Trevor Baylis, OBE. Inventor of the wind-up radio.
Chairman: John Weston, CBE.
An engineer has the capacity to shape and redesign the world. The Debrett’s list focuses on those engineers whose contributions to the industry are currently considered to have made the most significant transformations. The Debrett’s list have engineered ways to broadcast life-saving information, conducted vital research into sustainable energy systems or crafted pioneering space technology. With a number of challenges currently facing the Engineering sector, these revelations are even more momentous. A heavily male dominated trade, only 6% of the Engineering workforce in the UK is female. The Debrett’s list hopes to target all areas of the engineering industry.
Currently chairman of a number of small companies in the high technology field, John Weston has spent 40 years in high technology and manufacturing industry. His current companies ; MB Aerospace, an aero engine component business, Torotrack, a manufacturer of continuously variable automotive transmissions, Fibercore, a manufacturer of specialist fiber optic cables, and Accesso, a systems company in innovative queuing devices and ticketing. He has also chaired companies in software, design engineering and on line learning. He was also CEO of BAE Systems, where he spent 32 years.
Gordon McConnell. A350 chief engineer.
Gordon McConnell, the A350 chief engineer, began his career in 1975 when he joined Scottish Aviation Ltd. Following the creation of British Aerospace, he progressed through various roles in the Engineering Department to become chief engineer responsible for the Jetstream 41 development programme in 1988. After a number of influential positions at British Aerospace, in 1997 McConnell joined Airbus Industrie in Toulouse as chief engineer of the Twin Aisle Aircraft. In 2007 he headed the engineering of the new Airbus A350XWB long range aircraft family. Gordon McConnell has made countless noteworthy and influential contributions to the world of aeronautical engineering.
Colin Smith, CBE. Engineering and technology director Rolls Royce.
Rolls Royce Group engineering and technology director Colin Smith joined the company as an apprentice. After graduating, Smith worked in various roles including chief engineer on helicopters. In 2005, he was appointed director – engineering and technology and joined the main board. In 2002 he became a Royal Academy Silver Medal winner and in 2012 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Paul Mascarenas. Chief technology officer Ford.
Paul Mascarenas is the chief technology officer at Ford. He is responsible for leading Ford’s worldwide research organisation based in Dearborn, Michigan, and Aachen, Germany, overseeing the planning, development and implementation of the company’s top global technology objectives. Mascarenas has played an important role in the design, development and launch of key North American products, including the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKT, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, as well as the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans. Mascarenas has huge influence over the direction in which road car development is heading.
Neville Jackson. Chief technology officer Ricardo.
Neville Jackson in the chief technology officer at Ricardo, where he is responsible for expanding the global concept of automotive and energy technology at the leading consultancy firm. In the industry, Jackson is recognised as being a profound visionary for engineering, covering a large range of markets and contributing to various groups such as the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Industry. Through his contributions to a range of trade bodies and to government, he is very influential in setting the technology agenda in the UK. As an experienced engineer, Jackson is well trusted in the engineering arena.
Ron Lee. Group chief engineer Powertrain Jaguar.
Ron Lee is group chief engineer Powertrain at Jaguar Cars. In this role, his oversees around 1000 engineers and is responsible for all Jaguar Land Rover engines and transmission, including the new engine to be built at the new Wolverhampton plant. Lee has been influential in the engineering of the revolutionary diesel-powered Jaguar XF with CO2 emissions of just 100g/km, which should be in production by 2020.
Ian Callum. Design director Jaguar.
Ian Callum always loved cars. From a young age, he would write to car dealers, asking for brochures of their latest models. On one occasion his father, a man of modest means, received a call from Rolls-Royce inviting him to test drive one of their cars. Thanks to Callum’s letter, the salesman had the wrong impression that his father might be in the market to purchase one. At the age of 14, Callum submitted his own car designs to Jaguar in the hope of securing a job with the company. The response from the vice-chairman of Jaguar was encouraging and detailed how to pursue his passion. He is now the design director at Jaguar, and is responsible for the design of all new Jaguar cars.
Gerry McGovern. Design director Land Rover.
