Royal Academy of Engineering announces ERA Foundation Award winners

The Royal Academy of Engineering have announced this year's ERA Foundation Award winners

A new and much-needed remote system to safely and accurately assess dangerous nuclear accident sites created by Dr James Macfarlane, and a new anti-ageing skin cream applicator that uses electrical energy to increase absorption at deeper skin levels from Dr David Heath, have been awarded funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Dr James Macfarlane – remote nuclear accident inspection system

Dr James MacFarlane and his team at the University of Bristol have developed an innovative system to safely and remotely assess radiological hazards across the nuclear industry, providing real-time information on the source, intensity and location of radiation.

The Advanced Airborne Radiation Monitoring (AARM) system integrates an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a lightweight gamma spectrometer and other positional sensors. It is light weight and low cost, and able to capture high resolution images.

It could significantly improve the safety and effectiveness of hazard response operations, including rapid response monitoring of nuclear events. The system also supports routine monitoring at nuclear sites and naturally occurring radioactive materials at mining operations and oil and gas facilities.

Dr David Heath – Anti-ageing cream applicator

A new, painless home applicator device, designed by the University of Strathclyde’s Dr David Heath, uses electrical energy, like that used in pain relieving TENS machines, to stimulate deeper layers of the skin to increase absorption of key ingredients at these levels.

The anti-aging market is estimated to be worth over $260 billion currently globally, with growth predicted up to nearly $346 billion by 20181.

The new applicator technology will be licensed to retailers and has the potential to be used in other applications in the future, such as the treatment of stretch marks and acne scars.

The ERA Foundation Award will help the two technologies move out of the UK research labs where they were developed and turn them into reality.

About the Award

The ERA Foundation aims to contribute to the economic vitality of the UK by supporting activities that will help to bridge the gap between research and exploitation in the broad field of electrotechnology.

The Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award and £40,000 prize is made possible by the support of the Foundation and was established to identify entrepreneurial researchers working in UK universities, in the field of electro-technology, who are at an early stage in their career.

The award is presented to an individual or team annually, who demonstrate considerable entrepreneurial promise and the potential to benefit the UK’s future prosperity