Memorandum submitted by the Royal Academy
THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING: A BRIEF
1. The Royal Academy comprises the UK's
most eminent engineers of all disciplines. It seeks to contribute
to the public good by promoting excellence in engineering.
2. The Academy's 1,270 Fellows are drawn
from all branches of the engineering profession, allowing The
Academy to take a uniquely multi-disciplinary approach to modern
3. Save for basic travel expenses, Fellows
receive no formal remuneration for their contribution to The Academy's
activities. For many Fellows, their involvement with The Academy
provides an opportunity to "put something back" for
the good of the wider engineering sector.
4. The Academy's activities include substantial
financial support for research chairs and fellowships, an extensive
education programme, visiting professorships and industrial secondments.
It provides expert advice on engineering matters to government
and other bodies and awards the UK's premier annual prize for
innovation in engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert
5. It has always maintained strong relationships
with Parliament through Select Committees, individual Members,
the Associate Parliamentary Engineering Group and, prior to its
transfer to Parliament, through hosting the Parliamentary Office
of Science and Technology (POST).
6. Modern engineering includes much more
than the "traditional" engineering disciplines such
as mechanical and civil engineering. The Academy's Fellows include
experts in software engineering, biomedical engineering, nanotechnology
and many other disciplines at the forefront of technological advance.
The Fellows, by their leadership in all areas of engineering,
are responsible for many of the advances enjoyed by society at
7. The Royal Academy of Engineering comprises
the UK's most eminent engineers. They are drawn from all disciplines,
from civil and mechanical engineering to software engineering,
biomedical engineering and nanotechnology. Wherever possible we
bring together engineers from academia and industry to address
the engineering issues of the day.
8. Engineering touches every aspect of human
activity: work, leisure, health and education. In information
technology, medicine and transport (to give just a few examples)
engineering advances are making fundamental changes to the way
we live our lives.
9. The Academy's priorities include: supporting
engineering research and encouraging others to recognise its importance
to the national economy; and working more closely with Government
and Parliament. An extensive educational programme, directed at
schools and undergraduates, seeks to raise the profile and prestige
of engineering as a career.
10. Since its establishment in 1976 The
Academy has grown and developed not only in terms of the number
of Fellows but also in the scale and diversity of its activities.
To reflect its maturity and ability to make a real difference
The Academy has now established a "Facing Out" initiative
to help the organisation develop into a genuinely outward-facing
organisation with a strong public profile.
11. The Academy contributes to a wide range
of Government consultations and Select Committee inquiries. We
now wish to develop this into a much closer relationship, establishing
The Academy as the principal advisers to Government and Parliament
on engineering matters.
12. Support for engineering research is
central to The Academy's activities. The Academy is now proposing
two further research support programmes. First, The Academy would
like to create a limited number of fully funded Research Chairs
for outstanding individuals. Second, we would like to develop
international research exchanges for senior academics.
13. The Academy recognises that it has a
responsibility to encourage more women to enter the engineering
profession and to pursue the career to the senior levels at which
they would become candidates for Fellowship of The Academy. Although
there is a great deal of progress to be made, there are encouraging
signs in the male-female participation rates for some of our schemes
aimed at young engineers.
14. Although Grant-in-Aid of £4.27
million accounts for just 30 per cent of The Academy's total income,
it performs a crucial pump-priming role. For every £1 of
public money that The Academy disburses, we raise roughly £2
from other sources. Without Grant-in-Aid, The Academy would not
have the leverage to attract this further finance from other sources.
15. The Academy has a solid track record
of advising Government and Parliament on engineering matters.
16. We contribute to a wide range of Government
consultations and Select Committee inquiries. These contributions
are based on our own consultation with those Fellows who have
relevant expertise. For example, in recent months we have responded
to the following consultations:
Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU)
DTLR and House of Commons Procedure
Select Committee consultations on new parliamentary procedures
for major infrastructure projects; and
Foresight Directorate's review of
the Foresight Programme.
17. We produce reports on issues where our
expertise can make a difference.
Our report on Doctoral Level Research
Students in Engineering, published in February 2002, warned that
Britain's universities cannot recruit enough high-quality, UK-domiciled
engineering research students to drive future innovation.
