Engineering projects vie for top prize

Posted on 08 Jun 2017 and read 846 times
Engineering projects vie for top prizeThree UK engineering projects have been short-listed for the coveted MacRobert Award, which is presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering to the engineers behind “impactful and successful innovations”.

Three companies are in the running for the £50,000 prize, which will be presented at the Academy Awards Dinner in London on 29 June. They include the team behind the low-cost (and tiny) Raspberry Pi microcomputer, a company creating an ‘immune system’ to protect against cyber-attacks, and another that is using 3-D cameras to make radiotherapy better(pictured).

The Raspberry Pi has been a huge hit with schools and the coding community, with more than 14 million sold world-wide by the not-for-profit organisation. It has been used for video games, robots and scientific experiments. Awards judge Frances Saunders said: “The Raspberry Pi team has achieved something that mainstream multinational computer companies and leading processing chip designers not only failed to do, but failed even to spot a need for.”

Meanwhile, Darktrace — a spin-off from the University of Cambridge — aims to protect networks from cyber-attacks with an ‘immune system’ built on artificial intelligence.

The company has developed machine learning software that can learn “the normal pattern of life on a network, and then flag up potentially suspicious activity, while constantly improving without human input”.

London-based Vision RT has developed a guidance system for radiotherapy cancer treatments. This uses 3-D cameras to monitor the patient’s body surface to an accuracy of better than 1mm — and it can detect even the slightest movements.

This helps the patient maintain the correct position and makes treatment faster and more effective, with fewer adverse effects.

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