Indro Muckerjee speaks at the ERA Foundation’s 18th Annual Dinner and Lecture.

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden and the ERA Foundation Board welcomed over a hundred guests for its annual Dinner and Lecture at the Wellcome Trust Lecture Hall at the Royal Society on Tuesday, 13th June 2023.

The dinner is the second after a two-year hiatus during the COVID pandemic and is a valuable opportunity to meet face to-face, given the immense importance of all our partners, organisations, and individuals to the Foundation.

This year we were pleased to welcome Indro Mukerjee, the CEO of Innovate UK, to give our annual lecture. Mukerjee is a distinguished thinker and speaker on the transformational nature of our connected world, sustainability, ambition, inclusion & diversity, and the critical need for STEM skills in our future generations.

His highly topical lecture follows from Innovate UK’s influential “Materials and manufacturing vision 2050 report” report, published in March.

In his talk, Mukerjee outlined the significant opportunities to make a real economic, environmental, and societal difference in the UK. He emphasised the need for businesses to adapt and evolve to secure market position and grow sustainably. He also highlighted the UK’s exciting opportunities, including world-class manufacturing, materials excellence, creativity and design expertise, digital excellence, leadership in standards and regulation, and an enviable RTO network.

Mukerjee’s vision of the work of Innovate UK was an encouraging reminder of the power that a strong partnership between the government and the world-leading minds and facilities in the UK can have.

The best talent working effectively together can enable the UK to become a destination of choice for advanced low-carbon manufacturing. He also discussed the stepping stones on our route ahead, including designing consumer goods and hardware for repair or remanufacture, supporting net zero and sustainable supply chains and systems, delivering supply chain resilience, gaining maximum advantage from the digital revolution, and making the UK a destination of choice for advanced low carbon manufacturing.

Mukerjee placed particular emphasis on the role of the strong team at Innovate UK in the organisation’s success. Drawing on his experience transitioning from the private to the public sector, he highlighted the positive impact that public service roles can have on a personal level and across the broader economy.

Professor Snowden presented ERA Fellowship certificates to the 2022 RAEng ERA Foundation Enterprise Fellows and Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 Industrial Fellow.

Will Dubin, the founder of Manhole Metrics, received the May 2022 ERA Foundation Enterprise Fellowship. His innovative company has introduced affordable, durable, easy-to-install sensors tracking wastewater levels. These sensors, equipped with real-time and predictive alerts, allow for proactive flood management.

James Eaton, the founder of IONETIC, was awarded the November 2022 ERA Foundation Enterprise Fellowship. IONETIC has developed ARC, a highly adaptable and automatically optimised battery pack platform. This platform enables a faster and more economical method for designing, approving, and manufacturing safe and effective battery pack solutions, primarily for electric vehicle manufacturers.

Our 2022 Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Industrial Fellow was Joe Ross, a part of Brill Power. Ross has collaborated with Oxford University on a research project exploring cell state estimation using modular battery packs. The project’s ultimate goal is to utilise power electronics within a modular battery management system to devise a novel method for extracting state estimation data from cells within a battery pack.

Dr David Clark had the privilege of presenting the ERA Foundation Clark Prize to Jenn McEwan and Isabel Culmer. These educators have excelled beyond the standard curriculum by inspiring their students and bringing real-world engineering experiences into the classroom. In addition, the ERA Foundation awarded Caroline Maston and Hamada Mahdi special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the field of engineering education.