Gerry McGovern is the design director at Land Rover. He is responsible for the design of all new Land Rovers, and the Range Rover Evoque in particular, allowing him to lay claim to some of the world’s most distinctive vehicles. Beginning his career with Chrysler, he then worked for Peugeot and Ford before assuming his current board position with Land Rover. McGovern won the British Luxury Design Talent Award at the Walpole Awards for Excellence in 2012. The award honours individuals and companies who exemplify British excellence by their work in the luxury sector in the UK and internationally.
Terry Hill, CBE. Chair Board of Trustees Arup.
Terry Hill is the chair of the Board of Trustees at the consultancy firm Arup and the engineer behind the UK’s first high-speed railway, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1). The impact and influence of HS1 cannot be overestimated and in fact played a crucial role in the success of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games as it connected the UK to the rest of Europe, and Stratford to the rest of London allowing the Olympic site to be reached in seven minutes. Hill has engineered major economic infrastructure throughout the world.
Sir James Dyson, CBE. Founder of Dyson and designer of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner.
Sir James Dyson is the founder of Dyson and the designer of the ground-breaking Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner. Success was not straightforward however; living off the bank, in increasing amounts of debt, Dyson went through 5,700 failed prototypes before perfecting the design. He was then unable to sell the product to a UK distributor so he manufactured and distributed the product himself. When asked about his career, Dyson notes that “as soon as you become frustrated with something that doesn’t work as it should, investigate the problem and solve it.” Now accounting for a substantial share of the market, Dyson has also invented hand dryers, heaters and wheelbarrows. He has founded The James Dyson foundation which is designed to encourage and inspire budding engineers.
Trevor Baylis, OBE. Inventor of the wind-up radio.
Serial inventor Trevor Baylis is the brains behind the wind-up radio, which he created in the early nineties in a response to the need to educate the African population about AIDS through a means of communication not reliant on electricity. The product’s potential was recognised instantly and Baylis facilitated the broadcast of life-saving information to isolated parts of the world. Baylis has established the Trevor Baylis Foundation which is designed to encourage, support and promote the work of engineers and inventors and to educate them on the importance of protecting their ideas.
Sir Richard Olver. Chairman of BAE Systems.
Sir Richard Olver was appointed chairman of BAE Systems in 2004. Since then, he has turned the company around in times of turmoil. When asked about his career, Olver stated “The fun of design, the challenge of analysis, and the ability to solve the world’s big problems. That’s what engineers do! What better way to employ your life?” In 2013, he was knighted for his services to the engineering industry. As chairman of the Education for Engineering Policy Group, which influences government policy, particularly on the issue of education for engineering, Olver is a well-respected authority. In addition, he is a member of David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group and also serves as a UK Business Ambassador and as a member of the India/UK CEO Forum.
Adrian Newey, OBE. Lead car design engineer for Red Bull F1 team.
Having established that sound engineering wasn’t his forte when he was expelled from school for blowing out a stained glass window after a sound check, Adrian Newey found his calling as a car design engineer, helping his father build the Elans from kits. He says, “I was determined to study engineering with an aspiration to find work in the drawing office of a motor racing team”. Now Formula One’s principal designer, he is the lead car design engineer for the Red Bull F1 team with his last four cars winning the world championship. He is undoubtedly the ultimate technical mind and the most successful designer of this racing generation, and in 2012 was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours for services to motorsport.
Eben Upton. Technical director Broadcom.
The technical director of Broadcom, Eben Upton, is credited with the design of Raspberry Pi, a small computer aimed at promoting the teaching of computer science. Upton’s introduction to engineering stemmed from tinkering with the inexpensive and expandable computers that inhabited schools in the 1980s. Today, computers are easier to play on but harder to play with so Upton wanted a computer that would introduce today’s generation to software programming and hardware engineering. His small design is simple to manipulate and a tenth of the price of competitors, so is an affordable option for children and adults in poorer countries. Upton was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal and the MIT Technology Review TR35 world's top 35 innovators under the age of 35.
Prof Dame Ann Dowling, DBE. Head Department of Engineering University of Cambridge.
