Tim Peake wins top engineering award

Awarded for the public promotion of engineering, the Rooke Award honours people who have brought engineering to life for the public. Previous winners include structural engineer Roma Agrawal and Professor Danielle George MBE, co-founder of Manchester’s Robot Orchestra.

Tim began his career as an officer in the British Army Air Corps. Having been selected for test pilot training, he graduated from the Empire Test Pilots’ School at Boscombe Down in 2005 and, in 2006, received a Bachelor of Science degree in flight dynamics and evaluation from the University of Portsmouth.

Following his retirement from the British Army Tim was selected as a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut in May 2009, graduating from astronaut basic training in November 2010. Tim spent three years conducting further training and working as a communicator with the International Space Station prior to his assignment to a long duration mission in 2013.

Tim was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS), launching in a Soyuz rocket on 15 December 2015. Taking part in over 250 scientific experiments for ESA and international partners during his mission, highlights saw him drive a rover across a simulated Mars terrain from space and helping dock two spacecraft.

Tim was also determined to make Principia an exciting adventure for young people, recognising that it was a unique opportunity to engage them in the science and engineering of human spaceflight. Through an educational outreach programme of more than 30 projects, the mission inspired and engaged more than two million school children across approximately 10,000 schools – equivalent to around 15% of all school children and one in three schools in the UK.

On his return to Earth he embarked on a countrywide tour to consolidate the public interest in the mission. His encyclopedic knowledge of the engineering of the ISS has captured the imagination of young and old alike. The many other activities that he has contributed to since returning to Earth include the Year of Engineering, publishing three books that engage the reader in key concepts in the science and engineering of space, engaging directly with his 1.6 million Twitter followers, and joining Chief Scout Bear Grylls to promote aeronautics to the young people involved in the Scouting movement.

Tim Peake said;

“It’s a huge honour to receive the 2019 Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke Award for promoting engineering to the public. Engineering is so incredibly important to our lives today, it can help us find solutions to many of the challenges that we face, as well as drive innovation and improve the quality of life for people around the world. That is why it is vital to inspire and engage young people from all backgrounds and encourage them to consider a career in engineering.”

Pete Lomas, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and founder of Raspberry Pi said; “As part of Tim Peake’s Principia mission, he personally spearheaded the largest education and outreach initiative ever undertaken for an ESA astronaut. Tim actively connects young people’s fascination with space exploration to the need for innovative engineering.

“As a founder of Raspberry Pi, I was thrilled that Tim acted as a personal ambassador for the Astro Pi programme. This gave young people across the UK the opportunity to develop their computing skills by writing code that ran on the specially engineered Raspberry Pi computers onboard the ISS. Thanks to Tim’s enthusiastic support for all Principia educational programmes and his passion for space exploration, over two million young people positively engaged with science and engineering across the various programmes.  I’m delighted that Tim is the recipient of the 2019 Rooke Medal.”

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