England's modern engineering wonders revealed
Young engineers from across the country have revealed the nation’s eight contemporary engineering wonders.
The list, launched to mark Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (#TEWeek13), showcases how engineers use their skills to make a world of difference: from the technology behind 3D films to providing safer drinking water.
The Tomorrow’s Engineers Eight Engineering Wonders were nominated by over 50 engineers from organisations including: Airbus, Aircelle, Alstom, Astrium, AT Power, BAE Systems, Bentley Motors, Bouygues, Crossrail, DP World, EDL, GlaxoSmithKline, Harlequin Group, Laing O’Rourke, MBDA Missile Systems, Ravensbourne and the University of Birmingham.
Announcing the new engineering wonders, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The eight engineering wonders go to show not only how exciting and innovative the nation is, but also the everyday impact engineers have on the world.
“It is becoming the new norm for young people to choose either university or an Apprenticeship and we are taking major action both in government and across industry. One of our main aims is to attract more young people, especially girls, into engineering professions and to show parents and teachers that engineering is an aspirational career choice.”
Technology: Player Analysis Technology
The engineering wonder of the sports world, Player Analysis Technology is revolutionising improvements in sports stars’ training and performance. The data driven technology, led by British firms like OPTA, is also changing the way the country watches and enjoys its favourite sports.
Healthcare: The Lifesaver water bottle
Manufactured in Colchester and invented by British engineer Michael Pritchard in response to natural disasters, the Lifesaver water bottle looks like an ordinary sports bottle. But inside the bottle contains an advanced filtration system that makes bacteria and virus-ridden water safe to drink in seconds.
Energy: Wind Power
Young engineers clearly see a huge future in the potential of wind power and wind turbines to contribute to the country’s green footprint – and the economy.
Entertainment: 3D films
First pioneered by British inventor William Friese-Greene in the 1890s, the mainstream resurgence and rebirth of 3D films, led by visual effects firms like London’s The Foundry, has revolutionised the cinema industry in recent years.
Design: The Eden Project
The Eden Project in Cornwall is a leading tourist attraction that uses world-class architecture to inspire people to engage with nature and encourage them to live more sustainably.
From the Shard to the Olympic Park and plans for the giant Gateway Port, engineers continuously rank London as the home of modern construction excellence – as well as contributing billions of pounds to the UK economy as a whole.
Automotive: Electric Cars
From developments in fuel cell technology and the installation of electric car charging points in cities and towns across the country, electric and hybrid cars are fast becoming the future of the automotive industry, such as the Tesla which is part made by Lotus in Norfolk.
Aerospace: The Airbus A380
The giant double-deck A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft, with capacity to carry up to 825 people on journeys of up to 15,700 km. The award-winning plane supports 100,000 British engineering jobs in Filton, Broughton and Mostyn.
According to EngineeringUK, 85% of engineering graduates go on to employment or further study within 6 months of graduating and graduate engineers had the joint third highest median salary in 2010. Through Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, government and industry aim to address the fact that far too few school children, particularly girls, are choosing the GCSEs, A Levels, Apprenticeships, degrees or other vocational pathways that will lead to engineering careers.
Peter Stewart, Eden’s Interim Joint Executive Director, said: “We feel very proud to be included in such a prestigious list and pleased that Eden’s architecture and its ability to create awe and wonderment has been recognised in this way.”
Ashton Hunt, MD, LIFESAVER® systems ltd, said: “We are thrilled for LIFESAVER® to be announced as one of England’s Modern Engineering Wonders for 2013. The LIFESAVER® bottle was invented in 2007 and is proving to be a global solution for those needing clean, sterile water. The same technology has been used within all of our LIFESAVER® products including the bottle, jerrycan, cube and C2. The LIFESAVER® cube was invented in conjunction with Oxfam to address the need for immediate disaster response whilst the LIFESAVER® C2, a long term community solution, has lifted over 1 million people out of water poverty in Malaysia, in the last 10 months alone.
“LIFESAVER® is very proud of this announcement and we see it is as an endorsement of our mission to end global water poverty by 2030 and would like to thank those who nominated the LIFESAVER® bottle and one of England’s Modern Engineering Wonders for 2013.”
Aidan Cooney, CEO of Opta, said: “We’re delighted that Opta has been recognised as a modern day engineering wonder by a panel of young engineers. Since 1996, Opta has been collecting, packaging, analysing and distributing detailed sports statistics, and we now, as part of the PERFORM group of companies, have the most comprehensive archive of sports data on the planet.
“Building such a vast database, and the infrastructure required to access, process and export this information in multiple formats requires a great deal of expertise and hard work from our technical staff, and it is gratifying that this work is recognised.
“OptaPro’s data-led player analysis technology is now used by a large number of top level clubs across the globe to carry out detailed squad analysis, scout opposition teams and recruit new players. Using data to assist them with this means that clubs are now able to objectively compare players from different leagues, and effectively support more traditional scouting methods.
“This is an exciting field that is progressing rapidly, and looks set to change dramatically over the next few years as new data collection technologies and analytical processes are engineered and developed. We at Opta are excited about what the future will hold.”
John Roberts, the UK’s Chief Engineer for the Airbus A380 – the world’s largest civil passenger airliner whose wings are designed and built in the UK, said: “It’s a fantastically exciting time to be involved in aerospace engineering, designing and building the state-of-the-art aircraft for an expanding global aviation market and helping people and businesses around the world to be better connected.
“In the UK we have the second largest aerospace sector in the world worth billions of pounds and employing tens of thousands of highly skilled people with Airbus in the UK being a recognised engineering centre of excellence which plays a lead role in designing and testing the wings, fuels systems and landing gears that go into not just today’s but tomorrow’s aircraft.
“Aviation is a very long terms business, the success we enjoy today comes as a result of investment decisions taken decades ago and it can take many years to ‘grow’ a highly skilled aerospace engineer.
“Ensuring future success means being at the cutting edge of engineering and design and we invest huge amounts in research and development but equally important is the investment we make to attract and train the young people who will be the aerospace engineers of the future. They are our life blood and absolutely key to our future success which is why we reach out to schools, colleges and universities to talk to young people and attract the brightest and best, offering them opportunities to be part of an exciting and dynamic global success story.”
To view a gallery of the engineering wonders, visit www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk.