Undergraduate Award 2022

Awarded to an officer graduating from the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) who has achieved outstanding academic performance and demonstrated clear leadership and commitment to a professional engineering career in the Armed Forces.

Abigail Hallett is a graduate of Aston University where she studied as part of the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme reading for a Bachelor of Engineering in Electromechanical Engineering.  Her studies enabled her to engage in several engineering challenges.

Sheriff-elect Andrew Marsden and Master Engineer Audrey Canning present Abigail Hallett with the Services Engineering Undergraduate Award 2022. Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Automatic Bike Derailleur system took several electromagnetic inputs from sensors around the bicycle (speed, cadence, inclinometer, heart rate) and automatically changed the bicycle’s gears at the optimum time.  The system incorporated a manual override system enabling the rider to take full control of gear selection as they saw fit.  This fully automated system offered clear benefit to address a common weakness amongst cyclists.

For her final project, she considered an electromechanical solution to ease the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) without the requirement for professional medical intervention.  The aim of the device was to reduce depression in women between the ages of 12-30 who experience PMDD regularly. The device developed was a relatively straightforward prototype that acted as a guide to the patient to conduct a specific activity at a specific time to increase the flow of serotonin as the body’s levels of oestrogen dropped during the menstrual cycle.  After researching medical data into the specifics of PMDD and its cause, Abigail reviewed different treatments that could provide symptomatic relief for PMDD.  She narrowed in on four candidate options to deliver some beneficial treatments.  Her selected design was a “mood cube” that lit up in specific colours to promote specific activities known to have positive effect on the mental health related aspects of PMDD. 

The project required a variety of disciplines including manufacture, electrical, mechanical, electromechanical and software engineering.  During testing, the device was found to be highly effective at promoting aesthetically pleasing activity that was found to increase serotonin levels in individuals that trialled the device.

Abigail identified an issue that requires an intervention and has designed and manufactured a useful product to help counter the mental health effects that this rather common disorder has on women.  She demonstrated outstanding engineering ingenuity.

Postgraduate Award 2022

Awarded to an officer completing a postgraduate technical degree who has achieved overall academic excellence and contributed most to the advancement of technical knowledge or its application through a research project.

Captain Adam Stephenson.  During his postgraduate study in Explosive Ordnance Engineering, Adam has significantly contributed to the explosive safety of first responders within the United Kingdom.  The National Crime Agency (NCA) approached Cranfield University to conduct an in-depth study into the attack of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) by using energetic means. 

The NCA noted that criminal and terrorist organisations have continually developed novel methods to extort, steal or create money over recent decades. A readily available target is the ATM, with an integral safe at times holding in excess £100 000, the opportunity for criminals to take advantage is abundant. The number of ATM attacks is on the increase, with 456 attacks in Europe in 2017 and thousands more worldwide using both solid state and gas explosives. The transition onto gas explosives could be attributed to the ease of access to substances such as oxy-acetylene.  This gas is readily available, has a high energy output and is easily ignited. However, with an attack window typically lasting 2 minutes, only 1 in 3 attacks are successful.  This therefore leaves first responders and the public exposed to an unquantified risk.

Captain Stephenson’s research has established the diffusion rate of oxy-acetylene within an ATM is 13 minutes.  Adding the NATO standard Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Disposal soak period of 20 minutes takes the safe wait time for first responders to 33 minutes. This previously unknown and highly valuable information is highly likely to shape response times to a failed attack of this type in the future.

He developed a sound engineering-based methodology that investigated the background to the attacks, designed an appropriate explosive experiment, generated suitable data through experimentation, and in turn extrapolated through modelling and simulation computer models for further results and analysis. His research into this area to establish the duration that a failed attack remains a threat to the public, is of value not only to academia but especially to the first responders and general public who may encounter this type of threat on the streets of the United Kingdom and further afield.

The Royal Navy Engineer Officer of the Year 2022

Lieutenant Commander Michael Harris MSc CEng MIMechE RN

Following the recovery of an F35 aircraft that crashed on take-off from HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, Lt Cdr Harris produced comprehensive lessons identified for continuous improvement in future salvage and recovery operations.

He has received many plaudits for his work in the sphere of Flight Safety, providing a dedicated service to the operational effectiveness of the Fleet Air Arm and demonstrating high unwavering commitment in the advancement of his area of responsibility.

Sheriff-elect Andrew Marsden and Master Engineer Audrey Canning with Lieutenant Commander Michael Harris, RN.
Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Royal Navy Engineer Rating of the Year 2022

Chief Petty Officer Jamie Dougal IEng MIMechE RN

CPO Dougal has personified the highest of engineering standards and enabled the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron’s success throughout an exceptionally demanding period.  This has been a period that has seen unprecedented operational and materiel demand upon RNGS’s Engineering Department.

He has diligently led his engineering team ensuring that the Squadron’s operational readiness profile is maintained as well as becoming essential to the Force Generation of the new CUTLASS Class fast patrol boat procured to safeguard Gibraltar’s waters.