One of the main reasons Dame Ann Dowling was inspired to pursue a career in engineering was the difference she believed it could make to the world. As a mechanical engineer, her research interests are primarily focused on combustion, acoustics and vibration, and from an early age she has paid particular attention to reducing vehicle and aircraft noise. Today, she is the head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, one of the most esteemed engineering departments in the UK. In 2002, she was appointed CBE and she was made a dame for services to science in 2007.
Prof Dame Julia King, DBE. Vice-chancellor Aston University.
Dame Julia King joined Rolls-Royce plc in 1994 having spent 16 years as an academic researcher and lecturer at Cambridge and Nottingham universities. She cites her mother as her inspiration as she “believed women could do anything”. Dame Julia has held a number of senior executive positions at Rolls Royce including director of advanced engineering. She became chief executive of the Institute of Physics in 2002 before returning to academia in 2004 as the principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College London and vice-chancellor of Aston University in 2006. King is a reputable engineering authority and is frequently called upon by the Government for advice. She is the UK Government's low carbon business ambassador.
Prof John Loughhead, OBE. Executive director UKERC.
Professor John Loughhead is the executive director of UKERC, the UK Energy Research Centre, which researches sustainable energy systems. His career to date has been focused predominantly in industrial research and enlargement of the electronics, energy and electrical power industries including spacecraft thermal management, industrial gas turbines and new energy conversion systems. In 2013, Loughhead was appointed as the chair of an independent science board overseeing a trans-European fracking research project. For a number of years, he has been involved with various other public sector technology programmes both on a national and European level, making him a key player in the future agenda of energy and engineering.
Prof Sir Martin Sweeting. Executive chairman Surrey Satellite Technology.
Inspired by the 1969 lunar landing and the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, whilst studying for his PhD in electrical engineering, Martin Sweeting decided to design a satellite. This was a remarkable feat, partly because he knew nothing about building satellites and partly because the satellite weighed a mere 72kg at a time where others were the size of buses. Today, he is renowned in the industry for his pioneering concept of low-cost, rapid response, small satellites. He is currently the executive chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology, which has designed, constructed, launched and operates 27 nano, mini and micro satellites in orbit.
Patrick Kniveton. President Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Patrick Kniveton, was destined for a career in engineering from an early age, designing his own amplifiers and putting on light shows for school plays and discos in his teens. He was always questioning things, displaying an interest not just in how things worked but also in how they could be improved. Now head of engineering and improvement at Rolls Royce Marine Power, Kniveton became the 128th president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2013, which he cites as one of his greatest achievements. However, he has many to choose from: he is credited with leading the installation of the Isaac Newton telescope, and with pioneering traffic signal technology which is still in use today.
Dr Richard Parry-Jones, CBE. Former group vice-president global product development, chief technical officer and head of global R&D operations Ford Motor Company.
Richard Parry-Jones was the group vice-president global product development, chief technical officer and head of global R&D operations at Ford Motor Company. During his 38 year career there, Parry-Jones was responsible for designing over 70 cars, including one of the world’s top-rated cars, the Ford Modeo. Inspired by his mother’s love of cars, Parry-Jones was twelve when he first wrote to Ford about job opportunities and 17 when he joined the company on an apprenticeship. He has advised the Welsh Government on economic development, transport, energy and IT infrastructure and also worked with central government, including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where he chaired the new Automotive Innovation and Growth Team and then the Automotive Council UK.
Jane Wernick. Structural engineer.
Jane Wernick was the structural engineer behind the Millenium Wheel’s design. She specialises in the design of unusual and challenging structures, working closely with leading architects. Architects need good design-conscious engineers, and Wernick – who was associate director at the mighty Arup consultancy before setting up her own firm in 1998 – works with the best of them. In an industry dominated by men, Wernick has made her name in the profession. It was her mother who set her on the path to an engineering career; Wernick says "my mother found a list that the Institution of Civil Engineers had produced which had stars by firms that would employ pre-university students, and crosses by firms that would employ women. She helped me apply to Ove Arup & Partners before I went to university. That was my first lucky break!" She has gone on to win numerous awards, including the First Woman of the Built Environment last year. On what has inspired her, she says "it's almost impossible, when you look around you, to see anything that has not in some way been fashioned by an engineer."
Also nominated for the Architecture sector.