Royal Academy of Engineering presents MacRobert Award panel discussion on climate change

16 July 2020


Live-streamed panel discussion, ‘Powering net zero Britain – the current engineering view’, will debate the engineering innovations that will underpin Britain’s climate change pledges. Physicist & TV presenter, Helen Czerski chairs a panel of leading UK engineers, including this year’s MacRobert Award winner, JCB.

To mark the 51st year of the MacRobert Award, the longest running and most prestigious prize for UK engineering innovation, the Royal Academy of Engineering is assembling an expert panel to discuss how British engineers can apply their creativity to decarbonise our homes, travel and workplaces, while creating jobs and a better environment – in less than 30 years.

Powering net zero Britain – the current engineering view

Streamed live 19.00 to 20.00 on Tuesday 21 July [UPDATE: this live event is now available to watch on demand via YouTube and at the same URL]

Watch live (or on demand) at:

Chaired by Helen Czerski, physicist & TV presenter, the panel will include:

•    Professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS, Chair of the MacRobert Award judges

•    Dervilla Mitchell CBE FREng, Chair of the National Engineering Policy Centre’s Net Zero emissions working group

•    Tim Burnhope FREng, Chief Innovation & Growth Officer at JCB

•    Dr Enass Abo-Hamed, co-founder & CEO of energy storage firm, H2GO Power

The panel will discuss how COVID-19 has highlighted the adaptability and strength of British engineering, science & manufacturing in tackling novel challenges, from making ventilators to building field hospitals. And as we now look ahead to a Britain of net zero emissions by 2050, what will life be like – and what will engineers need to do to help achieve this goal?

The discussion will explore the role engineering will play over the next 30 years and how net zero can be achieved, following the Prime Minister’s commitment to putting building and construction at the centre of the government’s plan for the UK’s economic recovery.

This year’s MacRobert Award-winning team from JCB pioneered an electric digger that has zero exhaust emissions and very low noise levels. The judges hope that this entry could do for the construction sector what the double MacRobert Award winner, Johnson Matthey did for the motor industry with the catalytic converter, which has stopped hundreds of millions of tonnes of pollution from entering the atmosphere.

The debate will be streamed live on Tuesday 21 July at 19.00 at [and will be available to watch on demand via YouTube and at the same URL]

Register early for the chance to pose your questions to the panel. 

About the MacRobert Award for engineering innovation

First presented in 1969, the MacRobert Award is widely regarded as the most coveted in the industry, honouring the winning organisation with a gold medal and the team members with a cash prize of £50,000. Founded by the MacRobert Trust, the award is presented and run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from the Worshipful Company of Engineers.

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