The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced its four finalists for the annual MacRobert Engineering Award, which is to be presented at their annual dinner on 9th June. The prestigious award recognises excellence in the field of engineering and comes complete with a solid gold medal, £50,000 first prize, and the prestige of joining a veritable who’s who of Engineering from the past four decades. This year’s finalists are:
- Polar – the Polar system is used to effectively monitor and maintain thousands of biological samples that are stored in temperatures as low as -80C. It is already used in the UK Biobank facility with excellent results.
- FAIMS – a spin-off of Cambridge University Engineering Department has created a chemical chip that uses a newly patented system called FAIMS (Field Asymmetric Ion Mass Spectroscopy) to detect trace amounts of chemicals. It could be used to detect explosive residue or to find disease.
- Bionic Hand – the trendily named iLimb is a prosthetic hand that first began development forty years ago. The hand works as a normal hand would and provides patients with the use of fingers as well as a whole hand. Over 200 patients have already been successfully fitted with an iLimb (as far as we know, it’s nothing to do with Apple).
- Diesel Catalytic Converter – the diesel soot filter is created by Johnson Matthey, who have previously won the award on two occasions and systems that have already been shipped are expected to prevent millions of kilograms of soot from entering the atmosphere.