Our patrons and previous presidents

Dates of previous presidents, Congress venues and President’s Prize winners:

Date President* Congress venue President’s Prize Winner
2001-03 Prof Bill Banks 2001 –  Strathclyde
2002 – Durham
2003-05 Prof Fred Maillardet 2003 – Surrey
2004 – Cardiff Dr Ian Gibson MP
2005-07 Prof Anthony Unsworth 2005 – Brighton
2006 – Staffordshire Sir Peter Williams
2007-09 Prof Ray Allen 2007 – Leeds
2008 – Warwick Lord Sainsbury
2009-11 Prof Barry Clarke 2009 – Heriot Watt
2010 – Loughborough Lord Alex Broers
2011-13 Prof Helen Atkinson 2011 – LSBU
2012 – Leicester Prof Dame Julia King
2013-15 Prof Simon Hodgson 2013 – Portsmouth
2014 – Glasgow Sir John Parker
2015-17 Prof Steph Haywood 2015 – Salford
2016 – Hull Sir William Wakeham
2017-19 Prof Sarah Spurgeon 2017 – Coventry
2018 – Harper Adams Dame Ann Dowling
2019-21 Prof Colin Turner 2019 – UCL
2020 – SHU (virtual) Prof John Perkins
2021-23 Prof Mike Sutcliffe 2021 – virtual
2022 – UWE, Bristol Dr Hayaatun Sillem

*Prof Anthony Unsworth was the first person to be appointed as the EPC’s President. The individuals listed before him in this table held the position of Chairman.

Since 2010, the winner of the President’s Prize has traditionally been invited to become a Patron of the EPC. Sir Peter Williams was also kind enough to become a Patron. Read more about our patrons below:

Lord Alec Broers

Lord (Alec) Broers FREng was knighted in 1998 and created a Life Peer in 2004. A fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society, he was awarded the EPC President’s Prize in 2010.  Lord Broers was Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University from 1996 until 2003 and is a former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and former chair of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee.  Previously, and following 19 years in the research and development laboratories of IBM in the U.S., he was Professor of Electrical Engineering (1984-1996) and Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge (1985-1990). He subsequently became Master of Churchill College (1990-1996) and Head of the University Engineering Department (1993-1996). He is a pioneer of nanotechnology and the first person to use the scanning electron microscope for the fabrication of micro-miniature structures.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS is a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cambridge and between 2014-2019 she served as President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. After working at Rolls-Royce Bristol, she was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Cambridge in 1979, and has held visiting research posts at MIT in 1999 and Caltech in 2001. She then became Head of the Department of Engineering at Cambridge from 2009 to 2014.

In 2002, Dame Ann was recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours, receiving a CBE for services to Mechanical Engineering, and again in the 2007 in the New Year’s Honours List when she received a DBE for services to science. In the 2015 New Year’s Honours, she was admitted to the Order of Merit. After a degree in mathematics Dame Ann completed a PhD in engineering with Prof John Ffowcs Williams FREng and led the Cambridge MIT Silent Aircraft project, which published its radical new design concept SAX-40 in 2006 with the aim of raising aircraft industry aspirations. She leads research on efficient, low-emission combustion for aero and industrial gas turbines and low-noise vehicles, particularly aircraft. Her work in aeronautics and energy has been recognised by fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, as well as foreign associate membership of both the US National Academy of Engineering and the French Academy of Sciences.

Dame Ann was awarded the James Watt International Gold Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2016 and has received honorary degrees from 15 universities including Oxford, Imperial College London and KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm. In 2004, she chaired the widely respected report produced jointly by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, which highlighted the need for responsible regulation and research around the use of materials at an extremely small scale. The Dowling Review into business university research collaborations, commissioned by the UK government, was published in 2015.

She is a non-executive director of BP, and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology from 2014-2019. She also served as was a non-executive board member of BEIS from 2016 to 2018.

Professor Julia King, the Baroness Brown of Cambridge

Professor Julia King, the Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng has been Vice Chancellor of Aston University since 2006. She was previously Director of Advanced Engineering for the Industrial Power Group of Rolls Royce, Managing Director of the Fan Systems Business and Engineering Director for the Marine Business. In 2002, she became Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics and in 2004 the Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College. She was awarded the EPC President’s Prize in 2012. She led the Royal Academy of Engineering Working Party on Educating Engineers for the 21st Century and the ‘King Review’ to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport. She advises the Government on education and technology issues and is a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Amongst a variety of other senior roles, she is a member of the Committee for Climate Change and the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador.  She was awarded a DBE for her services to education and technology in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2012 and in 2015 became a cross-bench member of the House of Lords.

Sir John Parker

Sir John Parker GBE FREng studied Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering at the Belfast College of Technology and Queens University Belfast.  He is currently Chairman of Anglo American (his 5th FTSE 100 Chairmanship)  and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering.  He is Deputy Chairman of DP World (World’s 3rd largest Container Port Operator) and Non Executive Director with Airbus Group and Carnival Corporation (the world’s number 1 Cruise Ship Group).