Almost all of the recommendations
of our report on the safety of ro-ro ferries in 1995 were adopted
by Government and, later, by the International Maritime Organisation.
As a result, all ro-ro ferries, including those built since 1990,
were modified to increase safety for the travelling public.
18. The Academy's secretariat assembles
policy positions by a rigorous process of consultation with The
Academy's Fellows. Preparation of The Academy's expert advice
to Government, Select Committees and other official bodies is
compatible with the Government guidelines on the provision of
scientific advice. The Academy also has its own guidelines for
UK Focus for Biomedical Engineering
19. The Academy runs the UK Focus for Biomedical
Engineering, which assists developments in policy and co-ordinates
activities across this important field. In addition to representatives
drawn from several professional engineering institutions active
in the biomedical field, the UK Focus Executive Committee includes
representation from the Research Councils, industry and the medical
Associate Parliamentary Engineering Group (APEG)
20. The Academy provides the secretariat
and support for APEG, which holds meetings throughout the year
at the House of Commons. APEG acts as a forum for the exchange
of ideas between parliamentarians and those involved in the full
spectrum of engineering activity.
21. Recruiting more young people into creative
and innovative engineering is crucial for Britain's future economic
success. Unless we are successful in encouraging more young people
to take science and mathematics at "A" Level, to read
engineering as undergraduates and to stay in engineering at postgraduate
and professional levels, then we will have fewer people to develop
the innovations of the future.
22. To this end, The Academy undertakes
a wide range of educational activities at every level from secondary
school to university.
23. The BEST programme, partly funded by
the Gatsby Foundation, covers a number of schemes from the age
of 13 to Chartered Engineer status.
24. The schemes include:
the Smallpeice Engineering Experience
scheme for Year nine pupils (age 13-14) and the Smallpeice Engineering
Skills and Careers scheme for Year 10 (age 14-15);
the Engineering Education Scheme
(EES), which involves sixth-formers in tackling a real-life engineering
project with a local employer;
Headstart, which enables sixth-formers
to spend four days at a university engineering faculty. 800 students
took part at 20 universities in 2001; and
Year in Industry, which enables high-calibre
students to gain experience through top-quality work placements.
25. The BEST undergraduate programme enhances
undergraduates' development and helps to encourage them towards
a career in engineering and industry:
Engineering Leadership Awards offer
a range of training, personal development and high-quality vacation
work. Around 30 students are selected each year.
26. The Academy runs a number of schemes
Up to 15 highly motivated Chartered
Engineers are funded each year for full-time MBAs at business
schools abroad through the Sainsbury Management Fellowships in
65 industrial engineers received
grants towards the cost of part-time study courses relating to
new technology in 2001. These grants are funded by the Panasonic
Trust, which is administered by The Academy. All are co-sponsored
by their employer. The Academy hopes to increase the number of
grants to 100 per year.
International Travel Grants
27. International Travel Grants enable doctoral
students, post-doctoral researchers and Chartered Engineers to
make study visits overseas. 555 awards were made in 2001, totalling
28. Two Visiting Professorship schemes offer
a valuable bridge between academic and industrial engineering.
The objective is for experienced engineers from industry to help
to strengthen the undergraduate engineering syllabus. The Academy
aims to act as seed-corn provider, establishing schemes on a self-sustaining
basis and then redirecting funds towards new Visiting Professorship
We are now in the twelfth year of
our Visiting Professors in Principles of Engineering Design scheme.
This currently supports 126 visiting professors in 46 universities.
Each year The Academy appoints five
engineers from industry to be Visiting Professors in Engineering
Design for Sustainable Development. This scheme is now in its
third year. The Academy aims to raise the total number of appointments
to 25 by 2003-04.
The Academy's Management Plan sets
out proposals to establish Visiting Professorships in the Design
of Integrated Engineering Systems from 2004-05. Further proposals
for the future development of the Visiting Professorship scheme
are set out below under "Our Vision for the Academy's Future".
29. The Academy appoints, finances and monitors
a wide range of engineering research positions. Although Grant-in-Aid
comprises an important element in the funding of these schemes,
the Academy is proud of its success in using the Grant-in-Aid
as pump-priming finance that serves to attract additional support
from industry and other sources.
