Winners of the IET Achievement Awards have been announced

  • 15 of the world’s top engineering and technology talent honoured with medals and trophies for services to the industry.
  • The top Faraday medal goes to Mr John EE Fleming for his significant role in the development of the world’s first obstetric ultrasound device.
  • Other prestigious medallists include: Professor Nick McKeown for his work in creating a scalable internet and Dr Subir Chowdhury for his pioneering work in improving process and product quality across the manufacturing industry.

The IET Achievement Awards exist to recognise individuals from all over the world who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of engineering, technology, and science in any sector.

This can be through research and development in their respective technical field or through their leadership of an enterprise.

Whilst working for Smiths Industries in Glasgow, Mr Fleming became the lead engineer in charge of developing the first ultrasound machine; the diasonograph.

This static B-Scan machine was the first scanner to go into commercial production. He also worked on the development of specialised test equipment for radar and later, computer logic development and data transmission systems. 

In 1988 Fleming was appointed Honorary Assistant Keeper of Ultrasonic Equipment to the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, where the original ultrasound scanner is kept. He has also co-authored a book on the history of ultrasound developments.

On winning his award, Mr Fleming, said: “I am honoured to receive the Faraday Medal from the IET in recognition of my life’s work and contribution to the development of medical ultrasound diagnosis.

I took over from the late Tom Brown who had built two prototypes in Glasgow. He left me to continue the development and to teach people how to use the scanners and interpret the resulting images.

To know that I have contributed to the development of these instruments that are now in worldwide use is very rewarding and to receive a Medal for my contribution was an enormous surprise.

I would like it to be seen as a recognition of the work of all the engineers and health professionals who continue to advance the development of medical diagnostic instruments."

Another top accolade this year goes to Professor Nick McKeown, the Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Sequoia Capital Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and the Faculty Director of the Open Networking Research Centre at Stanford University.

He received the Mountbatten Medal for his fundamental work in creating a scalable internet through his design of scalable routers – critical for the Internet of Things where systems need to increase capacity.

He has actively led the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) movement that is transforming the internet; enabling innovation and significantly reducing Capex and Opex to own and operate networks.

Professor McKeown said: “I am thrilled to receive the Mountbatten Medal from the IET! I wake up every morning and ask myself how we can improve the Internet today, and I've spent my career trying to do just that.

It's a great honour to work with such great PhD students and colleagues across the networking industry to make networks faster and software-defined. By lifting the definition of networks up and out of hardware, we have allowed the Internet and 5G networks to improve at the speed of software.”

Other prestigious medallists include Dr Subir Chowdhury, Chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group, who is awarded the Mensforth Gold Medal for Manufacturing for his outstanding contributions to improving process and product quality in all types of manufacturing industries.

Through his work on process improvement with Six Sigma and Design for Six Sigma, and his contributions on the promotion of excellence, he has improved the quality of life on a global scale.

Dr Chowdhury said: “I am deeply honored to receive this international award in recognition of my services and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry.

To know that my work has contributed to the improvement of manufacturing processes, quality and the subsequent benefit to society is very humbling.  I hope it inspires other young manufacturing engineers to continue to drive forward change in the sector.”

Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, IET President, said: “We are honoured to present these talented individuals with our Achievement Awards. They have each excelled in their professions and have made a vast contribution as pioneers of important areas in the engineering and technology industries.

All our medal winners today are innovators who have all made a difference to the world in which we live. They should all be rightly proud of their achievements – they are incredible role models for the next generation.”

All three medallists join 11 other winners, who were nominated by their peers as leading engineers and technicians in their field.

Lauren Burns, a recent graduate of the Software Engineer on the Kainos Earn as you Learn Apprenticeship scheme, is named the IET’s Apprentice of the Year; Chief Petty Officer AET(M) Adam Finch, a senior technician within the Royal Navy, is named the IET’s Armed Forces Technician of the Year; and Kieron Coyle, a Senior Building Information Modelling Technician at Hydrock is named the IET’s Technician of the Year.

The Achievement Awards are part of the IET’s Awards and Scholarships programme, which this year provided £1million in awards, prizes, and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians.

All IET awards seek to inspire and reward engineering excellence, including apprentices at the start of their careers, through to reputable, established professional engineers and technicians.

Find out more about the Achievement Awards here: www.theiet.org/achievement.

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Notes to editors:

Full list of award winners

(please visit our website for longer citations for winners)

  • Faraday Medal is awarded to Mr John EE Fleming for his role in the development of the world's first obstetric ultrasound device.
  • Mountbatten Medal is awarded to Professor Nick McKeown MIET for his work in creating a scalable internet through his design of scalable routers.
  • Mensforth Gold Medal for Manufacturing is awarded to Dr Subir Chowdhury HonMIISE FSME FSAE FASQ FRSS FESD FQSA LFRAS for his pioneering work in the field of Quality Engineering and Management.

Achievement medals:

  • IET Achievement Medal in Communications Engineering is awarded to Professor Hsi-Tseng Chou FIEEE FIET, Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Graduate Institute of Communications Engineering, National Taiwan University.
  • IET Achievement Medal in Wireless Communications is awarded to Professor Mischa Dohler FREng FIEEE FIET FRSA, Chair Professor of Wireless Communications at King's College London.
  • IET Achievement Medal in Manufacturing Technology is awarded to Mr David Holmes OBE CEng FIET, Operations Director with BAE Systems.
  • IET Achievement Medal in Power and Energy Engineering is awarded to Professor Chongqing Kang FIEEE FIET FCSEE, researcher in power and energy engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
  • IET Achievement Medal in Telecommunications Engineering is awarded to Professor Xiaohu You, Professor with the National Mobile Communications Research Laboratory, Southeast University, China.

Volunteering:

  • IET Achievement Medal for Volunteering is awarded to Elaine Greig FIET FAPM for her outstanding contribution to the IET Energy Policy Expert Volunteer Panel.

Early Career:

  • Sir Henry Royce Award is given to Dr Giacomo Valle PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), for his exceptional work in developing innovative algorithms able to restore natural touch in amputees using neuroprosthetic devices.
  • Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award is given to Dr Adeayo Sotayo CEng PhD AFHEA MIET for his technological excellence as Lead Researcher and Engineer on a novel and sustainable building project.
  • Paul Fletcher Award is awarded to Eng. Thilini Wasundara for her outstanding volunteering contribution as Chair of the IET Young Professionals Sri Lanka, member of the Young Professionals Committee and an IET Young Professionals Ambassador.

Special recognition:

  • Technician of the Year is awarded to Kieron Coyle, a Senior Building Information Modelling Technician at Hydrock
  • Apprentice of the Year is awarded to Lauren Burns, a recent graduate of the Software Engineer on the Kainos Earn as you Learn Apprenticeship scheme.
  • Armed Forces Technician of the year is awarded to Chief Petty Officer AET(M) Adam Finch, a senior technician within the Royal Navy

More about the IET Awards

  • The IET provides £1,000,000 per annum in awards, prizes and scholarships, to celebrate excellence and innovation in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians.
  • The portfolio of awards includes Diamond Jubilee scholarships, Apprentice and Technician Awards and the IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize.
  • For more information visit http:/www.theiet.org/awards

About the IET

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