The Fellowship is an exceptional community of engineers; the Fellows are the heart of the Academy and critical to all its activities. Today there are nearly 1,700 Fellows in total, principally comprising Fellows (born or resident in the UK), but also International Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Emeritus Fellows. No more than 60 New Fellows are elected in any one year.
Fit for the Future
The Academy has launched a campaign aimed at delivering a Fellowship that is Fit for the Future by the time it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2026. This is defined as a Fellowship that embodies the full breadth and diversity of engineering excellence. Please see here for more information.
No one applies to become a Fellow; instead, candidates for Fellowship are peer-nominated by two existing Academy Fellows. A nomination is largely written by one Fellow, the proposer, who will often work with the nominee to construct the detailed information provided in a citation, which provides an account of the candidate’s principal personal engineering accomplishments.
Deadline and submission
Nominations for Fellowship are submitted online in the Fellows' private area of the Academy website. The deadline for submission is 1 September.
Each nomination is sent to one of 11 Membership Selection Panels, specialising in a specific sector of engineering. Each panel is broadly balanced with membership from both academia and industry and comprises up to 15 Fellows with expertise in that sector.
List of panels
- Civil, construction and environmental
- Materials and mining
- Chemical and process
- Transport and mechanical
- Manufacturing and design
- Electrical and electronic
- Energy and power
- Medical and bioengineering
- Computing and communications
- Special (including engineering management and multi-disciplinary)
Every new nomination received by a panel is allocated to two panel members who are tasked with the job of checking and confirming the information in the nomination and with identifying and approaching a variety of additional nomination assessors (often other Academy Fellows) for further information and advice.
Engineering Excellence Criteria
All candidates are judged according to the Academy’s engineering excellence criteria:
The full citation of personal achievements in engineering must highlight the candidate’s individual engineering excellence during their career, identifying related outcomes. It should not simply list posts.
It is expected that Fellows will embrace and promote the values of the Academy so any
evidence of contributions to the advancement of engineering values and ethical practice
should also be included.
Possible examples include a combination of the following:
a. A management role of significance involving ultimate responsibility for the technical decisions taken and application of excellent engineering practice
b. For those in industrial, commercial, government or military organisations, research or development resulting in significant new products, processes or practices is valid evidence. Evidence shall be presented, communicated and evaluated so as to accommodate security
c. Nominations from academic and research institutes should identify inventions or innovation resulting in successful products, processes, practices or policy influence, in addition to providing evidence of a successful academic career; leadership of an engineering school
must be complemented by engineering achievements
d. Consulting engineering evidence should focus on technical contributions having meaningful and beneficial impact on the projects or operations of the client organisation e. Evidence of engineering excellence in education, training and/or teaching with transformational impact which influences national or international practice
f. Engineers who have demonstrated outstanding entrepreneurship and leadership in the creation and sustained growth of engineering-based businesses
g. For engineers at a relatively early career stage, evidence of an impressive trajectory is needed: contributions of this nature should be outstanding relative to their peer group.
If appropriate the case should also identify:
h. influential personal contributions to prominent committees and agencies concerned with engineering policy or practice
i. any evidence anticipating likely contribution to the Academy’s work, for example supporting activities of PEIs, industry associations, standards bodies, etc
j. evidence of promotion of engineering, including outreach activities across our stakeholder base (e.g. schools, colleges, local and central government, media, the wider public etc).
It is expected that Fellows will be Chartered Engineers or other individuals of equivalent
professional standing in engineering who also demonstrate the commitment, ethics and continuing professional development requirements of being a Chartered Engineer.
In any year there are many more nominations under consideration than there are places for election. Each panel will individually select the best of their nominees and collectively these shortlisted candidates are pooled together for a final selection by the full Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is made up from the chairs of each of the selection panels, in addition to the Membership chair (who is an Academy Trustee), and the chair of the International Committee. Following this final selection process, a group of no more than 60 names is put forward for election.
The annual election for Fellowship is conducted online and is managed by an independent body. To be successfully elected, each candidate must receive in excess of 85% support from the voting Fellows.
The ideals of Fellowship
Fellowship of the Academy is considered to be one of the highest national honours that an engineer may receive. However, Fellowship itself must not be considered as a mere award or trophy. Every person admitted to the Fellowship subscribes to an obligation to promote the charitable aim of the Academy:
“The pursuit, encouragement and maintenance of excellence in the whole field of engineering to useful purpose in order to promote the advancement of the science, art and practice of engineering for the benefit of the public.”
The role of Fellows at the Academy
In pursuit of this charitable aim, Fellows engage in a vast variety of activities with and on behalf of the Academy. These include supporting engineering research, policy formation, education and entrepreneurship and public engagement.
Diversity of nominees and proactive membership with Proactive Nominations Panel
Our Proactive Nominations Panel ensures that the pipeline of new nominations for Fellowship better reflects the breadth and diversity of engineering across the UK. The panel makes sure that the pool of candidates nominated for Academy Fellowship demonstrates wider society to achieve a better balance across the Fellowship, in line with the Fellowship for the Future campaign. To do this, the panel’s activities include establishing and managing a system for identifying and tracking potential candidates by engaging Fellows in the process and identifying ‘champions’ to take candidates through the nomination process.