Press release

International recognition for outstanding engineers

31 October 2011

Outstanding engineers are to be honoured in recognition of their contributions with prestigious medals from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The recipients of the IET’s 2011 Achievement Medals include pioneering computer scientists, the Chief of Red Bull Racing, Jaguar Land Rover’s CEO, and the Chairman of the Olympics Delivery Authority.

The Faraday Medal is to be presented to Donald E Knuth, Professor Emeritus of The Computer Science Department, Stanford University, for his pioneering contribution to computer science.

The Mountbatten Medal is to be presented to Professor Peter William McOwan, Professor of Computer Science in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science of Queen Mary University of London for his excellence in communicating computer science to diverse audiences. The medal will be presented at the 2011 Mountbatten Memorial Lecture on 10 November 2011.

The Ambrose Fleming Medal for Information and Communications is to be presented to Professor Christos Christopoulos, Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Nottingham, for his significant contributions to the scientific understanding of wave phenomena.

The JJ Thomson Medal for Electronics is to be presented to Professor Christofer Toumazou of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College.  It is awarded in recognition of his innovative applications of silicon technology and integrated circuit design and successful applications of semiconductor technology to biomedicine and the life-sciences, most recently to DNA analysis, leading to striking innovations in the fields of genetics and molecular biology.

The Sir Eric Mensforth International Manufacturing Gold Medal is to be presented to Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, for his success in turning the company round within a few years. Dr Speth will give the IET's 2012 Viscount Nuffield/Mensforth lecture, at which the medal will be presented.

The Coales Medal for Transport is to be presented to Adrian Newey of Red Bull Racing, who is the only person in history to have designed F1 World Championships winning cars for three different racing teams; McLaren, Williams and Red Bull.

The Sarah Guppy Medal for the Built Environment is to be presented to John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the public body responsible for developing and building the new venues and infrastructure for the Games and their use post-2012. In this role he has demonstrated leadership of the highest order, controlling and reducing costs, applying best environmental practice and working effectively with governments at the highest level.

The Sir Monty Finniston Award for Engineering and Technology is to be presented to Professor Theodore Rappaport, Chair in Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas, USA, for his outstanding academic and industrial contributions over almost three decades in the field of wireless communication.

The Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award for Young Professionals is to be presented to Matthew Wilson, CEO of Crosby Communications plc, Liverpool. Mr Wilson founded Crosby Communications at the age of 19 and is regarded as a highly motivated, young entrepreneur and renowned expert in the industry amongst his peers. Through his work with the IET, he has been able to pass on his knowledge via seminars and visits to help inspire students and promote science and engineering to the general public.

The Sir Henry Royce Medal for Young Professionals is to be presented to Sally Nicholson, Power Systems Engineer, National Grid, Warwick. Sally has led a number of investment teams and has fulfilled the role as a power system design engineer for projects in North Wales. Over the last 12 months, Sally’s contribution to National Grid’s challenge to ‘rewire the nation’ has been significant.

Linda Deleay, IET Awards and Prizes Manager, said: “These medals are awarded to individuals who have made major and distinguished contributions in the world of engineering and technology.

“Recipients have demonstrated outstanding and sustained excellence and should feel rightly proud of this success.”

Most recipients will receive their medals at the IET’s Ambition and Achievement Awards Ceremony in central London on Wednesday 9 November 2011.

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912

Notes to editors:

  • Expert spokespeople are available for interview and comment.
  • The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.
  • For more information, visit

About IET Awards & Scholarships

Part of the IET’s remit is promoting, recognising and rewarding excellence and it does this through four awards programmes: Ambition Awards, Achievement Awards, Innovation Awards and Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards.

The IET Ambition Awards programme includes a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, competitions and travel awards encouraging young people to enter the engineering and technology profession.

The IET Achievement Awards recognise the exceptional achievements of individuals working in the engineering and technology profession.

The IET Innovation Awards celebrate the products, technologies and processes that lead the way in engineering innovation.

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards recognise and promote women in engineering and technology and encourage more women to join the profession.