30. One of The Academy's Personal Research
Chairs provides a good example. In addition to £20,000 of
Grant-in-Aid, The Academy was also able to secure £40,000
of support for the position from a major industrial company. Once
in post, the Professor concerned succeeded in attracting almost
£400,000 of additional funding for his team's activities
from charitable, business and academic sources. He built up a
research team of 22 people
31. Two points emerge from this and many
similar cases: first, The Academy is successful in adding value
to Grant-in-Aid; and second, although Grant-in-Aid frequently
comprises only a modest proportion of the overall spend on a particular
position, its pump-priming role is essentialwithout it,
The Academy would not have the leverage to attract further finance
from other sources.
Personal Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships
32. The Academy regards these as flagship
schemes that make a central contribution to the development of
engineering knowledge and ideas. The Personal Research Chairs
and Senior Research Fellowships bring together a co-sponsor company,
a researcher and a higher education institution to enable research
to be carried out in a field of particular interest to the company.
33. Seven new Personal Research Chair appointments
were made in 2001. The normal term of a Personal Research Chair
is five years.
34. Three new Senior Research Fellowships
were appointed in 2001, two for two years and one for five years.
35. The combined total of Personal Research
Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships will rise to 33 in 2003-04.
Research Chairs in Innovative Manufacturing
36. The Academy and the Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are joint sponsors
of these chairs. Two new appointments, both for five years, were
made in 2001.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
37. The Academy awards five post-doctoral
research fellowships each year. The fellowships provide five years
of full funding. Demand exceeds fellowships available by a ratio
of 20 to one.
38. The scheme provides crucial support
for some of Britain's most talented young engineering researchers.
The award-holders themselves benefit from association with the
Academy's reputation for excellence, which opens doors to further
funding and a network of contacts throughout academia and industry.
Engineering Foresight Awards
39. The Engineering Foresight Awards allow
academic and industrial researchers to spend time (usually between
three and 12 months) in an overseas centre of excellence. In the
current year, 13 engineers have taken up secondments under this
Industrial Secondment Scheme
40. The Industrial Secondment Scheme allows
engineering lecturers to strengthen their awareness of the latest
industrial techniques by spending time (usually three to six months)
on secondment to an industrial company of their choice.
41. The scheme stimulates lecturers to include
the latest thinking in their undergraduate course content and
invariably leads to further beneficial contacts between company
42. The Academy pays for the cost of employing
a replacement lecturer to cover the secondee's teaching duties.
43. The Academy's objective is to increase
the annual number of secondments to 25 by 2003-04.
Review and assessment
44. The Academy's mission is to promote
excellence in engineering, and this approach suffuses every post
or prize awarded by the Academy. The Academy operates rigorous
procedures to ensure that its awards are fairly made and carefully
45. Although the process varies according
to the dictates of the particular scheme, common elements include:
interview of candidates by Fellows; independent peer review of
candidates' proposals; the appointment of Fellows as mentors;
in-post monitoring by Fellows; and submission of reports during
and at the end of the post.
46. Even in the case of one of The Academy's
more modest schemesthe International Travel Grants (which
have an average value of just £600 per award), a Fellow with
specialist knowledge of the field concerned is assigned to assess
each application and award holders are required to submit a report
on their return to the UK. The same Fellow who conducted the initial
assessment then evaluates the report and a "quality factor"
is awarded. This allows The Academy to monitor the quality of
the scheme from year to year.
47. The process of selection and assessment
is even more rigorous for major positions such as a Personal Research
Chairs. When a proposal for a new Chair is received, the response
will be led by one of the Academy's four Lead Assessors for Research,
who takes expert advice from three independent Fellows. The same
individuals would then be involved in the selection procedure
for the eventual incumbent. Once an appointment is made, another
Fellow would be appointed as mentor on behalf of the Academy.
Annual reports and a formal meeting of all interested parties
would be required detailing publications made and research findings
48. These procedures are essential in order
to ensure that Grant-in-Aid is distributed with the transparency
and openness demanded by the audit requirements of the Office
of Science and Technology.
