)

Winner: Jodie Culmer

Whilst visiting Bletchley Park, I spotted these awesome rotors from a WWII Polish code breaking machine, which contributed to the creation of Alan Turing’s Bombe. The exhibits at Bletchley represent engineering at its best. I was really impressed by the cooperation and intelligence of all the engineers from different countries working together.

WWII Polish code-breaking machine

Image credit: Jodie Culmer

Image taken: Bletchley Park

Environment and Energy (youth)

Winner: Ben Steel

We were on a family visit to the seaside and I was drawn to the waves breaking on the shore and, as the tide came in, it intrigued me as to how such a simple piece of engineering could stand up to the power of the sea.

Worthing beach

Image credit: Ben Steel

Image taken: Worthing beach

Structure (youth)

Winner: Nathan Phua

The patterned and reflective glass panels strikes an abstract tone, displaying the simple beauty of architecture.

Patterned and reflective glass panels

Image credit: Nathan Phua

Image taken: London

Transport (youth)

Winner: Mackenzie Hall

This picture was taken aboard the Dubai Metro running through the centre of the city. There are several skyscrapers that accompany this to the left that mainly consist of hotels and offices. This was a hard shot to capture as I was on the moving carriage that was very crowded.

Downtown Dubai

Image credit: Mackenzie Hall

Image taken: Downtown Dubai

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