BEEAs 2017 Winners

MA Business, publishers of New Electronics and Eureka magazines, have announced the winners for this year’s British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs). The winners were announced at a gala lunch at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), London, on 5th October 2017.

Consultancy of the Year - Drive System Design
(Sponsored by Rutland Plastics)

To identify the Consultancy of the Year, the Judges looked for evidence that the shortlisted companies are developing innovative and timely solutions to engineering problems posed to them by their customers.

Drive System Design has shown consistently strong and focused performance whilst working in a demanding industry sector. It is interesting to see the growth in its turnover during the last five years, as well as its investment in control and transmission technology for the emerging electric vehicle market beginning to paying off.

Small Company of the Year - Diamond Hard Surfaces
(Sponsored by LG Motion)

To succeed in this category, the judges were looking for a company with a sound business plan, a product or service that meets a market need and the successful reception of that product.

The judges not only recognised a wide range of potential applications for this company’s technology, but were also impressed by the increase in its turnover, as well as the high level of export business. Its appointment as a Tier 1 supplier to Leonardo helicopters was also seen as a major development.

Start Up of the Year - Open Bionics
(Sponsored by Cambridge Consultants)

The Judges were looking for a company established no earlier than 1st January 2013, developing mechanical and/or electronic products or offering engineering based services to customers in the UK and elsewhere. The successful company will have a sound business plan that supports its operation.

While its focus is on developing affordable robotic prosthetics, Open Bionics impressed the judges with commercial relationships struck with leading multinationals as well as the NHS. With significant interest from investors, clinical trials in progress and plans to start manufacture soon, Open Bionics is poised to make a major impact.

Materials Application of the Year - Plessey Semiconductors
(Sponsored by Goodfellow Cambridge)

The choice of material can make or break an engineering product, so the Judges were looking for evidence of how the properties of a material (or material combination) were exploited in order to solve a design challenge.

Designing a better LED is the latter-day equivalent of designing the better mouse trap. While LEDs can save energy, they bring design challenges. By developing a Gallium Nitride-on-silicon process, Plessey is now showing the way forward.

Electronic Product of the Year - Peratech QTC Matrix Sensor

In assessing entries, the Judges looked for an electronic product or component that addresses a particular market need and which brings a significant performance improvement; either over a previous product or over competitive devices.

While capacitive touch is finding broad application in a range of consumer and industrial products, Peratech’s matrix sensor adds another dimension to interface technology and the judges were impressed by the range of potential applications.

Mechanical Product of the Year - Aeristech sCharger

Judges were looking for an engineering product for which an innovative approach has been used to meet a particular market need. They wanted to see evidence of how the need for the product was assessed, along with an indication of time to market.

The judges commented that there is a pressing need to improve the performance of small engines and hybrids. The sCharger brings back the response provided by a traditional supercharger without the power wastage. It gives these engines the boost they need without the compromise of turbo-lag.

Aerospace Product of the Year – Artemis, Smith Myers
(Sponsored by MiniTec)

Judges were looking for products or subsystems that have made a significant difference in the Aerospace sector. They were looking for a clear explanation of the function performed by the product or subsystem and evidence of how it has enabled a significant technical advance for the sector.

Searching for a missing person in a large area is a challenge, so anything that helps must be welcomed. Artemis is based on the mobile phone, something which most people carry with them, and provides an elegant solution that could be rolled out in other areas such as disaster relief.

Design Team of the Year – Kliklok ITC Project
(Sponsored by Altium UK)

The Judges were looking for entrants into this category to demonstrate the successful use of teamwork in the creation of an engineering or electronic product or system. In assessing the entries, the Judges wanted to see how the team was composed and evidence of how its members interacted to meet its budget and project milestones.

In a fiercely contested category the judges were impressed by the team’s good, honest and practical engineering, delivering an impressive output from a multinational project in short time.

Engineering Ambassador of the Year – Iulia Motoc, University of Kent
(Sponsored by John Guest)

Judges were looking for companies or individuals who are engaging on a regular basis with a local school or educational establishment to promote engineering. They should be able to explain their level of commitment and the difference they believe they have made.

The judges commented that Iulia is a dynamo who has thrown herself into everything to ensure as many young people as possible are exposed to the potential of an exciting career in engineering and technology.

Young Design Engineer of the Year – Rob Hanson, Designability
(Sponsored by RS Components)

The judges took a range of factors into account, including: the knowledge which has been applied by the young engineer; the contribution made to projects; and the degree of innovation required. They also considered the nominee’s personal qualities that promote the engineering profession.

The judges said Rob is an unsung hero, exhibiting excellent use of engineering skills in a difficult arena. He has delivered great designs and is a shining example to other engineers.

Design Engineer of the Year – Jake Wallis, Lontra
(Sponsored by maxon motor)

Judges were looking for a leader, making a broader contribution to the industry – perhaps by participating in professional bodies – and working to promote engineering as a career.

Although still a young engineer, Jake has led the design of a flagship product from a clean sheet, while reformatting the company’s infrastructure to speed the design process. In his short career, he has already been involved in 10 patent filings.

Grand Prix 2017 - Plessey Semiconductors

Plessey has developed the right product for the right market at the right time. Its development of Gallium Nitride-on-Silicon technology has helped to improve LED efficiency and it’s heartening to see innovation from a UK semiconductor company.