Cutting-edge breakthroughs celebrated at the 2021 E&T Innovation Awards

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The IET has announced the winners of the 2021 E&T Innovation Awards, which celebrate groundbreaking innovations in engineering and technology.

Now in their seventeenth year, the E&T Innovation Awards recognize the people, projects and organizations who are revolutionizing our world through excellence in engineering and technology. This year’s awards, hosted by TV presenter Fran Scott in the IET’s Savoy Place building in London, included a range of new categories, such as ‘Future Mobility’ and ‘Trust and Truth’, to reflect societal challenges that rely on engineers and technologists. for their solution.

Dr. Esther Ngumbi, Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, won first prize (E&T Difference Maker of the Year) for her inspiring work as a researcher, author, civil servant, entrepreneur and educator. Born in a rural farming community along the Kenyan coast, Ngumbi studied hard in school with a desire to save her family and community from poverty and be a role model for many young African girls.

In 2012, Ngumbi and his parents founded the Dr Ndumi Faulu Academy, a children’s school in Kenya. And in 2014, she created Oyeska Greens, a start-up that teaches small farmers in her community and surrounding areas how to use up-to-date technologies and methods in agriculture.

Despite the idea that girls’ education didn’t matter where she lived, Esther earned her doctorate in entomology from Auburn University in Alabama, becoming the first woman in her community to earn a doctorate.

Image credit: Christian Trampenau

“I am extremely touched and honored to receive this award! Said Ngumbi. “First, winning this award made me realize that the world is watching. Second, it inspired me to keep – to keep doing the job I love so passionately – paving the way for many more women and girls through education so that they can break down the barrier of poverty and other barriers and make all their dreams come true.

“I am inspired to continue to share agricultural knowledge with farmers in my community and many communities around the world. Indeed, winning this prize allowed me to reflect on the path traveled and to recognize the path that still awaits me. Until many more women and girls achieve greatness, I will continue. I will never get tired of it.

Among the innovations that won awards at this year’s awards are the world’s first working dengue fever early warning system and a laser sensor that can help diagnose heart and lung disease.

Other awards celebrated outstanding excellence in various fields of engineering, innovative start-ups, efforts for diversity and inclusion in engineering and technology for good.

The winners of the E&T Innovation Awards 2021 are:

• Difference Maker of the Year: Esther Ngumbi
• Digital health and social protection: HR Wallingford for Dengue Fever Early Warning System D-MOSS: Using Satellite Earth Observations and Machine Learning to Predict Dengue Fever
• Future power and energy: Tsinghua University for large capacity DC cut-off technology
• Communication and IT: University of Aeronautics and Astronautics for AerialRadioOverseer: An AI-Activated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Radio Surveillance System
• Manufacturing 4.0: Cambridge Precision Limited for Cobotic Hub
• Sustainability and climate change: Innovyze and Fairfield control systems to build a sustainable future – the Glasgow Smart Canal
• Protect society and save lives: Stantec, Thames Water, the London Fire Brigade for the London Fire Flow, a system for water suppliers and fire departments to calculate the fire fighting capacity of a water supply system and the building fire flow requirements
• Cyber ​​security: Quantum crypto to mine quantum tunnel provides ultimate security for IoT devices
• R&D: Element Six Global Innovation Center for DNV-B1, the world’s first widely available quantum diamond grade optimized for a wide range of quantum applications
• Technology for good: HR Wallingford for Dengue Fever Early Warning System D-MOSS: Using Satellite Earth Observations and Machine Learning to Predict Dengue Fever
• A smarter world: Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics for AerialRadioOverseer – an AI-enabled unmanned aerial vehicle radio surveillance system
• Future mobility: Furrer + Frey GB Limited for fast battery chargers to power a very light rail revolution and create a sustainable transport option for small towns
• Intelligent systems: Roke for STARTLE for Maritime, designed to help the Royal Navy understand the changing situational awareness image around a ship
• Future Unicorn: Donisi Health for biodetection and contactless diagnostics
• Diversity, equality and inclusion: SpaceML for SpaceML Worldview Search: Open source distributed research with citizen scientists for the advancement of space technology for NASA
• Trust and truth: Seldon for Seldon Albi – an open source Python library designed to offer clear and unbiased information on how machine learning models work, ensuring decisions are accurate and ethical
• Young Pioneer: Shafae Ali, Alfie Mcmeeking, Andy Ferdinand, Premal Gadhia and Judith Weill of Imperial College London for their project to make the shoe industry sustainable through digital AR skins and printed biodegradable self-healing technology In 3D

EIT President Sir Julian Young said: “These annual awards celebrate the achievements of the most outstanding innovators in the fields of engineering and technology. Our finalists come from a wide range of companies and academic institutions around the world, whose innovations respond to major economic and societal challenges.

“With the EIT’s mission to inspire excellence in engineering and technology, we are very proud to demonstrate our support, putting breakthrough innovations in the spotlight and helping to advance this essential work. On behalf of all of our members, I extend my congratulations to all of our winners.


TV presenter Fran Scott at the E&T Innovation Awards

Fran Scott at the awards ceremony on Friday November 26, 2021.

Image credit: Christian Trampenau

Chris Hayhurst, Director of the European Council at MathWorks, Main Sponsor of the E&T Innovation Awards, said: “The EIT has a long history of encouraging and rewarding innovation. This year, the Innovation Awards have evolved with new categories, including Future Mobility and Trust and Truth, to recognize innovations that matter now. “

“We were delighted to see strong preset lists for all categories,” he added. “The inspiring winners once again illustrate how science, technology, engineering and mathematics can have a significant impact on our lives and address some of society’s greatest challenges.

The E&T Innovation Awards are sponsored by MathWorks, Arrow Electronics, Emerson, GCHQ and National Grid.

Find out more about the E&T Innovation Awards here.

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