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Design for Living: Academy Soiree at the University of York

Royal Academy of Engineering President Sir John Parker hosted a Soiree at the University of York in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, as Royal Fellow of the Academy.

Professor David Howard, Head of the Department of Electronics, talking to HRH The Princess Royal
The Soiree exhibition, Engineering: Design for Living, showcased the many hidden and surprising ways that engineering influences and underpins key research in areas such as climate change, environmental sustainability, history, archaeology and biology – and the economic opportunities engineering creates, as highlighted in the Academy’s new Engineering for Growth campaign.

The exhibition showcased not just engineering research from the University’s Departments of Computer Science, Physics and Electronics, but also the way in which engineering has informed or influenced work in other disciplines such as biology, chemistry, philosophy, English and sociology.

Work on show included recycling orange peel waste, developing objective diagnostic tools to test for Parkinson's disease, a system to help stroke victims with rehabilitation and designs for the next generation of nuclear fusion experiments.

The exhibition forms a key part of the University of York’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The University has come a long way since it welcomed its first 216 undergraduate students in 1963, and is now home to over 15,000 students and 3,000 staff from 130 countries.

Professor Brian Cantor CBE FREng, Vice Chancellor of the University of York, said: “Engineering is all around us and it is evident that important scientific and artistic, creative and transformative achievements could not happen without a significant input from engineering. Although the University of York does not have a faculty or school of engineering, many of our departments are deeply engaged in delivering research that is contributing to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

Academy President Sir John Parker GBE FREng said: “In the modern world, engineering is central to economic growth and to the innovation and enterprise that results in new products and services and increased national wealth and employment. I believe we are moving towards a new golden age of British engineering – the sector is highly successful and ripe for further development. Exhibitions such as this demonstrate how engineering research is improving the very fabric of our lives.”


Further information

  • Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.