TV scientist Brian Cox has joined industry figures and academics in calling for protection of funding for engineering research on the eve of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Cox – star of hit BBC series Wonders of the Universe as well as advanced fellow of particle physics at the University of Manchester – signed a letter in The Times.
He was joined by industry figures including Laing O’Rourke technical director Paul Westbury in calling for spending on future engineers.
The letter, put together by the members of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering’s trustee board and judging panel, said technology had made a major impact during the last 90 years, and would benefit the next 90.
“We collectively appeal to those who control government budgets for education, research and development to protect funding for the next generation of engineers, even in these straitened times. Their work will sharpen our vision of the future and drive greater productivity for the next 90 years,” it said.
The letter marked the opening of public nominations for the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
Chairman of the foundation behind the award Lord Browne of Madingley said: “In order for governments to reap the benefits from engineers they need to protect their research and development budgets.
“Through protecting this investment, engineers will be empowered and able to continue solving the world’s greatest challenges. Some of these engineers may go on to be the next Queen Elizabeth Prize winner, but if not, they will at the very least provide their governments with more vital skills, goods and services which can be exported or traded to benefit their country.”