E&T Innovation Awards 2022 gala

E&T Innovation Awards 2022 winners revealed

Image credit: The IET

The IET and E&T have celebrated cutting-edge advances in the fields of engineering and technology at the 2022 Innovation Awards. Let's meet the winners!

Now in its 18th year, the E&T Innovation Awards - held in person again this year, last night (Thursday 10 November) at the Hilton London Bankside - continue to highlight and celebrate the very best new innovations across the breadth of science, engineering and technology. 

Leaving behind the memories of past hybrid events, the evening saw a spirit of enthusiasm and a commitment to work together to create, design and build innovative solutions to global problems, which will help make the world a better place.

Hosted by Dr Shini Somara, an award-winning mechanical engineer and computational fluid dynamicist, TV producer and broadcaster, children’s book author and regular E&T columnist - the awards are the ultimate celebration of innovation in the engineering and technology sector. 

For 2022, the E&T Innovation Awards featured a range of new prizes to reflect the latest societal challenges faced by engineers and technologists. Other winners at this year’s celebration included an advanced bionic hand favoured by a gold-medal-winning Paralympian and the world’s first returnable satellite platform.  

Chris Hayhurst, European Consulting Manager at MathWorks, the headline sponsor for the awards, said: “Accelerating the pace of engineering and science is at the core of what we do at MathWorks and these awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the innovations and best work of some amazing engineers and scientists.

"The diversity of the award finalists from startups to established multi-nationals, academic and commercial, and from students to chief engineers is inspiring, and all of them show how science, technology, engineering and mathematics can make a big impact on our lives and address some of the planet’s greatest challenges.” 

Professor Bob Cryan, IET President, added: “The Innovation Awards highlight the very best examples of excellence in engineering and technology, honouring the incredible accomplishments of some inspiring innovators from across the sector. It’s wonderful to see finalists from all around the world, coming together to represent a wide range of different companies and organisations, and to see how they are all playing a key part in engineering a better world.

“On behalf of the IET and all our members, I send my warmest congratulations to all this year’s winners."

Read more about the 2022 awards finalists here.

E&T Innovation Awards 2022 winners

The Best Innovation in Net Zero and Sustainability, sponsored by RS

Winner: National Grid Electricity Transmission and The University of Manchester

The project celebrated for its contribution towards meeting bridging the gap between an unsustainable present and a more sustainable future was the collaboration between National Grid Electricity Transmission and the University of Manchester, put forward by Amrit Sehmbi, Lujia Chen, Qiang Liu, Ian Cotton, and Philip Martin. 

SF6 is a gas commonly used in the power industry to provide electrical insulation and arc interruption and is present in 75 per cent of National Grid assets installed since 2000. However, it is also a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential that is 25,200 times greater than CO2

National Grid and the University of Manchester have been working together since 2015 to find a retro-fill replacement for SF6, which would accelerate the decarbonisation of the electricity network, without having to modify or replace the equipment. 

The team was successful in its mission and the resulting innovation was able to provide equivalent electrical performance with a 98 per cent reduction in carbon footprint when compared to SF6. The success of the mission has led National Grid to commission the world's first retrofilled substation equipment in Richborough. 

The project was celebrated by the judges for "the potential of this solution to transform the backbone of our current grid system to net zero".

Silver award: Radio Data Networks Ltd.

Bronze award: SP Energy Networks. 

E&T Innovation Awards 2022 reception

E&T Innovation Awards 2022 reception /The IET

Image credit: The IET

The Most Cutting-Edge Solution in Power and Energy sponsored by National Grid

Winner: Oxford PV

Solar power is one of the most valuable sources of renewable energy across the globe. Celebrated due to its potential to provide "a significant improvement in output along with a reduced dependence on silicon, and production scaled at a commercial level", the project presented by Dr Laura Miranda Pérez and Dr Christopher Case, from Oxford PV, was the winner in this category.

Most solar panels in use today only convert 20 per cent of sunlight into solar energy, due to the fact that conventional silicon solar cells have reached their performance ceiling. 

However, the researchers at Oxford PV have been able to develop perovskite, a sustainable, low-cost material that can increase the performance of solar panels by 20-50 per cent. This innovation has set global records such as its use in a full-size, large-area solar cell with 26.8 per cent efficiency. 

