The 2011 IET Ambition and Achievement Awards

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Europe’s largest membership organisation for engineers and technicians and the largest engineering institution in the UK, recently held its annual Ambition and Achievement Awards ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in London. The ceremony was hosted by Liz Bonnin, television presenter on BBC's ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ programme. Amongst the 30 prize winners were three individuals from the Department of Engineering Science: Dr David Clifton, who received the IET’s early-career prize for biomedical engineering; Sandira Gayadeen, who was awarded a Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher; Philip Sibson, who received an Undergraduate Scholarship.

IET Awards - Presenter
The 2011 IET Awards Ceremony was hosted by Liz Bonnin, television presenter on BBC's 'Bang Goes the Theory' programme.
Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of the IET, said: “This year we are celebrating the 140th anniversary of the Institution’s foundation. This awards ceremony continues in the spirit of the original founders…. The Ambition Awards celebrate the achievements of talented young engineering or technology professionals and students who have shown themselves to be the best of the best. The Achievement Awards recognise and celebrate individuals who have contributed hugely to their field of work and made a material improvement in their workplace”.

Dr David Clifton (Jesus College) was awarded the J. A. Lodge prize, which is given each year in memory of James Alec Lodge, in recognition of the outstanding work and contribution of an early-career biomedical engineer. In addition to a certificate and annual membership of the IET, David was awarded a prize of £5,000.

IET Awards - David CliftonDavid said: “The problems of healthcare in both the developed and the developing world are well-documented, and modern engineering has an important role to play in finding the solution to these problems. Our group's research uses machine learning to monitor patients from their time in an ambulance, throughout their stay in hospital, and, ultimately, through to monitoring the patient in their own home. We provide "intelligent" systems that improve patient outcomes by giving early warning of deterioration in a patient's condition. Our home-monitoring and m-health applications help patients to manage their own long-term conditions. The Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering is a world-leader in this field, which brings together teams of clinicians, nurses, and biomedical engineers to develop such systems, and get them out into practice in the NHS”.

Asked how he would spend his prize money David said: “Part of the IET's generous prize will be spent on research books for my students in our lab, and in discussing our work at biomedical and clinical conferences“.

IET Awards - Sandira GayadeenSandira Gayadeen (St Hugh’s College) was awarded an IET Postgraduate Scholarship of £10,000. Sandira is an international student who recently started her DPhil in Engineering Science at the Department within the Controls Group.  Her thesis is titled: "Design of a Beam Stabilisation Control System for the Diamond Light Source". This is a joint research project between the Department and Diamond Light Source and is largely funded by Diamond Light Source.  As an international student, the IET scholarship will fund the next stage of Sandira’s research and support networking with other researchers.

Sandira said: “Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of photons (light) from infra-red to X-rays for academic and industry research.  The experiments that take place at Diamond span a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, and, earth and environmental sciences. My research is to develop an optimal and robust beam stabilisation system for the synchrotron electron beam to improve beam stability.  The stability of the photon beam is essential to maintain the quality of research carried out at Diamond”.

IET Awards - Philip SibsonPhilip Sibson (Exeter College) is a 4th Year MEng Engineering Science student at the Department and has been awarded a Belling Scholarship worth £3,000 by the IET. The Belling Engineering grants are made in memory of the late Charles Reginald Belling, who was born at Bodmin, Cornwall in 1884. In 1912 he started his own business in Enfield, manufacturing electric heaters, electric water heaters, electric cookers and immersion heaters.

Philip said: “The IET Undergraduate Scholarship was awarded based on a number of criteria such as academic performance from secondary school and through university. It gave the chance to demonstrate a commitment to engineering through work placements, which I have had with AstraZeneca, Impact Lab – Engineering Department and Rolls Royce, and other experiences. For example, I became a Year in Industry ambassador, speaking to sixth form students about the benefits of engineering and pre-university work experience”.

Philip added: “The scholarship will allow me to buy hardware for an automated control of a model helicopter and greatly help with my living expenses”.

For more information about IET Awards please visit: http://www.theiet.org/membership/member-news/28/innovation-awards.cfm