In consideration of engineers

Tuesday 24th July 2012
Above the first fully digital "The Engineer." Courtesy: Below, the founding members of The Royal Academy of Engineering Courtesy:

As the last print issue of The Engineer (launched in 1856) turns into the new classic digital Engineer, that comparative upstart (1976) The Royal Academy of Engineering announces its most recently elected 59 new Fellows that includes 52 of UK's most accomplished engineers from industry, business and academia; as well as 4 new International Fellows and 3 Honorary Fellows.

 It doesn't pay much heed to any other numbers, but wandering through the great and the good of the engineering world, but it becomes pleasantly apparent that 7 women are playing superb role models in both the academic and business engineering worlds, having made it into the ranks of the 52 recently appointed fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, two of them International Fellows. Women have come a long way since the early days of members.

Dr Allyson Lawless, FREng (right) (South Africa) is MD, SAICE Professional Development and Projects. Acivil engineer, researcher and businesswoman, she pioneered the development of affordable, desktop civil engineering software in South Africa.

Recently she has researched and published on the challenges associated with civil engineering skills in the country and led many capacity building initiatives to rebuild skills in the public sector, including innovative use of retired engineers to coach and mentor young graduates.

She has held senior office in local and international engineering institutions at a time when few women or people from small business served in such positions and has served on many ministerial advisory panels associated with skills development and service delivery.

Dr Shirley Ann Jackson FREng (USA) is President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York,USA, is a pioneer of new methods of risk assessment in nuclear engineering and its application to nuclear power.

A theoretical elementary particle physicist Dr Shirley Ann Jackson is the first woman and the first African American to serve as Chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is now a member of the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Described a “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” she has more than 35 years of research and leadership experience in industry, education and government.

Since 1999, she has transformed the oldest technological research university in the US - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute into the home to the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

Professor Jane Ann Plant CBE FREng is Anglo American Professor of Geochemistry, Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Imperial College London. A leading engineering geochemist she has done outstanding work to reduce risks from hazardous substances, both to human health and the environment.

The first female President of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, sje is an international expert on chemicals in the environment, especially naturally occurring radionuclides such as uranium and the trace elements arsenic and selenium. 

She developed the BGS Geochemical Baseline of the Environment (G-BASE) programme and her methods are also used by a similar programme run by the International Union of Geosciences. She has used the data for many environmental studies, as identifying the relationship between lack of available selenium in parts of China with incidence of a type of heart disease.

Professor Elaine Barbara Martin OBE FREng director, Biopharmaceutical BioprocessingTechnologyCentre and Professor of Industrial Statistics, Newcastle University is recognised as an outstanding contributor to the development and application of statistical techniques to improve the understanding and beneficial operation of industrial process plants.

She has had a varied career by starting life as a civil engineer before opting to specialise in statistics and environmental statistics and Martin is very much admired for her leadership of engineering research at both Newcastle University and the ESPRC.

Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang FREng director, ESPRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology, University of Huddersfield has an academic and industrial background in measurement science and engineering, begining her career as an apprentice in the Chinese automotive industry.

She is known for exceptional contributions to surfaces and precision metrology, with a creative combination of pioneering research in surface characterisation, filtration and optical instrumentation, and international standardisation.
She has established and leads a major ESPRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology.

Cynthia Carroll, FREng CEO, Anglo American is the first‘outsider’ to become CEO of Anglo AmericanPLC in its history of over 90 years and one of only three female Chief Executives of FTSE 100 companies. Her leadership skills are internationally recognised.

She has driven fundamental structural and strategic reform, extensive project development, embedded a world class performance culture and shown an unshakeable commitment to world-class safety, health and development standards. A geologist and businesswoman, she was named as Forbes magazine’s fourth most powerful woman in the world.

Professor Serena Michelle Best, FREng is Professor of Materials Science, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge and renowned for her research on bio-ceramics.

Her pioneering work on silicon substitution in hydroxyapatite is responsible for producing a new generation of synthetic bone grafts to benefit patients through enhanced skeletal repair, as well as providing opportunities for industrial innovation.

She received the Chapmen Medal for her work on bio-materials and the Kroll medal for her contributions to research on inorganic materials, from the institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.



Professor Robert Maxwell McMeeking, FREng Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Materials, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA and Sixth Century Professor of Engineering Materials, University of Aberdeen is renowned for research leadership in computational mechanics of materials for aerospace and ship structures.

He was a key pioneer in the fusion of materials and mechanics in both education and research at UCSB, California and has evolved ideas to create materials concepts for aero-turbines, anti-blast panels, fuel injectors, heart valves and breast implants.