This innovative solution is on its way to the market, where it is set to reduce the cost of solar, reduce land use and drive the energy transition. 

Silver award:Tsinghua University.

Bronze award: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Scottish Power Renewables.

Most Forward-Thinking Equality, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Programme in Engineering and Tech

Winner: Pūhoro STEMM Academy

Education can be the key to changing lives and this is the gift that Pūhoro Charitable Trust has been working to provide children in Aotearoa, New Zealand, with a view of increasing the presence of Māori people in the scientific community - currently smaller than 2 per cent. 

Around 65 per cent of all Pūhoro students were originally streamed out of science. By partnering with schools and other organisations, Pūhoro Charitable Trust advocates for their rights and provides culturally-centred support for this youth. Their work has bore profit, as Pūhoro students are now five times more likely to reach tertiary, at degree level. 

Pūhoro Charitable Trust was selected as the winner for their "innovative work in inspiring indigenous Māori communities to further develop STEM education opportunities as well as inspiring young Māori into STEM careers".

The judges felt that their innovative approach embed the learning in the whole family unit, and not just with young people themselves, enabling the Trust to achieve fantastic quantifiable results in an area of EDI that traditionally has not been the subject of focus.

Silver award: National Grid.

Bronze award: INTI International University. 

Best Innovation in Cyber Security and Information Assurance

Winner: BT

For this category, the judges decided to only award one winner: BT, for its work "Developing cutting-edge capabilities with Inflame: epidemiological malware simulation and automated response using deep reinforcement learning." 

In the modern world, ransomware is a critical threat facing businesses and national infrastructure. Pedro Marques, Jonathan Roscoe, Dylan Jones and Luke Booth presented Inflame, a malware simulation and response tool that utilises epidemiological modelling and deep reinforcement learning to forecasts threats and help determine necessary defensive actions. 

Inflame's automated responses to cybersecurity threats are able to cut response times to a matter of seconds, easing the pressure on analysts and allowing experts to explore the potential effects of new threats, saving large amounts of money and preventing terrible damage. The tool has been deployed by Eagle-i, BT's new security platform. 

The judges considered that Inflame’s application of epidemiological modelling to enhance response shows "great potential to minimise the spread of internal infections and aid rapid containment", of this fundamental threat.

Most Innovative Solution in Digital Health and Social Care

Winner: COVVI

This year’s Digital Health and Social Care award featured a very intense competition from many and very different innovations.

COVVI was finally selected as the winner of the award, as its innovation combines established, improved designs with clever engineering solutions, new technology and a participative process of development with contributions from technological experts, clinicians and patients.

The Nexus hand by COVVI is considered the most advanced bionic hand on the global market, combining modular designs with advanced functionality, technology and remote programming. Its huge level of customizability has led some of the users of the hand to feel like "badass superhero", having a great positive impact on their lives. 

The project was celebrated at the ceremony, for bringing together "the necessary elements that improve the quality of life for many people, throughout their lifetime".

Silver award: Ars Electronica Futurelab, Johannes Kepler University Linz and Siemens Healthineers.

Bronze award: HearX Group. 

Best Application of SmartTech for a Smarter World

Winner: Tsinghua University

The construction of intelligent power grids is set to revolutionise the operation and management of power systems. The team led by Professor Jinliang He, from Tsinghua University, has successfully developed key technologies of broadband electromagnetic sensors and panoramic information perceptions in order to take the power grid into the digital world. 

The awards wanted to celebrate how this "remarkable wealth of technicality signals a step-change for intelligent and scalable power grids", as demonstrated by high volume of patents over 10 years of work. 

The impact of this technology has demonstrated its novel nature and has allowed it to succeed in areas where previous technologies have failed.

Silver award: Radio Data Networks Limited. 

Bronze award: Jacobs.

Most Innovative Solution for Communications and IT

Winner: China Electric Power Research Institute 

The winner of this award is a technology that has already been adopted in 223 electricity sites in China and is currently being piloted in Turkey, Sweden and Bangladesh: high-speed power line carrier communication (HPLC) technology system. 