Sheriff-elect Andrew Marsden and Master Engineer Audrey Canning with CPO Jamie Dougal, RN. Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Army Engineer Officer of the Year 2022

Captain John Hastings RE has been the Second in Command of the United Kingdom Specialist Team Royal Engineers (STRE) Middle East.  The Sapper sub-unit is a 28 strong multi-discipline team of infrastructure engineering specialists, who have been deployed for 6 months on Operations SHADER and KIPION across six countries and spanning projects in Iraq, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.  He joined the team shortly before it deployed in August 2021, to take on significant responsibility for the delivery of a wide range of operational infrastructure projects with a value totalling over £46m.

John Hastings displayed extraordinary ability to manage complex infrastructure delivery, under significant pressure, through difficult lines of communication and with considerable scrutiny at Ministerial level. In an unprecedented project for Defence and one that was politically sensitive and time critical, he worked to deliver a new installation, including provision of all electrical and mechanical services. This was achieved in a most austere setting, with significant engineering, logistic, financial and political challenges and multinational complexity.

There have been multiple changes of scope and events which have impacted the delivery schedule. John Hastings has had to make rapid project delivery and financial decisions, based on engineering judgment and analysis at pace. He has conducted technical reviews of contractor designs, liaised with a wide range of stakeholders from end users to Ministers, to deliver the best outcome for the project.

As an engineer John Hastings has made technical decisions for several tasks.  He deployed to Bahrain to oversee the completion of an operationally critical infrastructure project for the Maritime Component Command.  The remediation of the shore-to-ship capability including a new pump house required analysis of the expansion tanks to enable the commissioning of the infrastructure.  He did this with complete professionalism and ensured a smooth transition of the infrastructure into service.  With immense capacity John managed a multi-disciplinary design consultancy in his stride.  This has required, at times, co-ordination across four time zones and movement of people between multiple countries to deliver operational output, directly reducing risk to life for service personnel deployed on Operation SHADER in Iraq.

Throughout the tour, John held significant responsibility to deliver infrastructure projects of political and operational importance, directly and indirectly through the management of a multi-disciplinary design consultancy.  His drive, professionalism and dedication have been exemplary, and he has also found the time to mentor several team members towards professional registration with an institution.

The Army Engineer Soldier of the Year 2022

Warrant Officer 1 (Artificer Sergeant Major) Ashley Crampton REME.

WO1(ASM) Crampton is a human dynamo, bringing passion and energy to everything he touches.

His engineering influence and contributions in the past year have been outstanding, ranging from providing crucial maintenance support on operations at first line, through to offering Brigade-level equipment advice and oversight to units on exercise overseas.

WO1(ASM) Ashley Crampton, REME with Master Engineer Audrey Canning. Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Royal Air Force Engineer Officer of the Year 2022

Squadron Leader Laura Frowen RAF.

Sqn Ldr Frowen’s contribution as a Typhoon Requirements Manager has had a significant and disproportionate influence on the Typhoon programme, RAF capability and how the RAF manages that capability.

The first RAF engineer to fill a role traditionally allocated to aircrew personnel, Laura has excelled and is an exceptional ambassador for the RAF engineering branch.

Squadron Leader Laura Frowen RAF with Master Engineer Audrey Canning. Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Royal Air Force Engineering Technican of the Year 2022

Warrant Officer Ian Danks RAF.  WO Danks is a true visionary, inspiring his team to innovate and challenge the current state.  He has created an environment at RAF Honington where team members identify problems, optimise solutions and deliver future focussed projects.  The creation of a ‘service first’ ASRAAM missile maintenance facility has enabled Leading Aircraftsmen to be posted in, add value and gain key National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).  

He empowered others to design a programme for Service personnel awaiting trade training to join the team, hone their technical hand skills, build confidence and collaborate in an RAF environment.  

Recent innovation projects include digitising and automating armoury services, exploiting tablet technology to reduce maintenance errors and identifying cost effective methods to account for reserves who are unfit to handle live arms.  He is the embodiment of inspirational leadership.

Warrant Officer Ian Danks RAF with Master Engineer Audrey Canning. Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Defence Equipment & Support Engineer of the Year 2022

Dr Jody Wing Coote CEng MIET is the safety lead for the Chinook Delivery Team.  Jody has managed a huge portfolio of work including Release to Service Recommendations, with their rigorous safety and airworthiness protocols to ensure aircraft are operated with acceptable levels of risk, and improved Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel resourcing. 

She has also improved the demonstration of regulatory compliance, revamped the Hazard Log and, perhaps most significantly, migrated the Chinook helicopter to the new Type Airworthiness Safety Assessment Reporting system.

These challenges, coupled with managing a complex and disparate team, have made Jody stand out as a highly capable engineering leader and a clear ambassador for Defence Equipment & Support within MOD. 

Dr Jody WIng Coote with Master Engineer Audrey Canning. Photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

The Worshipful Company of Engineers Charitable Trust (the Engineers Trust) acknowledges excellence in engineering, supports engineering education and research, gives grants and assists in the relief of poverty.