The Prince of Wales to Present the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

The Prince of Wales, Patron, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, presents Alis Huws (right), his new Official Harpist, with the Royal Harpist's brooch, during an evening of music and drama at his Welsh home Llwynywermod in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire.


Tuesday 3rd December 2019

The Prince of Wales, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen will present the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering at Buckingham Palace, London.

His Royal Highness will meet representatives of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. A short video will be played, after which Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, will deliver a speech.

His Royal Highness will present the awards to the winners, Dr Bradford Parkinson, Hugo Fruehauf, Richard Schwartz and the wife of the late Professor James Spilker, Jr, Mrs Anna Marie Spilker, for their work on the Global Positioning System, widely known as GPS.

The Prince of Wales will pause for a photograph with the winners before meeting the trophy designer and joining guests at the reception.

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Since it was first awarded in 2013, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) has become the world’s most prestigious engineering accolade.

The global £1 million prize celebrates a ground-breaking innovation in engineering. It is awarded every two years and aims to raise the public profile of engineering and to inspire the next generation.

The QEPrize rewards an individual or team of engineers whose engineering innovation has had a global impact on humanity. While doing so, the Prize celebrates engineering as a discipline and career choice and highlights its ability to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation was established to administer the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and is based at Prince Philip House in London.

The Winners

The 2019 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was awarded to Dr Bradford Parkinson, Professor James Spilker, Jr, Hugo Fruehauf, and Richard Schwartz for their work on the Global Positioning System (GPS). The winners were announced in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal earlier this year.

Sadly, Professor James Spilker passed away in September. His wife, Mrs Anna Marie Spilker, will receive his award on his behalf.

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Foundation, said: “The 2019 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering recognises the four engineers responsible for providing accurate position and timing information for billions of people around the world. Their revolutionary work epitomises the excellence in engineering that the QEPrize both recognises and celebrates, and we hope that it continues to inspire the next generation of engineers to take up the challenges of the future.”


GPS has revolutionised modern society. Its applications range from navigation and disaster relief through to climate monitoring systems, banking systems, and the foundation of tomorrow’s transport, agriculture and industry. It has been referred to as the ‘crown-jewel of engineering’.

GPS uses a constellation of at least 24 orbiting satellites, ground stations and receiving devices. Each satellite broadcasts a radio signal containing its location and the time from an extremely accurate onboard atomic clock. GPS receivers need signals from at least four satellites to determine their position; they measure the time delay in each signal to calculate the distance to each satellite, then use that information to pinpoint the receiver’s location on earth.

GPS was first developed in the early 1970’s. Today an estimated four billion people around the world use GPS. It enables anyone with a smartphone to pinpoint exactly where they are on Earth, as well as the precise time, and is also used in applications that range from aviation safety and banking to locating and rescuing ships in distress.

Create the Trophy Competition

Every two years, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering trophy design is found through the ‘Create the Trophy’ competition. The competition gives young people the opportunity to get involved, testing their design skills using the latest in 3D-design technology. The competition is open to entrants aged 14-24 worldwide. Trophy designs are created and submitted online using the QEPrize3D app, which is free to download on Apple and Android devices. This year’s winning entry, designed by 16 year old Jack Jiang from Hong Kong, was selected from thousands by a panel of expert judges from across the fields of engineering and design. Jack’s intricate design impressed the judges with its complexity and balance, combining traditional trophy shapes with elements of modern wind turbines.

Jack believes that engineers are key to solving the world’s future challenges. “There are countless environmental problems around the world, and right now they are only getting worse. However, I know that it will be engineers that provide solutions to them,” said Jack.

The Prince and Engineering

The Prince of Wales has a longstanding interest in encouraging more young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. His Royal Highness inspired the creation of the Industrial Cadets, which help provide workplace experiences for young people.

In 2017, The Prince opened the Morphy Richards Engineering Centre at Dumfries House in Scotland to provide indoor and outdoor STEM learning experiences for primary and early secondary students. Earlier this month, HRH visited ETL Systems in Hereford- a fast growing technology company, which designs and manufactures radio frequency (RF) equipment to enable and optimise satellite communications networks.

CATCH UP on The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s most recent engagements in the latest issue of Royal Life.

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