British Engineering Excellence Awards 2020

Press Release

British Engineering Excellence Awards give Ricardo the Grand Prix

Automotive specialist takes the plaudits at first-ever online event

London, UK, 26 March 2021:
Leading automotive design consultancy Ricardo has been named the winner of the Grand Prix at the 2021 British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs), held online for the first time.

Ricardo is a long-established, global engineering, environmental and strategic consultancy, offering a unique combination of capabilities that no other company can deliver.

Across all projects, and in every assignment, Ricardo is committed to the ethos of Sir Harry Ricardo, the founder of the company – one of the most innovative mechanical engineers of his time – who, in 1915, set out on a mission to maximise efficiency and eliminate waste.

With this goal in mind, constant evolution has been required to ensure Ricardo maintains competitive advantage in an ever-changing market.

The consulting activities Ricardo support cover all aspects of engineering from complete vehicles and all vehicle sub-systems including engines, transmissions, chassis, hybrid and electric systems and all vehicle areas.

The judges' said of Ricardo: "Across the board Ricardo has proved itself, time and again, as a trusted supporter of British companies delivering innovative solutions effectively and efficiently."

This being an unusual year for the BEEAs as for everyone, a special category was awarded. This was the BEEAs Special Award for Design Engineering and was given to VentilatorChallengeUK for its incredible work in the early days of the pandemic to produce ventilators for the National Health Service.

Paul Fanning, Publishing Director of awards organiser MA Business, said: “For all the challenges of this year, we were determined that the BEEAs would still deliver on its core mission of recognising the brilliance, hard work and dedication of the UK’s design engineers. This year has shown us how reliant we are on such people and I’m delighted that, with the help of our sponsors, judges and entrants, we’ve been able to applaud that.”


Design Consultancy: Ricardo
Sponsor: MAG

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.  Other factors taken into account included the ratio of consultancy staff to the number of projects delivered, number of staff applied to those projects and their success.  The Judges were also interested to see how the consultancy has developed during the last five years and how it plans to grow its business.

Ricardo has a long history of supplying driveline products to the high-performance vehicle and motorsport industries, the application of these skills as consultants has delivered projects in a diverse range of market sectors including medical, power generation, defence and finance as well as bringing projects in areas away from traditional internal combustion powertrains, moving towards electrification and hydrogen fuel cells.

Small Company of the Year: Dynamic Load Monitoring
Sponsor: Engineering Solutions Live

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. They also wanted to see evidence of either competing successfully with much larger rivals or exploiting a viable market niche. DLM has managed to succeed despite competition from larger organisations as it differentiates itself from competitors by finding a niche in the market and specialising in custom built load pin as well as offering the standard tensile link load cells that other, larger competitors offer.

Design Team of the Year: Precision Acoustics, ReDRESS project
Sponsor: New Electronics

In this category the Judges were looking for entrants demonstrating 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 the ReDRESS project, Precision Acoustics’ team delivered an ultrasonic sensor (or transducer) for use in nuclear or high-radiation environments. The sensor had to be reliable and capable of operating at high temperatures of 350ºC for set periods of time, whilst also being exposed to high levels of radiation. It would be used for ultrasonic inspections close to the core of nuclear reactors which have extremes of both temperature and levels of radiation.

Highly Commended Design Team of the Year: Musk Process Services – PUWER Non-Compliance Remedial Actions and Upgrades

The Judges found it exceptionally difficult to decide the winner of this category and decided to award a Highly Commended certificate to Musk Process Services for its work on PUWER Non-Compliance Remedial Actions and Upgrades.

Start-Up of the Year: Archangel Lightworks
Sponsor: SolidWorks

The Start-up of the Year category celebrates tomorrow’s companies and technological successes. The Judges were looking for a company developing mechanical and/or electronic products or offering engineering-based services to customers in the UK and elsewhere. Archangel Lightworks is a UK-based laser communications start-up with international ambitions to improve data and communications infrastructure for the aerospace sector. These products and services include space terminals that can be mounted on satellites, air terminals that are mounted on drones or other aircraft and ground communications terminals.

Materials Application of the Year:  FASTT – ACPI
Sponsor: Goodfellow

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 to solve a design challenge. FASTT is a worldwide, technological first in providing high flux thermal management without the use of fluids at the source to sink boundary. The very wide operating temperature range of FASTT may be compared to the limitations of water-based, and hydrocarbon fluid-based systems.

New Product of the Year (Electronic):  ChargePod 
Sponsor: COMSOL

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. The EV Charge Pod is an IP-rated, CE-marked mobile electrical boost system designed and developed by Original ADS to provide flat or severely depleted electric vehicles with a roadside power boost so they can be driven to the nearest static charging point rather than being picked up and recovered on a flatbed truck. Charge Pod enables you to provide the same ‘out of fuel’ service as you would to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles to the growing EV market.

Highly Commended: Vitis – Xilinx

The Judges found it exceptionally difficult to decide the winner of this category and decided to award a Highly Commended certificate to Xilinx for its Vitis software development platform, which enables development of accelerated applications on heterogeneous hardware platforms.  

New Product of the Year (Mechanical):  Allett – C34 Evolution lawnmower
Sponsor: Eureka

In this category the 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 C34 Evolution is a battery-powered cylinder lawnmower for cutting and maintaining sports turf and large fine lawns. The product has given the target market the opportunity to mow and maintain sports surfaces with zero carbon emissions as well as establishing a much-improved operator experience.

Highly Commended: Syngas Induced Draft Fan, Halifax Fan

The Judges found it exceptionally difficult to decide the winner of this category and decided to award a Highly Commended certificate to Halifax Fan for its Syngas Induced Draft Fan.

Engineering Ambassador of the Year: nucleargraduates, Energus
Sponsor: #engineeringheroes

In this category, the Judges were looking for companies or individuals who are engaging on a regular basis with a local school or educational establishment to promote engineering.  nucleargraduates was established by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2008 to bring together organisations across the industry to attract the next generation of graduates in a strategic, yet cost effective manner. The programme has seen over 380 graduates recruited to the programme and another 43 have just started their journey in November.

Young Design Engineer of the Year:  Mohammed Tahir, PRFI
Sponsor: MA Business

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.  Mohammed joined PRFI after only 18 months of post-graduate industrial experience but from the outset he has undertaken complex designs, working under his own initiative, with competence, efficiency and an impressive level of practical innovation. He grasps any task he is given with enthusiasm and works hard to fill any gaps in his knowledge through personal research and study

BEEAs Special Award For Design Engineering:  VentilatorChallengeUK
Sponsor: SolidWorks

This Award was devised to recognise the incredible efforts by the engineering sector to meet the need for equipment to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Led by High Value Manufacturing Catapult chief executive Dick Elsy, the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium – which includes some of the biggest names in UK manufacturing – achieved a scale-up that many thought impossible – producing 10 years’ worth of new ventilators in just 10 weeks.

Grand Prix 2021: Ricardo
Sponsor: Distrupol

Supporting images are available on request