Press release

Armed Forces Technician Award 2017 shortlist revealed

31 October 2017

The Institution of Engineering and Technology has this week announced the shortlist for its Armed Forces Technician Award, which recognises individuals who have made an exceptional engineering contribution to their profession.

The three individuals secured their places on the shortlist for the support they have provided for critical areas of armed forces operations ranging from the UK response to the Nepal earthquakes, protecting aircraft systems from cyber threats and making cost savings on complex airfield runway redesigns.

  • Staff Sergeant John Martindale RE made cost savings of 80% by developing an innovative solution for the construction of a 1.7km long natural surface runway at an RAF airfield in Suffolk. After significant experimentation he was able to reduce the ground strength, allowing aircraft trials teams to exceed their anticipated weight-loading schedule on each take-off and landing. By applying innovative techniques and reverting to basic engineering principles, SSgt Martindale produced a high quality product on time to the required specification and significantly under budget.
  •  Corporal Philip Matthews is responsible for building a new system for the MOD that protects aircraft systems against malicious cyber threats. Cpl Matthews built the system in less than 10 days using existing hardware and software to save costs. He built resilience into the design and future-proofed it to ensure other types of devices could easily be added. Within two days of delivering his solution, two malware threats were identified and stopped. Recognising the advantages of his solution, HQ Air intend to roll it out to all aircraft platforms in service.
  • Warrant Officer Class 2 Ram Kumar Rai RE was deployed as technical lead for the Humanitarian & Disaster Relief operation following the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, where he developed an innovative shelter design based on the materials supplied in aid packs. Following this tour, he was called to oversee the technical aspects of the area’s reconstruction with crucial responsibility for managing the contract, overseeing designs and quality management. WO2 Rai was also involved in the proof-of-concept for an earthquake resistant home design, which were successfully implemented in the ongoing reconstruction operations.

Professor Jeremy Watson, IET President said:

“All the IET Armed Forces Technician Award finalists demonstrated skills and knowledge through their work that went far beyond their roles. They have taken on challenging tasks and through innovation and determination have brought real benefits to their areas of operation.

“They are being recognised by the IET for their achievements and for being role models to future generations of technicians and engineers by inspiring them to develop their own careers and success stories.”

The winner of the Armed Forces Technician Award will be announced at the IET Achievement Awards ceremony in London on 15th November. They will receive a prize consisting of a trophy, certificate, £1,000 cash and two years’ free IET membership.

The Achievement Awards are part of the IET’s Achievement Awards and Scholarships programme, which this year provided over £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, from apprentices at the start of their careers through to reputable, established professional engineers and technicians.

Notes to editors:

Hannah Kellett, External Communications Manager

T: +44 (0)1438 767336

M: +44 (0)7738 602426

E: hkellett@theiet.org