49. The range of awards and medals funded
by The Academy's own investments recognise excellence in engineering.
They include the following:
The Royal Academy of Engineering
MacRobert Award is Britain's premier engineering prize, given
annually for the most outstanding innovation. The award is of
£50,000 plus a gold medal. In 2001, the MacRobert Award went
to Sensaura Ltd, for their new three-dimensional audio technology
system, which is capable of reproducing sounds all around the
The Prince Philip Medal is awarded
periodically to an engineer of any nationality who has made an
exceptional contribution to engineering. In 2001 it was awarded
to Philip Ruffles CBE RDI FREng FRS, former Engineering and Technology
Director of Rolls-Royce plc, in recognition of his exceptional
contribution to engineering and the aero engine industry.
The Sir Frank Whittle Medal recognises
sustained and outstanding engineering achievement that contributes
to the well-being of the nation. In 2001, it was awarded to Prof
Tim Berners-Lee OBE FREng FRS, for creating the World Wide Web.
50. Each award is judged by an Evaluation
Committee of Fellows who are leaders in their fields. Applications
are rigorously assessed against a defined set of criteria. For
example, in the case of the MacRobert Award, the Committee members
look for world-leading engineering developments that demonstrate
innovation, successful commercial exploitation and benefit to
51. As with every other Academy scheme,
there is completely open competition for The Academy's awards.
Each scheme is widely advertised on The Academy's website, in
the engineering press and by circulation of publicity material
within the industry. The Academy maintains extensive databases
for this specific purpose.
52. In the case of the MacRobert Award,
the call for entries is circulated to around 7,000 individualsFellows,
senior industrialists, academics and trade associations.
Events and Publications
53. The Academy organises major public lectures
on engineering-related topics of wide interest. These events,
which are open to all, typically attract audiences of 2-300, including
Fellows, other engineering professionals, media, politicians and
other interested individuals:
Recent lecturers have included: the
Transport Commissioner for London, Robert Kiley, on "Engineering
London's Future"; Robert Benaim FREng on "Engineering
and Architecture", and Professor John Uff QC FREng on "Engineering
Ethics: do engineers have a duty to the public?".
54. The Academy organises major conferences,
such as the annual conference of the UK Focus for Biomedical Engineering.
The 2002 Conference, to be held on 29 April, will look at "Technology
Transfer in Biomedical Engineering".
55. The Academy organises a series of Technical
Briefing events throughout the year. These are held at The Academy's
offices and are open to Fellows and invited guests only. Conducted
under Chatham House rules, they allow Fellows to be briefed on
the latest developments by industry experts.
Recent Technical Briefings have looked
at: "Learning from Accidents", and "The Future
of Motor Transport".
56. The Academy's principal publication
is Ingenia, a quarterly magazine. Articles cover a broad range
of topics and issues from IT and communications to energy, innovative
design, infrastructure, education and training. The publication
is aimed at both specialists and non-specialists with an interest
in engineering, whether in business, industry, academia, government
Ingenia is circulated to some 5,500
readers. These include Fellows of The Academy, other senior engineers
in industry and academia, MPs and senior civil servants involved
in engineering issues. It is also read by those developing and
educating engineersuniversity vice-chancellors and academic
staff, and by those in financial and political areas such as bankers,
analysts, venture capitalists and policy makers responsible for
engineering activities that affect economic growth, social welfare,
sustainable development and the environment.
57. Some commentators remain uncertain about
how the Royal Academy of Engineering relates to the individual
engineering institutions and, in particular, to the new Engineering
and Technology Board (ETB). The Academy's role is clearto
promote excellence in engineering. It does so through a Fellowship
that comprises the most distinguished engineers in the UK.
58. Unlike the individual engineering institutions,
the Royal Academy of Engineering draws its Fellows from across
the full range of engineering disciplines, from chemical engineering
to biomedical engineering, including software engineering and
nanotechnology. We are able to bring a uniquely multidisciplinary
approach when commenting on engineering issues, especially when
the general public is involved.
The Engineering and Technology Board
59. The ETB has been set up to be the champion
of the wider engineering and technology community in the UK, including
many who practise engineering outside the organised network of
the established engineering institutions.