HPLC has higher frequency band utilisation, anti-inter-symbol interference ability and anti-channel fading ability, which enables it to increase the communication frequency of user power information from 1 to 96 times a day. 

The innovation enables existing electrical infrastructure to be utilised for reliable communication purposes. In doing so, it solves the issues of noise, interference and fading encountered with using high-power electrical cables for high-speed data communications.

The project has a wide range of applications, covering 50 per cent of China's electricity users, as well as rich intellectual property achievements, including two international standards and two international patents. To date, the sales of HPLC products exceed 11.3 billion yuan. 

Silver award: Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Bronze award: National Cheng Kung University.

Most Innovative Project for the Future of Manufacturing

Winner: Russell Finex

The growth of the additive manufacturing industry has come alongside a series of challenges related to the speed of powder recovery, loss of good products and safety of operations. The winner of the Future of Manufacturing award have develop the Russell AMPro Sieve Station, to provide an efficient solution to these problems. 

The Russell AMPro Sieve Station is an advanced powder handling system, used to condition the powder used by 3D printers, and ensure that the process is controllable and repeatable, with minimal input required from the operator. This is achieved through the design of an all-in-one system that brings together many innovative functions into one simple operation. 

Described as "a complete powder handling solution for the additive manufacturing technology", the project has been praised for the "uniqueness of its sieve and ultrasonic mesh deblinding systems".

Silver award: MK Test Systems

Bronze award: Nuclear AMRC, IVY TECH LTD, Laser Additive Solutions, Taraz-Metrology and Brunel University London. 

Best Emerging Technology of the Year

Winner: Ars Electronica Futurelab, Johannes Kepler University Linz and Siemens Healthineers

What if we could study human anatomy virtually? 

The winners of the Best Emerging Technology of the Year award have proposed exactly that. Combining CT and MRI scans with 3D visualisation, the collaborative project has opened the door to a completely new way of looking at the human body and assessing a person's health. 

The virtual reality (VR) cinema they designed serves at once as a lecture hall, stage and laboratory, allowing medical students to immerse themselves in photo-realistic images of the innermost parts of the human body, being able to freely explore without impact to a person's health. The project was so successful that it was used by students at Johannes Kepler University's Linz campus. 

The award was granted to this collaborative project for the positive impact it will have on the quality of life of patients as physicians become able to remotely diagnose and determine surgical strategies. This integrated systems approach was expected to "significantly enhance the knowledge and capability of students and practitioners".

Silver award: BT. 

Bronze award: CCI.

Best Innovation in Intelligent Systems, sponsored by MathWorks

Winner: BT

The team formed by Pedro Marques, Jonathan Roscoe, Dylan Jones and Luke Booth took home a second award for Inflame, this time for the innovative nature of its intelligent system. 

The judges considered that the application of epidemiological threat modelling and reinforcement learning to the fight against malware is "a significant innovation in an area where continual improvement is desperately needed to keep up with ever-evolving threats and to react faster to time-critical incidents".

Silver award: SP Energy Networks.

Bronze award: Tsinghua University. 

E&T Innovation Awards 2022 reception

E&T Innovation Awards 2022 reception/The IET

Image credit: The IET

Most Innovative Solution in Future Mobility

Winner: KAN Engineering, Ford Motor Company, IDIADA, Smart Mobility Living Lab: London, HORIBA MIRA, UTAC-Millbrook, University of Leeds and Zenzic

Currently, 86 per cent of all road collisions in the UK have a contributing factor of human error. In this context, autonomous vehicles promise a more sustainable, efficient, safer and socially accessible transportation system.

To achieve this, the collaborative project provided the CAM Testbed, a data-centric, distributed, system-of-systems, architecture that can maximise testing comprehensiveness in a "closed-loop" fashion. This approach shortens development cycles, bringing forward the reality of safer roads. 

CAM Testbed was celebrated for its demonstration of "an innovative approach to this challenge through a collaboration involving government, academia and the automotive sector".

Silver award: Knight Architects.

Bronze award: Original ADS in partnership with RAC

Best Application of Tech for Good

Winner: Kuronga Limited

Kuronga uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help small-scale farmers in Africa grade their crops at the farm gate, allowing them to target the different quality grades to the right buyer. 

