The second winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) an international, £1 million engineering prize that rewards and celebrates the engineers responsible for a ground-breaking innovation has been announced.
Dr Langer was the first person to engineer polymers to control the delivery of large molecular weight drugs for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and mental illness. Over 2 billion lives have been improved worldwide by the technologies that Dr Langer’s lab has created.
Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director said: “On behalf of BAE Systems I warmly congratulate Dr Robert Langer on his achievements. As one of the largest technology and engineering companies in the UK, BAE Systems is proud to support the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and its celebration of innovation and excellence in the discipline. Our business, and the broader UK economy, is reliant on a pipeline of home-grown talent and we hope that the Prize will inspire young people to pursue a career in engineering.”
The objective of the QEPrize is to elevate the profile of engineering to that of the Nobel disciplines, raise the public profile of engineering and to inspire young people to become engineers. The inaugural Prize was awarded in 2013 by Her Majesty The Queen to the five engineers who made seminal contributions to the fundamental architecture of the Internet and Worldwide Web: Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Louis Pouzin, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen. Their work has revolutionised the way in which we communicate and enabled the creation of whole new industries.
The judging panel for the second QEPrize cycle was chaired by Lord Alec Broers, and the international panel of judges includes Professor Brian Cox of CERN, Dr Chen Jining from Tsinghua University in Bejing, and Professor John Hennessy of Stanford University.
The winners’ trophy, named ‘The Golden Crown’, has been 3D printed by BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire and will be presented by Her Majesty the Queen in October 2015. The trophy was designed by Euan Fairholm from Edinburgh who won 2014 Create the Trophy Competition, beating hundreds of UK hopefuls with his design. Twenty-year-old Euan, who is studying Mechanical Engineering at Glasgow University, also won £2,000. He said: ‘It was a great honour to have my design selected to be the trophy for The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. I am both humbled and delighted to consider that something which I contributed to will be used to recognise such great and important achievements in engineering.’
The QEPrize is run by a team based at the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK. It is funded by donations from corporate donors: BAE Systems plc, BG Group, BP plc, GlaxoSmithKline, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid plc, Shell UK Ltd, Siemens UK, Sony, Tata Steel Europe, Tata Consultancy Services and Toshiba. Nissan Motor Light Truck Company became a donor in January 2014.