The aircraft carrier HMS PRINCE OF WALES is affiliated to the Worshipful Company of Engineers, which, jointly with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology supports the Vice Admiral Wildish Memorial Prize for Engineering Innovation and The Commander Marine Engineering Award for Operational Engineering.

Vice Admiral Wildish Award for Engineering Innovation

Awarded to the member of any engineering department onboard HMS PRINCE OF WALES (Air, Marine or Weapons) who has either created a new piece of equipment or technique to deal with a unique problem, solved a known problem in a more efficient way or used existing equipment or techniques in a new fashion to achieve a better result, demonstrating innovation in the face of adversity.

Petty Officer Air Engineering Technician Matthew West.  PO West has been instrumental in a dramatic restructuring of the Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE) section to improve the conduct of second line maintenance and operator and maintainer training within HMS PRINCE OF WALES.  His overhaul of training requirements resulted in a developed, systematic and routine system that has significantly improved availability of MHE operators for the Logistics, Air and Air Engineering departments.

PO Matthew West being presented with his Award by Major General David Eastman, MBE with Master Engineer Raymond Joyce [photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography]

Utilising his expertise in supporting high availability of the MHE day to day, PO West developed a Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier User Requirement Document to commence procurement changes to improve the MHE onboard the Carriers and wider RN/RFA surface fleet.  To improve availability further through de-confliction of training and the carrier deployment cycle, he personally identified an area within Portsmouth Dockyard and engaged to have it transferred and commissioned as a training and storage facility.  PO West has become the MHE Subject Matter Expert across both Aircraft Carriers, called upon to provide management support on technical, training and fleet issues, and is a prime example of a Senior Rate who goes above and beyond his Terms of Reference to deliver frontline capability for the Royal Navy.  He is thoroughly deserving of this award that recognises his achievements in supporting the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.  

Historical Note: Vice Admiral Wildish served in HMS PRINCE OF WALES in 1941.  A few months before the ship was sunk in the Far East, the ship’s officers presented him and his wife with a silver platter to mark their wedding.  Vice Admiral Wildish died in 2017 and his family have given the platter to the current HMS PRINCE OF WALES in his memory. The platter is now part of the annual award, sponsored jointly by the Engineers Company and Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, to commemorate the innovation shown by Admiral Wildish during his career as a Marine Engineering Officer.  Among his many inventions was the splinter box (for damage control) as well as the concept of maintenance scheduling, a forerunner to Unit Maintenance Management System in use today.

The Commander Marine Engineering Award for Operational Engineering

This Award is made to the member of the Marine Engineering department onboard HMS PRINCE OF WALES who has delivered an exceptional result against either significant operational or time pressure, and/or arduous conditions.

Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician Barry Monk.  As Training Manager, CPOET(ME) Monk has been unwavering in his diligence and work ethic within HMS PRINCE OF WALES’ Marine Engineering Department throughout a challenging unplanned period in drydock. 

Despite the considerable limitations that the situation imposed, and the significant challenges it posed to qualify and endorse Marine Engineering Technicians, CPO Monk has commendably enabled over 100 personnel to achieve professional qualifications during this period.  This has included training the highest number of apprentices across the Fleet, leading to a nomination for HMS PRINCE OF WALES as the apprentice training ship for 2023.  He accomplished this outstanding achievement through innovative use of synthetic training systems onboard and at HMS SULTAN’s simulator, and through noteworthy collaboration for placements at sea with HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH. 

His encouragement and exceptional communication has promoted a positive training environment that has motivated personal ownership of training and careers.  CPO Monk’s tenacity and positivity are exemplars of the finest standards of the Marine Engineering specialisation and he is truly deserving of recognition.  


Commanding Officer’s Engineering, Leadership and Innovation Award

HMS ANSON is affiliated to the Worshipful Company of Engineers, which supports this Award for an HMS ANSON Junior Rate, Senior Rate, Warrant Officer, or Commissioned Officer who has demonstrated exceptional engineering ability, leadership and innovation over the previous 12 months.

Chief Petty Officer (Marine Engineer Submariner) Richard O’Callaghan Royal Navy has had a career spanning over 28 years.  CPO Richard ‘Patches’ O’Callaghan has served in 3 Vanguard Class and 4 Astute Class Submarines, 3 of which he has taken out of build and into service.  He is selected for this Award for his engineering skills, his loyalty to the submarine service and the leadership of his department.

CPO Richard O’Callaghan being presented with his Award by Major General David Eastman, MBE with Master Engineer Raymond Joyce [photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography]

His engineering prowess, ability to think outside the box, and vast knowledge of submarines always ‘gets the job done’.  An invaluable member of the submarine’s Marine Engineering department, he never compromises engineering standards or Health and Safety.  When a seal failed on a pressurised water tank lid at sea, requiring emergency action, CPO O’Callaghan used his ingenuity to manufacture a new seal to reinstate the system and keep the submarine safe at sea.

As a highly skilled engineer, with unmatched experience and knowledge of submarine systems, he is an excellent role model to all young Engineering Technicians in the submarine.  He is the last Chief Petty Officer serving the systems engineering role within submarines.

His devotion to mentoring and training is an exemplar, developing others’ technical skills, conducting qualification boards and sharing his knowledge with everyone from trainees to the Commanding Officer.  With his leadership, HMS Anson completed build in the best material state of any previous submarine, with a well-trained team of maintainers to sustain the boat away from base support.

He will soon leave HMS Anson to share his extensive experience of systems engineering with the next submarine in build, HMS Agamemnon.

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.