Blog: Simon WarburtonPowering future engineers

Simon Warburton | 19 July 2013

Battersea Power Station was the dramatic backdrop to the Royal Academy of Engineering Awards in London

Battersea Power Station was the dramatic backdrop to the Royal Academy of Engineering Awards in London

Wednesday (17 July) this week saw the Royal Academy of Engineering Awards Dinner in London, but not at just any old venue.

The esteemed Academy held its bash at London's iconic Battersea Power Station and Bosch kindly invited me along.

Knights of the realm were in large supply as was Princess Anne and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, who gave a much wittier speech than his public persona would suggest.

I used to live nearish to Battersea Power Station for many years and lost count of the times such and such a rescue plan was mooted for this - now decommissioned - enormous building.

Well, it seems finally that concrete moves are afoot to rebuild the station - complete with an eye-watering 3,500 flats - but retain the instantly-recogniseable four towers that adorn each corner.

Regeneration and infrastructure projects were quite a theme on the night - possibly one of the warmest I have ever spent in London - the UK is undergoing something of a heatwave at the moment - and indeed plans are being made to even extend an underground line to Battersea - if and when - the project is finished.

And as a by the by, one award recipient mused how in the arts world, people could reel off writers, musicians, poets, etc, but that when it came to engineering, the opposite was almost true.

Maybe in UK engineering folklore, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, for his railway revolution and Alec Issigonis, with the Mini, spring to mind, but few in the wider world outside manufacturing could easily identify many more.

How do we put engineering back at the heart of what people in the UK want to do as a career? Not an easy one.


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