He is a consultant for medical devices manufacturers and other companies on mechanical stress, fatigue life, fracture and ferroelectric devices.

Dr William (Win) Hugh Salvin Rampen FREng MD Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd is the co-inventor of the family of Digital Displacement® Hydraulic machines. These intelligent hydraulic pumps and motors span the power range from a few kW to multiple MW.

They retain the robustness and high-power density of conventional hydraulic machines, while they also provide much greater controllability and a jump in efficiency.

These characteristics improve hydraulic performance in well-known applications such as construction and agricultural equipment but also allow hydraulics to penetrate new market areas such as vehicle transmissions and renewable energy equipment - where they can replace gearboxes.

Rampen has also been instrumental in exploiting the commercial application of this technology as replacement gear boxes for cars, earth movers and wind turbines, where Artemis’ technology has the potential to enable lightweight, controllable and robust power transfer systems which could make turbines cheaper to build and maintain.

Tudor Brown led and grew the ARM engineering team from a start-up to become one of Britain and theworld’s most successful technology companies. He was a critical part of the team which envisioned that ARM’s chip designs could be used in a plethora of devices from mobile phones to cameras, so while each chip profit margin is small, partners would buy many chips.

Distinguished for his design of high speed and mixed-signal circuits, demonstrating excellent power-efficiency and low gate-count, he has made significant contributions to solutions in the fields of industrial control, video displays, pipelined memories and of course microprocessors.

Professor Paul William Jowitt CBE FREng Professor of Civil Engineering Systems, Heriot Watt University is renowned for his contributions to engineering practice, particularly in the water industry, and his foresight into how engineering should face the complex humanitarian challenges of today, such as poverty and climate change, is much appreciated.

He is lead investigator on the ISSUES Project to facilitate knowledge transfer for EPSRC’s Sustainable Urban Environments Programme and was chair of the ICE Task Group to embed sustainable development into civil engineering curricula and professional development. The award of the CBE for services to technology is due recognition of his outstanding contribution to engineering and society.

Professor David Lane, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Director, Ocean Systems Laboratory, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh; director SeeByte Ltd/Inc, Edinburgh and San Diego USA is internationally recognised as a solution leader in real-world sub-sea and offshore engineering problems, and is a distinguished academic innovator in advancing robotic technology.

His technical interests include autonomous systems, sensor processing and subsea robotics. He founded and led his international company, SeeByte’s organic evolution from start-up to a multi-million dollar organisation with an established presence in the US and international underwater defence and offshore markets.

Dr Ian Pratt, FREng, senior VP for products, Bromium Inc the security startup co-founded by executives from Citrix,, and Phoenix Technologies emerged from stealth recently with the goal of stopping malicious software attacks in their tracks at the endpoint, going on the assumption that you can't prevent users from mistakenly clicking a malicious link or opening an infected document.

Microvisor detects potentially vulnerable tasks and places them in hardware-isolated micro-VMs,and that the virus is inside the user endpoint, either via the browser or email inbox.

Visiting a Web page or opening an email attachment each action would be sealed in its own micro-VM, a self-contained module that self-destructs, along with malware when the user goes on to his or her next task. The idea is to make the move to BYOD, cloud, and mobility simpler for security.

Professor Nigel Seaton FREng CEng FIChemE Principal and Vice-Chancellor (Designate), Universityof Abertay Dundee is a renowned chemical engineer and an international leader in the simulation and design of adsorbents for gas separation and storage.

During a career in industry and at the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Surrey his research led to a new industrial technique for measuring the structure of porous materials, which is now a standard method used worldwide.

Professor Austin Tate FREng Personal Chair of Knowledge-based Systems and director, Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute, University of Edinburgh; Senior visiting Scientist, Florida Institute for Human Machine Cognition.

Tate is an expert in the development and practical application of artificial intelligence, especially knowledge-based planning methods, in areas ranging from emergency response and spacecraft construction to financial help desks. He led the team which designed, delivered and maintained the Fortran Interface to the commercial IDMS database system in the 1970s. He developed hierarchical AI approaches to planning which have been widely adopted.

His recent work on "I-X" is concerned with supporting collaboration between human and system agents to perform cooperative tasks in a "Helpful Environment". His internationally sponsored research focuses on advanced knowledge and planning technologies, and collaborative systems especially using virtual worlds. He leads the Virtual University of Edinburgh, Vue, a virtual educational and research institute, and he is also Coordinator for Distance Education in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

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