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Public Promotion of Engineering Medal

10 June 2009

Huw James receiving the Public Promotion of Engineering Medal from Lord Robert Winston. Picture credit: Steve ForwardHuw James receiving the Public Promotion of Engineering Medal from Lord Robert Winston. Picture credit: Steve Forward

An innovative University spin-out which uses live shows to help inspire young people about engineering has been awarded a medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Cardiff-based science made simple was presented with the Public Promotion of Engineering Medal by Lord Robert Winston, an Honorary Fellow of the Academy, for their Engineering Explained initiative. The presentation took place at the Academy Awards Dinner at London’s Imperial War Museum, attended by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Science and engineering communicator Huw James who collected the medal said: "Our interactive performances have been well-received by a wide variety of audiences and always get people talking and asking questions. They help to get the message out there that engineering is not something done by a stereotyped group of people, but is part of everything we do and offers a wide variety of rewarding job opportunities."

science made simple was set up in 2002 by Wendy Sadler, School of Physics and Astronomy. The company developed the Engineering Explained shows in response to a decline in the number of students taking up engineering and the need for better understanding about the role of engineers in society.

Dr Lesley Paterson, Head of Public Engagement at the Academy, said: "Wendy and her team have done promotion of engineering proud and I am delighted that ‘Engineering Explained’ has been awarded this year’s Public Promotion Medal. By acknowledging that engineering is a complementary but distinct discipline, Wendy and her team have developed and delivered an engaging set of interactive shows and activities to feed the minds of young people that uncover the engineering in our everyday world."

Engineering Explained shows have been performed to more than 17,500 people at schools and events throughout Britain and overseas. The ‘Rough Guide to Engineering’ show has recently toured Libya by special invitation of the British Council and the initiative’s latest production, ‘The Bloodhound Supersonic Car Show’, launched at the Cheltenham Science Festival last week.

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