The Princess Royal Silver Medal recognises an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to UK engineering, which results in successful market exploitation, by an engineer with less than 22 years in full-time employment or equivalent (any career breaks will be appropriately considered by the Committee). Up to four medals are awarded each year. Consideration will be given where an equal contribution has been made by more than one person, in which case, a joint award of two medals may be justified.
IBM Public Cloud WorldWide Technical Leader for Security
Dr Saritha Arunkumar is an IBM security leader with more than 20 years of experience in the IT security space. An authority on blockchain, cybersecurity and biometrics, she has made vital contributions to the security of systems used in defence and finance.
Dr Arunkumar was an integral part of the $80 million UK/US International Technology Alliance (ITA) research programme, which was led by IBM and included the Ministry of Defence, US Army Research Laboratory and university and industrial researchers.
As well as contributing to internationally important projects, Dr Arunkumar is passionate about volunteering. She runs popular patent incubator master classes and helps school and university students appreciate the importance of ideation and patenting. A member of IBM’s Academy of Technology, she has led voluntary, cross-divisional projects, including promoting STEM in primary and secondary education.
CEO of Open Bionics, COO of Open Bionics
Joel Gibbard MBE and Samantha Payne MBE are the co-founders of Open Bionics, which makes the first multi-grip myoelectric arm available for children.
The company uses 3D printing to reduce costs and increase the reach and accessibility of its bionic arms. The use of this additive manufacturing process also means its prostheses are lighter and more comfortable for children to wear, while 3D scanning is used to design bespoke details and ensure the best possible fit.
An innovative co-design process places users at the centre of the R&D and prototype iteration process to hone the functionality of the Hero Arm, while fun designs help children positively embrace what makes them unique. The company struck a royalty-free licensing deal with The Walt Disney Company enabling children to choose Disney, Star Wars and Marvel designs to resemble Iron Man, for example. Open Bionics is exceptional in its empowering approach totransformingchildren with limb differences into bionic superheroes.
More than 500 Hero Arms have been shipped across the USA, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, enabling users to get excited about moving their new fingers and hugging their parents.
Founder and CEO of mOm Incubators
James Roberts is the inventor of a new neonatal incubator, designed, developed and manufactured in Britain that has helped premature babies thrive in NHS hospitals and in war-torn Ukraine.
The mOm Essential Incubator is a compact, cost-effective machine that has been designed to work in multiple environments. Its clever design solves problems associated with conventional systems and when packed up, it is less than a quarter of the size of a regular incubator, making it very portable. These features enable it to provide flexibility to the neonatal care system. It is being used in a series of pilots in four NHS hospitals to ease the need for short-term admission to special care and to help maintain the core temperature of babies being moved around the hospital.
The company estimates that between 1,500 and 2,000 babies have been positively impacted by its incubators and Ukraine’s Ministry of Health has asked for another 100.
Heba Bevan OBE
Heba Bevan OBE is the CEO and Founder of UtterBerry Ltd, a patented, wireless sensor system that consists of a collection of miniature, artificially intelligent, ultra-low-power sensors. It has been used in major infrastructure projects including London’s Crossrail and Thames Tideway.
Heba is a businessperson and engineer with a track record of innovation in wireless sensors and sensor network design. Her technical expertise includes AI, machine learning, robotics, blockchain, optics, semiconductors, and communication systems. Heba is also committed to sustainability and the application of engineering to create new sustainable technologies in the electronics industry.
Professor Daniel Brett and Professor Paul Shearing
Professors of Chemical Engineering, UCL
Professor Daniel Brett and Professor Paul Shearing launched the Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL) at UCL in 2011. The EIL is now a leading centre for innovation in electrochemical technology in the UK, with more than 100 researchers providing solutions that are critical to achieving net zero. It operates at the intersection of university and industrial research, securing more than £45 million in collaborative R&D funding. It also provides researchers with mentoring and training to aid the market exploitation of new solutions, and has supported the formation of companies in low-cost fuel cell engineering, fast-charging technologies for advanced batteries and low-cost hydrogen electrolysers.
Dr Oliver Payton
Chief Technology Officer, Bristol Nano Dynamics
Dr Oliver Payton has developed and successfully commercialised two innovative technologies capable of mapping the invisible, both of which have been exported all over the world.
As a PhD student, Dr Payton developed a new form of scanning probe microscope. The high-speed atomic force microscope (HS-AFM) allows observation of real-time dynamic processes at the nano scale. As an Academy Research Fellow, Dr Payton improved the microscope to the point of commercialisation and co-founded spinout company Bristol Nano Dynamics (BND). BND’s instrumentation is now being developed for genome mapping to rapidly spot common blood and breast cancers and identify genetic diseases for which there are currently no tests.
Dr Payton has also developed a remote radiation mapping system, the basis of second spinout company ImiTec Ltd. The technology can be mounted to ground or air based vehicles to routinely search nuclear sites for radiological threats, providing a first response to a nuclear emergency. More recently, ImiTec’s Autonomous Airborne Radiation Monitoring System has been used to identify rare earth and precious metal mineral veins over a range of kilometres.
Dr Atif Syed
CEO and founder, Wootzano Ltd
Following research on flexible and compliant sensors, Dr Atif Syed developed a new electronic skin and founded Wootzano with the support of an Academy Enterprise Fellowship. The skin is now used within the company's robotic fruit and vegetable packaging system called, Avarai.
Fruit and vegetable packers across the world can struggle to get human labour and maintain quality and consistency in an industry with thin margins. Avarai uses the electronic skin on a robotic arm and hand to estimate weight, prune, quality-check, and package fresh produce into punnets, which are in turn bought by supermarkets. The e-skin can be stretched at least 150% without damaging the metallic contacts on top of it. The e-skin is food-safe and biocompatible and uses robotic end-effectors to delicately pick and place soft fresh produce – previously a difficult task for robots to complete without bruising or damaging the food.