Sir Julian Young, IET President 2021-22

IET Achievement Awards celebrate world-leading engineers

Image credit: The IET

The IET has named the winners of its 2021 Achievement Awards, with one of this year’s most significant awards - the Faraday Medal - going to John EE Fleming for his significant role in the mid-20th century development of the world’s first obstetric ultrasound device.

The IET Achievement Awards recognise individuals worldwide who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of engineering, technology and science in any sector. This can be through research and development in their respective technical field or through their leadership of an enterprise.

This year, 15 of the world’s top engineering and technology talents have been honoured with medals and trophies for services to the industry. The top Faraday medal was awarded to Fleming for his significant role in the development of the world’s first obstetric ultrasound device.

Whilst working for Smiths Industries in Glasgow, Fleming became the lead engineer in charge of developing the first ultrasound machine, the diasonograph. This static B-Scan machine was the first scanner to go into commercial production. He also worked on the development of specialised test equipment for radar and later, computer logic development and data transmission systems. In 1988 Fleming was appointed honorary assistant keeper of ultrasonic equipment at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, where the original ultrasound scanner is kept. He has also co-authored a book on the history of ultrasound developments.

John EE Fleming - IET Innovation Awards - inline

Image credit: The IET

On winning his award, Fleming said: “I am honoured to receive the Faraday Medal from the IET in recognition of my life’s work and contribution to the development of medical ultrasound diagnosis. I took over from the late Tom Brown, who had built two prototypes in Glasgow. He left me to continue the development and to teach people how to use the scanners and interpret the resulting images.

“To know that I have contributed to the development of these instruments that are now in worldwide use is very rewarding and to receive a Medal for my contribution was an enormous surprise. I would like it to be seen as a recognition of the work of all the engineers and health professionals who continue to advance the development of medical diagnostic instruments."

Other medallists this year include Professor Nick McKeown for his work in creating a scalable internet and Dr Subir Chowdhury for his pioneering work in improving process and product quality across the manufacturing industry.

Professor McKeown is the Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Sequoia Capital Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and the faculty director of the Open Networking Research Centre at Stanford University. He received the Mountbatten Medal for his fundamental work in creating a scalable internet through his design of scalable routers – critical for the Internet of Things, where systems need to increase capacity. He has actively led the software-defined networking (SDN) movement that is transforming the internet, enabling innovation and significantly reducing capex and opex costs associated with owning and operating networks.

Nick McKeown - IET Innovation Awards - inline

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Professor McKeown said: “I am thrilled to receive the Mountbatten Medal from the IET! I wake up every morning and ask myself how we can improve the internet today and I've spent my career trying to do just that. It's a great honour to work with such great PhD students and colleagues across the networking industry to make networks faster and software-defined. By lifting the definition of networks up and out of hardware, we have allowed the internet and 5G networks to improve at the speed of software.”

Dr Subir Chowdhury, the chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group, was awarded the Mensforth Gold Medal for Manufacturing for his outstanding contributions to improving process and product quality in all types of manufacturing industries. Through his work on process improvement with Six Sigma and Design for Six Sigma, and his contributions on the promotion of excellence, he has improved the quality of life on a global scale.

Subir Chowdhury - IET Innovation Awards - inline

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Dr Chowdhury said: “I am deeply honored to receive this international award in recognition of my services and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry. To know that my work has contributed to the improvement of manufacturing processes, quality and the subsequent benefit to society is very humbling. I hope it inspires other young manufacturing engineers to continue to drive forward change in the sector.”

Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, the new IET President, (pictured above) said: “We are honoured to present these talented individuals with our Achievement Awards. They have each excelled in their professions and have made a vast contribution as pioneers of important areas in the engineering and technology industries. All our medal winners today are innovators who have all made a difference to the world in which we live. They should all be rightly proud of their achievements – they are incredible role models for the next generation.”

All three medallists join 11 other winners, who were nominated by their peers as leading engineers and technicians in their field.

Lauren Burns, a recent graduate software engineer on the Kainos Earn as you Learn Apprenticeship scheme, is named the IET’s Apprentice of the Year; Chief Petty Officer AET(M) Adam Finch, a senior technician within the Royal Navy, is named the IET’s Armed Forces Technician of the Year; and Kieron Coyle, a Senior Building Information Modelling Technician at Hydrock is named the IET’s Technician of the Year.

The Achievement Awards are part of the IET’s Awards and Scholarships programme, which this year provided £1m in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians. All IET awards seek to inspire and reward engineering excellence, including apprentices at the start of their careers, through to reputable, established professional engineers and technicians.

The IET's portfolio of awards includes Diamond Jubilee scholarships, Apprentice and Technician Awards and the IET AF Harvey Engineering Research Prize.

The full list of Achievement Awards winners for 2021 is as follows:

• Faraday Medal is awarded to Mr John EE Fleming for his role in the development of the world's first obstetric ultrasound device.
• Mountbatten Medal is awarded to Professor Nick McKeown MIET for his work in creating a scalable internet through his design of scalable routers.
• Mensforth Gold Medal for Manufacturing is awarded to Dr Subir Chowdhury HonMIISE FSME FSAE FASQ FRSS FESD FQSA LFRAS for his pioneering work in the field of Quality Engineering and Management.

Achievement medals

• IET Achievement Medal in Communications Engineering is awarded to Professor Hsi-Tseng Chou FIEEE FIET, Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Graduate Institute of Communications Engineering, National Taiwan University.

• IET Achievement Medal in Wireless Communications is awarded to Professor Mischa Dohler FREng FIEEE FIET FRSA, Chair Professor of Wireless Communications at King's College London.

• IET Achievement Medal in Manufacturing Technology is awarded to Mr David Holmes OBE CEng FIET, Operations Director with BAE Systems.

• IET Achievement Medal in Power and Energy Engineering is awarded to Professor Chongqing Kang FIEEE FIET FCSEE, researcher in power and energy engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

• IET Achievement Medal in Telecommunications Engineering is awarded to Professor Xiaohu You, Professor with the National Mobile Communications Research Laboratory, Southeast University, China.

Volunteering

• IET Achievement Medal for Volunteering is awarded to Elaine Greig FIET FAPM for her outstanding contribution to the IET Energy Policy Expert Volunteer Panel.

Early Career

• Sir Henry Royce Award is given to Dr Giacomo Valle PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), for his exceptional work in developing innovative algorithms able to restore natural touch in amputees using neuroprosthetic devices.

• Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award is given to Dr Adeayo Sotayo CEng PhD AFHEA MIET for his technological excellence as Lead Researcher and Engineer on a novel and sustainable building project.

• Paul Fletcher Award is awarded to Eng. Thilini Wasundara for her outstanding volunteering contribution as Chair of the IET Young Professionals Sri Lanka, member of the Young Professionals Committee and an IET Young Professionals Ambassador.

Special recognition

• Technician of the Year is awarded to Kieron Coyle, a Senior Building Information Modelling Technician at Hydrock

• Apprentice of the Year is awarded to Lauren Burns, a recent graduate of the Software Engineer on the Kainos Earn as you Learn Apprenticeship scheme.

• Armed Forces Technician of the year is awarded to Chief Petty Officer AET(M) Adam Finch, a senior technician within the Royal Navy.

 

E&T Innovation Awards

The E&T Innovation Awards 2021 recognise and celebrate the very best new innovations across the breadth of science, engineering and technology. Register for your free at the Awards ceremony at 25 November at 4pm GMT: eandt.theiet.org/innovation

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