He stepped down after 9 years as Chairman National Grid at the end of 2011 and from Chairing the Court of the Bank of England in 2009.  He has served as CEO, Chairman or Non Executive Director in over 20 major UK and overseas Companies.  (These have included Harland and Wolff – Belfast, Austin & Pickersgill, Sunderland; British Shipbuilders Corporation; Babcock International Group; British Coal Corporation; BG Group; Lattice Group; Firth Rixon; GKN; Fred Olsen (Norway); Brambles (Australia); P&O Princess Cruises; RMC Group; P&O Group.

His extensive voluntary and charitable work has included Leading Young Offenders into Work; the RNLI Council, the White Ensign Association, President Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Chancellor of University of Southampton, Member of Prime Minister’s Business Council an Elder Brother of Trinity House and a Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford.

He was Knighted in the New Year’s Honours List in 2001 for services to Shipbuilding and the Defence Industries and was appointed GBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012 for services to Industry and the Voluntary Sector.

He has received Honorary Doctorates from a number of Universities in the UK & Ireland.  (Queen’s University, Belfast, Trinity College, Dublin, and Universities of Ulster, Abertay (Dundee), Surrey, Southampton, Aston and Plymouth and Imperial College).

His wide range of interests includes: Reading, Music, his 3 Grandsons and Sailing.  He is a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and other Yacht Clubs.

Prof John Perkins

John Perkins

Professor John Perkins CBE FREng is the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills; he took up this appointment in January 2012.  Prior to this he was Provost at the MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi (2009-10),  leading the development of this new institution.

Professor Perkins’ distinguished academic career includes service as Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, The University of Manchester (2004-9); Principal, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London  (2001-4) and ICI Australia Professor of Process Systems Engineering, University of Sydney (1985-88), as well as a period at the beginning of his academic career at the University of Cambridge (1973-7).   He has served as President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (2000-1) and as Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2007-10).  Professor Perkins is currently an Honorary Professor at Manchester University, Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and a member of the EPSRC Council.

He published his Review of Engineering Skills in November 2013 and will be our keynote speaker at Congress 2014.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE CEO, Royal Academy of Engineering CEO, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation Hayaatun has extensive leadership experience in UK and international engineering, innovation, and diversity and inclusion activities. She chairs the UK government’s Business Innovation Forum and the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, and recently co-chaired with Sir Lewis Hamilton his Commission on improving Black representation in UK motorsport. She is a trustee of Mission44, EngineeringUK and the Foundation for Science & Technology; a member of the UK government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council; a non-executive director of Laing O’Rourke and UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK; and an advisor to EQL: HER and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. She has been named as one of the ‘Inspiring 50 Women in Tech’ and one of the ten most influential women in both UK engineering and UK tech. She has a Masters in Biochemistry (MBiochem) from Oxford and a PhD from Cancer Research UK/UCL. She is a Fellow of the IET, Honorary Professor at UCL, Honorary Fellow at The Queen’s College, Oxford, and has received honorary degrees from UCL and Imperial College London. In 2021 Hayaatun won a Science Suffrage Award and she is a finalist for the 2022 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award. She was made a CBE for services to International Engineering in 2019. Prior to her current roles, she was Deputy CEO at the Academy and served as Committee Specialist and later Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee.

Sir William Wakeham

2016-04-06 Sir William WakehamSir William Wakeham FREng is a distinguished engineer.  He has published 7 books and about 400 peer-reviewed papers in the field of transport processes and thermodynamics, and holds a number of international awards. He became Professor at the Chemical Engineering Department at Imperial College London in 1983 and Head of Department in 1988. From 1996 to 2001 he was Pro-Rector (Research), Deputy Rector and Pro-Rector (Resources) at Imperial College.  A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, he retired in 2009 after 8 years in the position. A Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and of the Institute of Physics, in 2015/16 he chaired a Review of Employability Skills in STEM Graduates for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Sir Peter Williams

Sir Peter Williams CBE, FREng, FRS is Honorary Treasurer and Vice President of the Royal Society and Chairman of the National Physical Laboratory. He was knighted in 1998 and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society. He was awarded the EPC President’s Prize in 2006.  His previous roles have included those of Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Master of St. Catherine’s College Oxford, Chairman of Trustees of the Science Museum, a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care, Chairman of the Engineering & Technology Board and Chairman of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council. He has also been a non-executive director of GKN plc and of WS Atkins plc, Chairman and Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments plc, and Deputy Chief Executive of VG Instruments Ltd.

Related articles

Engineers 2030 consultation

The Engineering Professors’ Council, in collaboration with our Engineers Without Borders UK partners, invites you to contribute to the National...


Four keynotes you can’t afford to miss at EAN Congress in less than four weeks' time

The Engineering Academics Network Annual Congress is the flagship event of the EPC each year and in 2024, our theme...

Let us know what you think of our website