In doing this, the Kuronga app is disrupting conventional markets in Africa that have historically favoured large-scale commercial farmers. Instead, it gives each farmer the tools they need to achieve economic success in the palm of their hands. The app also helps aggregate small-farmer production capacity to deliver consistent supply to markets, at the same time as standardising crop quality. 

As a result, farmers get fair prices for their products, buyers receive better quality crops and food waste overall is reduced. 

The judging panel considered the Kuronga App to be the best example of Tech for Good, by "deploying advanced AI and image recognition via a smartphone to enable produce grading and product matching rapidly to benefit both the farmer’s and the buyer’s needs, levelling the playing field between small-scale farmers and those with access to large commercial packhouse facilities".

Silver award: Karya Inc. 

Bronze award: Eedi.

Most Innovative Company of the Year

Winner: Space Forge

The winner of this award aims to be the world's first carbon-negative space company. 

The company has designed the ForgeStar Orbital Vehicle (FSOV), a fully reusable satellite specifically designed to meet the needs of in-orbit manufacturing missions and manufacture materials that cannot be created on Earth. 

The satellite is able to return from space using non-ablative technology, significantly reducing landing impact and making the vehicle reusable for future launches. This feature could enable satellites to be repaired on Earth and re-launched for the first time in history. 

The judges believed it was clear Space Forge has "not only the technology but also the culture and aspirations to change the world with their out-of-this-world manufacturing technology – which has the potential to transform many industries, to become cleaner and greener".

Silver award: Jacobs.

Bronze award: Luminance.

People’s Choice – Young Pioneer of the Year

Winner: Rayna Borah's Breathing Cart

The E&T Young Pioneer Award shines a light on innovation and creativity and uncovers amazing tech ideas that are born out of issues that young people care about. Unlike the other categories in the E&T Innovation Awards, the winner of the Young Pioneer Award is chosen by a public vote, which closed during the ceremony. 

There are an estimated 10 million street vendors in India, and over a billion all around the world, most of which seel their produce in unsanitised areas that can lead to diseases.    

Rayna's vegetable car for street cart vendors increases the self-life and freshness of the products and also leverages hydroponics to enable vendors to grow them in their homes. In addition to improving the hygiene and lifestyle of the vendors, the cart also provides job opportunities for their spouses. 

Chief Engineer of the Year

Winner: Mallik Tatipamula, Chief Engineer and Technologist, Ericsson

A new accolade for 2022, Chief Engineer of the Year was awarded to Mallik Tatipamula for his incredible commitment to international collaboration and dedication to innovation through substantial contributions towards the advancement of 5G technology.  

Mallik has made substantial contributions to engineering by advancing 5G networks for industry 4.0 applications, promoting innovations in 5G and beyond through industry-academia collaborations, providing international leadership on the emerging 6G division and always taking diversity and inclusion into consideration in his initiatives. 

The judges considered that Mallik has led engineering innovation at an international level and inspires the next generation of engineers.

On winning, Mallik said: I am incredibly grateful to receive this award. It is such an honour to have my work recognised by the IET and by leaders from across the industry. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in helping me develop my career so far and to the selection committee of E&T awards!

Silver award: Alice Delahunty, President, National Grid Electricity Transmission.

Bronze award: Al Locke, Engineering Director at Team BRIT.

Advisory Board Choice: Difference Maker of the Year

Winner: Navjot Sawhney, Founder of The Washing Machine Project

The last award of the evening was for the difference maker of the year, which is chosen by the E&T innovation awards advisory board.

Currently, 70 per cent of the world’s population doesn’t have access to electric washing machines. For them, hand-washing clothes is a time-consuming and painful process that can take individuals more than 12 hours a week to do so, and often leads to chronic back and joint pain. It is also an unpaid task that usually falls onto women and young girls. 

The Washing Machine Project aims to support them. 

Powered by a crank handle, Sawhney's washing machine does not have to rely on an electricity supply and only uses around 10 litres of water, as opposed to the 30 litres used on average by electric washing machines. This is fundamental in hot, dry countries such as India, where both electricity and water are in short supply. 

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