60. Research conducted by The Academy found
that there are at least two million highly skilled people employed
in engineering or technological businesses, but only 600,000 belong
to the 36 professional engineering institutions. The ETB seeks
to represent all two million involved in engineering or technology.
The individual engineering institutions
61. The 36 Engineering Institutions (eg
the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Civil
Engineers) draw their members from specific branches of engineering.
They have regard to their members' personal requirements, for
example, in relation to continuing professional development.
62. Most of the senior figures in the major
engineering institutions are also Fellows of The Academy.
The network of engineering institutions
63. Dr Robert Hawley FREng (a prime mover
in the creation of the ETB) has given what is perhaps the best
summary of the roles of the various engineering organisations:
"The Royal Academy of Engineering is about
engineering and engineering excellence.
The engineering institutions are about the needs
and development of individual engineers.
The New Regulatory Board is about the setting,
auditing and regulating of standards for professional engineers.
And the ETB is about the needs and promotion
of the wider engineering and technology community".
Election of Fellows
64. Existing Fellows propose prospective
new Fellows of The Academy. All applications go before a Membership
Committee and are then put to a vote at the AGM. All Fellows are
entitled to attend and vote at the AGM.
65. Fellows pay an annual subscription of
£160. There is also a one-off joining fee of £250.
66. Although The Academy's procedures for
electing Fellows and Council are operated in a fair and proper
manner, we recognise the importance of making them more transparent.
We are working with the Electoral Reform Society to strengthen
our procedures for electing Council and Officers.
67. A statistical breakdown of The Academy's
Fellows is given at Annex 2.
68. The Academy is acutely aware of the
very low numbers of women in its own ranks and in engineering
in general. Of The Academy's 1,270 Fellows, 15 are women. As the
Royal Academy of Engineering, we recognise that we have a responsibility
to encourage more women into the profession.
69. There is no question of The Academy
discriminating against women in the election process. There are
simply very few women at senior levels of the engineering profession.
The number of senior women in engineering today reflects the low
numbers who entered the profession 20 or 30 years ago and higher
drop-out rates due to family and other commitments.
70. There are some modest reasons for optimism.
Of our 34 Fellows under the age of 50, 20 per cent are women.
Although we would like to see this figure higher, it is better
than the male-female ratio for undergraduate level engineering
courses (14 per cent).
71. Many of our educational schemes are
helping to bring women into engineering. Women are much better
represented on our schemes than they are in the overall figures
for engineering undergraduates. To give some examples:
Over 5,000 young people take part
in our nationwide Best engineering education programme each year.
Over 25 per cent are female (almost double the current university
entry rate), which bodes well for the future of women in engineering.
The Academy's Panasonic Trust Fellowship
Scheme provides grants of £7,000 each to enable graduate
engineers to undertake full-time Masters courses. In 2001, four
of the five award-winners were women. Of the 34 original applications,
28 were from men and six from women.
Of applications for The Academy's
International Travel Grant Scheme in 2001, 72 per cent were male
and 28 per cent femaledouble the percentage of women entering
university as engineering or technology undergraduates.
In the latest round of our Post-doctoral
Research Fellowships scheme, 20 per cent of applicants were women,
but women took two of the five fellowships awarded.
Ethnic origin of Fellows
72. The Academy does not collect statistics
on the ethnic origin of its Fellows. Fellows have to be British
citizens, except for those elected as foreign members.
73. Although widely known and respected
at senior levels in the engineering world, The Academy is anxious
to make a greater impact on public policy-making and to do more
to raise the profile and prestige of engineering as a career.
74. The Academy already has plans to expand
a number of its activities under the Management Plan agreed with
the Office of Science and Technology for the period up to 2003-04.
75. This section goes beyond the plans already
agreed. It sets out some thoughts on how we would like to achieve
a step-change in The Academy's activitiesand on how we
would like Government to help us to make a bigger contribution
to the public good. It deliberately takes no account of cost implications.
It is intended to demonstrate the extent of The Academy's ambition,
rather than the limitations of our revenue stream.
76. Two of these "ideas for the future"
(Research Chairs and International Research Exchanges) are briefly
outlined in The Academy's Management Plan, with indicative costings
for 2004-05 onwards attached. Others are set out for the first
time in this evidence.
