Young British engineer Sam Etherington worked out the design for his award-winning wave energy system while kite surfing. That inspiration may catapult him into the “SEMPA” British Engineering Hall of Fame.
Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, SEMTA, includes 128,000 companies and promotes continual improvement and advancement of engineering skills amongst the UK’s most advanced sectors: aerospace and defense, automotive, composites, electrical, electronics, marine, mechanical, metals, rail and space.
The organization is a clearing house for information on the UK high-tech sector and tracks stats such as:
- the UK is ranked ninth in global manufacturing output
- manufacturing is the UK’s third-largest sector
- the UK’s manufacturing output represents 46% of its exports or 225 billion pounds
- in 2012 manufacturing represented 9.8% of the UK workforce, or 2.9 million people
Awards for the Cream of the Crop
On the SEMTA website are videos of engineers and scientists responsible for significant advancements in the fields the organization promotes. There is information about how people become licensed, how girls and young women are involved in engineering, talks from some of the most famous members and gold medal winners in the yearly “World Skills” competitions. “World Skills” awards are given for best developments in aeronautical engineering, sheet metal technology, CNC Milling, CNC Turning, mobile robotics, construction metal works and others.
Entering the SEMTA Hall of Fame
The most prestigious award given to UK engineers is the “Hall of Fame” prize. The organization runs a nomination process whereby the most inspiring and innovative British Engineers from the 18th century to the present day are inducted.
For 2014, the finalists include:
- Sir James Dyson – British inventor and industrial designer who founded the Dyson company.
- David Gow – a mechanical engineer from Scotland, who specializes in limb prosthetics and who invented the I-Limb partial hand system.
- Sir Jonathan Ive – designer and senior vice president of design at Apple, Inc. He has been instrumental in development of the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, the iPhone, IPad and iOS7.
- Tim Morgan – engineer and entrepreneur who invented an all-terrain wheelchair, the Mountain Trike, enabling wheelchair users to enjoy the countryside independently.
- Sam Etherington – last but not least, is the 24-year-old mechanical engineer who invented a wave power generator to harvest energy from the ocean, garnering the James Dyson Award in September 2013. Called the “renewable wave power generator,” it is one of the most advanced wave power technologies yet developed and his company, Renewable Wave Power, is working on a prototype.
IndustryTap wrote about his invention in October 2013. Voting for the Hall of Fame will be open until January 31, 2014, with the winner announced in early 2015.