Her Majesty the Queen will this evening present the trophies for the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering to the winners at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace attended by the Prime Minister, the deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
Attending on behalf of Tata Steel will be the CEO of Tata Steel in Europe, Karl Koehler, and a young engineer, James Gricapizzi, who was selected for the honour of attending the event from a shortlist of the company’s young engineering talent.
The identities of the winners of the Prize, which is intended to give engineering the same kind of recognition that are accorded by Nobel prizes, were revealed in March. They are five engineers acclaimed as pioneers in the development of the internet and the world wide web: Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vint Cerf, Marc Andreessen, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
The Prize aims to attract young people to the engineering profession by recognising outstanding advances in engineering that have changed the world and benefited humanity.
Karl Koehler said: “The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a wonderful opportunity to open the eyes of young people to everything that a career in engineering offers. We need a fantastic initiative like this to remind us, not only in the UK, but throughout Europe, that it was engineering that made our continent prosperous and provided the differentiating factor that led to Europe’s economic rise.
“The Prize also emphasises that engineering is the key to retaining our economic competitiveness. The Prize celebrates innovation and those who work on the engineering solutions to the great challenges and opportunities of modern society. Europe will always need engineers because companies like Tata Steel that focus on innovation must employ people with the right technical skills to ensure they succeed in their markets.
“This is important because large-scale industries like ours form the backbone of much of manufacturing activity. We employ about 4,000 engineers in the UK alone – about 20% of our workforce – and run one of the country’s largest apprentice schemes, with about 500 apprentices on our books at any one time. We need people with the right STEM-subject qualifications. That’s why we pioneered the Industrial Cadets scheme with Prince Charles, whereby schoolkids of about 13-14 years of age attend one of our sites for 3 hours a week for about 8-10 weeks in order to learn about manufacturing and steelmaking.”
Two other Tata group companies, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Consultancy Services, will be similarly represented at the Buckingham Palace event. Together, the three Tata companies are the largest contributor to the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation.
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About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With the main steelmaking operations in the UK and Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, lifting & excavating, energy & power, aerospace and other demanding markets worldwide. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.