Leading Advisers to Government and Parliament
A greater impact on public policy-making
77. The Academy has the expertise to make
a much greater contribution to public policy-making. In this we
seek to emulate the relationship that the National Academy of
Engineering in Washington has with Congress and the US Government.
78. Instead of simply responding to consultations
and producing our own reports, we would like to work as the Government's
principal advisers on engineering matters. The breadth of expertise
among The Academy's Fellows means that on almost any engineering
issue The Academy can call on national or world experts.
79. We should like to place The Academy
at the disposal of Ministers and parliamentarians, with Fellows
and staff of The Academy ready to fulfil the following roles:
Fellows can be made available as
specialist advisers to Select Committees or as expert witnesses
to appear before Select Committees
The Government's proposal for new
parliamentary procedures for handling major infrastructure projects
provides a perfect example of how The Academy can make a contribution.
If, as seems reasonably likely, Parliament decides to use a Committee
process to scrutinise such projects, The Academy would be ideally
placed to provide the technical assistance that Members would
The Academy can organise and host
seminars bringing together experts, civil servants and politicians,
under Chatham House rules if necessary. For example, we held a
very successful meeting in June 2001 on the Government's early
plans for R&D tax credits for larger companies, involving
Fellows, officials from HM Treasury, the Inland Revenue and the
DTI, tax lawyers and business leaders. We would be pleased to
organise many more such occasionsif the Government would
find it helpful.
The Academy can be commissioned to
produce reports to Ministers or Government departments on specific
engineering topics. For example, The Academy is preparing an engineering
critique of the recent PIU report on energy policy for the Energy
Minister, Brian Wilson MP. Although The Academy has undertaken
projects of this kind from time to time in the past, we have the
expertise to tackle more issues (although staffing and financial
resources are limited at present).
80. Since its establishment in 1976 The
Academy has grown and developed not only in terms of the number
of Fellows but also in the scale and diversity of its activities.
To reflect its maturity and ability to make a real difference
The Academy has now established a "Facing Out" initiative
to help the organisation develop into a genuinely outward-facing
organisation with a strong public profile.
81. "Facing Out" is a logical
next step in The Academy's development. It will enable The Academy
to generate debate on engineering issues and highlight the economic
importance of the sector. The project is being driven by an advisory
group of Fellows, journalists and politicians.
82. As a first step, The Academy has established
a database of Fellows willing to speak to the media on a range
of engineering topics; this will run on the Academy web site,
which has itself been extensively modernised to emphasise events
of current interest.
83. An Academy Awards event has also been
instigated in order to showcase more effectively the achievements
of our annual medallists. Presentation of Britain's biggest engineering
prize, the £50,000 MacRobert Award, takes place in November
and involves the winner in establishing an exhibition at the Science
84. The Academy would like to create a limited
number of independent and fully funded RAEng Research Chairs for
outstanding individuals. Such appointments would be for up to
ten years, enabling the individual to concentrate on research
with the added attraction of considerable freedom to establish
exceptional centres of research excellence. These would complement
the Academy's existing programme of research chairs, which are
jointly funded by industry.
85. The Academy would look to make 10 appointments
over a period of 10 years. This would require an increase in grant-in-aid
of £120,000 in 2004-05, rising to £221,000 in 2005-06.
International Research Exchanges
86. The Academy would like to develop international
research exchanges for senior academics. Flexible in duration,
these would encourage top-level engineering researchers to visit
overseas centres of excellence and vice versa, enabling the enhancement
of international networks of excellence.
87. The Academy would look to establish
the scheme in 2004-05 with 10 awards, and then increase to 30
awards in 2007-08. This would require extra grant-in-aid of £220,000
in 2004-05, rising to £421,000 in 2005-06.
More support for specialist schools
88. Too many young people turn away from
academic subjects such as mathematics and physics at an early
stage in their school careers. These subjects are fundamental
to an engineering education.
89. If we wish to encourage more young people
to pursue an engineering career, then we need to tackle these
problems in the early years of secondary education.
90. The Academy is particularly looking
to support higher quality teaching and teachers and better equipment
and facilities, with an emphasis on developing best practice through
a network of specialist schools.
