The Science Museum has announced the opening of its new Engineers Gallery, a space dedicated to engineering innovations and the people behind them, in June 2023.
The Engineers Gallery aims to celebrate the UK’s engineering heritage and showcase some of these innovations through the global lens of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, with current and past prize winners featured throughout.
At the heart of the gallery, the Science Museum has announced, there will be richly illustrated and characterful stories from more than 60 engineers working in a broad range of industries, such as farming, fashion, robotics and medicine, shining a light on their lives, motivations, thought processes, and daily lives.
“2023 marks the first decade of the QEPrize and its role in championing bold, ground-breaking engineering innovation that is of global benefit to humanity,” said QEPrize and RAEng CEO Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE.
“Working with our global QEPrize Ambassador Network of early career engineers, some of whom are featured in this exhibition, we aim to inspire young people from all backgrounds, all around the world, to consider a future career in engineering.”
These stories will sit within four distinct sections, highlighting a breadth of promising new work which builds on the successes of previous QEPrize winners.
The ‘Bodies’ section will look at how controlled drug delivery and surgical robots place people and their bodies at the heart of precision engineering practice.
In the ‘Lives’ part, LED lighting and digital imaging sensors will illustrate how engineers work sustainably, building enduring businesses, with a minimised ecological footprint.
In ‘Connections’ visitors will experience how GPS, internet and web technologies represent engineering as a connected practice, with diverse teams creating new global information and communication systems.
The final section ‘Creating’, will look at how engineers create products, from software to suspension bridges and how their creative ways of thinking are central to developing innovations which can change the world.
“Everyday life depends on the skills and creativity of engineers,” said the Science Museum director Sir Ian Blatchford.
“In bringing this fabulous new gallery to life, we’re delighted to be working with the QEPrize, whose recognition of some of the most brilliant minds and important innovations of our time is so vital. I know our many visitors will be inspired by the stories they will encounter.”
‘Engineering enables and enhances every aspect of modern life and we are honoured to be able to work with the Science Museum to showcase the creativity and exhilaration of engineering innovation in such a public forum,” said Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation.
“Engineers hold the key to solving many of the global challenges we face in the future and the QEPrize exists to celebrate their visionary achievements.”
According to research conducted by Engineering UK in 2020, young people’s knowledge of engineering is low, and what they do know is often influenced by stereotypes and misinformation.
By connecting audiences with people who have created and pursued innovation, the gallery aims to provide a passage to a subject many feel disconnected from, and open people’s eyes to the possibilities it affords.
Visitors should have the opportunity to take a closer look at iconic objects from the CMR Versius surgical robot arm to the first digital camera, and a miniature atomic clock which the entire GPS system depended upon, as well as learn more about the people who invented them.
The Engineers Gallery will be situated on Level 1, adjacent to the David Sainsbury Gallery, which opened in November 2022 and was supported by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, as its major funder, and MathWorks, as its major sponsor.