91. Together with the Engineering and Marine
Training Authority, the Engineering Employers' Federation, the
Engineering Council and other bodies, The Academy has agreed to
sponsor three specialist schools in engineering (Eckington School,
Woodchurch High School and Devonport High School).
92. The Academy would like to step up this
important work by supporting more specialist schools. This would
require an increase in grant-in-aid.
Engineering Enterprise scholarships
93. The Academy could consider offering
a series of scholarships to promote the development of engineers
as entrepreneurs. The scholarships could be offered at Masters
94. Such a scheme would recognise the crucial
importance of engineering to the economy and would send a clear
signal that the Government recognises the value to be found in
a combination of engineering and business skills.
Next phase of Visiting Professorship scheme
95. The Academy's Visiting Professors are
senior industrial engineers who work with universities to develop
more practitioner-oriented degree courses. The schemes were first
established in response to concerns that many universities were
providing courses that placed too great an emphasis on theory,
rather than on practical applications of engineering skills and
knowledge. (Full details of the VP schemes are given above).
96. The VPs in Principles of Engineering
Design Scheme now receives only token cash support from The Academy,
with major funding now going to the VP in Engineering Design for
Sustainable Development scheme. Although goodwill and enthusiasm
is keeping the VPs in Principles of Engineering Design scheme
buoyant at present, we cannot expect this situation to continue
indefinitely. The current funding model for Higher Education causes
a bias towards academic research, in order to achieve good research
assessment ratings, and the teaching of practically oriented topics
such as design is under continuous financial pressure.
97. The Academy feels that it is essential
to inject significant funding back into the VPs in Principles
of Engineering Design scheme (which is still the foundation of
all Academy programmes in this area), and to maintain a strong
level of funding to the Sustainable Development scheme for at
least the rest of this decade.
98. Three follow-on developments to bring
greater practitioner input into the syllabus are in the planning
or conceptual stages:
a scheme to introduce systems integration
into the undergraduate syllabus;
a scheme to support practitioner
input into degree courses for support engineers; and
an initiative to assist in the roll
out of university expertise into the development of manufactured
products (through industrial practitioner support to engineering
99. With greater financial backing, these
projects could be operated in parallel with the existing programme.
ANNEX 1: FINANCE
In the financial year 2001-02 The Academy is
forecasting to achieve a total income of about £16.0 million.
The most significant elements of this income are as follows:
| Gatsby Charitable Foundation||1,304
| Income from investments||429
| Events and facilities hire||244
| Donations and direct sponsorship||218
| Other direct income||365
| Sub total||6,980
Third Party Income in Support of:
| Grant-in-Aid funded programmes||6,540
| Gatsby funded programmes||2,276
| Other programmes||208
| Sub total|| 9,024
Grant-in-Aid funding is of crucial importance to The Academy.
Direct funding accounts for over 25 per cent of total income and,
when the third party income (money spent by others as a result
of participating in The Academy's activities) to Grant-in-Aid
programmes is included, Grant-in-Aid related activities account
for nearly 68 per cent of total income. For every £1 of public
money that we disburse, we raise roughly £2 from other sources.
The Academy is proud of its record in extracting the maximum
possible value from the Grant-in-Aid with which it works. Our
success in generating extra resources alongside the Grant-in-Aid
demonstrates that the Academy provides good value for the public
funding that it receives. It must be doubted whether any alternative
approach would allow the Government to secure the same outputs
without substantial public expenditure increases.
It must also be acknowledged that the fact that The Academy
is seen to run large Grant-in-Aid funded programmes successfully
gives it considerable credibility with companies and organisations
when they are approached for support for The Academy's programmes
with either direct or third party funding.
Monitoring and auditing Grant-in-aid
There are four main mechanisms that control, monitor and
audit the expenditure of Grant-in-Aid. They are: internal control
procedures; external auditing; reporting to the Office of Science
and Technology (OST); and reporting to the National Audit Office.
(i) Internal Controls
The Academy sets a budget for Grant-in-Aid expenditure each
year which has been approved by OST. The overall total of Grant-in-Aid
is broken down into separate lines of expenditure for each programme.
The Academy's Finance Committee then determines the level of delegated
powers to be given to programme managers to raise expenditure
requests against the elements of Grant-in-Aid for which they are
responsible. In the entire history of The Academy, there has never
been a single instance of financial abuse or misdemeanour.
(ii) External Audit
As a registered charity, The Academy is obliged to follow
the statement of recommended practice (SORP) issued by the Charity
Commission, this sets out the standards which Charities must achieve
in their financial reports. The latest statement issued by the
Charity Commission is SORP 2000 which The Academy will implement
in full in its financial report for the year ended 31 March 2002.
The Academy is also required to comply with the financial reporting
standards (FRS) issued by the Accounting Standards Board. The
latest reporting standard, FRS17 covering the reporting of pension
fund liabilities will be introduced in the 2001-02 financial report.
The external auditors have never thought it necessary to include
a statement in their report qualifying the accounts in any way.
(iii) Office of Science and Technology (OST)
The Academy maintains sound working relationships with OST
both at President and senior staff level, in particular it maintains
an open dialogue with OST regarding all aspects of the Grant-in-Aid
funded programme. Through these channels of communication The
Academy is able both to make an input to the development of OST's
strategy, and also to formulate proposals for programmes to be
placed in the Management Plan to help the strategy to be achieved.
Each year, The Academy submits the Management Plan for consideration
by OST, this plan sets out in detail the proposed expenditure
of Grant-in-Aid for the following financial year, together with
outline proposals for expenditure in the subsequent two or three
years. The Management Plan, once agreed, then becomes the budget
for the year. At the end of each financial year The Academy submit
copies of the audited accounts for the year to OST, plus a detailed
statement of actual Grant-in-Aid expenditure on each programme.
(iv) National Audit Office (NAO)
As with any publicly funded organisation, The Academy is
subject to scrutiny by the NAO. The usual process by which this
occurs is through the NAO's annual audit of the OST appropriation
accounts, of which The Academy is one. The last comment made by
the NAO on The Academy's accounts, in November 1999, related to
a technical accounting issue which was quickly resolved.
In financial year 2001-02 the internal costs of The Academy
are as follows:
|Staff costs (inc. salaries, pension and N.I.)
|Accommodation (inc. rent, rates, utilities and insurance)
|Printing, stationery, postage and telephone
|Legal, professional and audit fees||84
The utilisation of Grant-in-Aid in the same year is:
|External expenditure on programmes||2,508
|Staff and overhead costs:||
|Staff costs of running programmes||807
|Contribution to accommodation costs||477
|Contribution to other overheads||478
From the above information the following may be deduced:
|Less: Staff costs of running programmes
|Total overhead costs||
|Grant-in-Aid contribution to accommodation costs
|Grant-in-Aid contribution to other overheads
|Total Grant-in-Aid contribution to overheads
Therefore as a proportion Grant-in-Aid contributes 54 per
cent of the overhead costs incurred by The Academy.
ANNEX 2: FELLOWSSTATISTICAL
The Academy has 1,270 Fellows. Election to The Academy is
by invitation only; up to 60 Fellows are elected each year from
nominations made by existing Fellows.
The table below shows the number of Academy Fellows who are
Fellows or members of the individual engineering institutions.
Note that many Fellows belong to more than one engineering institution.
Number of Academy Fellows by Fellowship or Membership of
individual engineering institutions
|Institution of Electrical Engineers||317
|Institution of Mechanical Engineers||293
|Institution of Civil Engineers||265
|Institution of Chemical Engineers||121
|Royal Aeronautical Society||109
|Institute of Physics||98
|Institute of Materials||97
|Institution of Structural Engineers||94
|Royal Institution of Naval Architects||33
|Institution of Mining and Metallurgy||30
|British Computer Society||28
|Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
|Institute of Energy||22
|Institution of Gas Engineers||14
|Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
|Institution of Nuclear Engineers||5
|Institute of Acoustics||4
|Institute of Measurement and Control||4
|Institution of Agricultural Engineers||2
|Institute of Nondestructive Testing||2
|Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
Dr Robert Hawley, Sir Henry Royce Memorial Lecture, 31 October