National Engineering Day is celebrated on 1 November. It’s a day dedicated to recognising the achievements and contributions of engineers.
To celebrate the day, we have partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop a themed tube map, highlighting the achievements of Engineering Icons!
What is National Engineering Day?
National Engineering Day is run by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The day aims to make engineering more visible and celebrates how engineers improve everyday lives.
The goal is to inspire people of all backgrounds to study science, technology, engineering (in particular) and mathematical subjects, and then pursue them professionally.
A design classic 🗺
The original Tube map was created by Harry Beck in 1933. He was an Underground electrical draughtsman. Most maps emphasise distance and geographical accuracy. But Beck based his map on the circuit diagrams he drew for his day job. He stripped the sprawling Tube network down to a neat diagram of coloured, criss-crossing lines.
Beck’s revolutionary design, with certain modifications and additions, survives to the present day. You can find out more about Harry Beck and his world famous map at the London Transport Museum.
The Engineering Icons Tube map 🚇
The map showcases and celebrates 274 engineers across 11 themes. Its purpose is to showcase the role engineering has played in shaping society and highlight how imperative it is for the future. It also includes those who led the delivery of the Elizabeth line, London’s newest railway!
Those featured are:
🌆 The historic pioneers who built London, the UK and the wider world.
💡 Today’s innovators who are developing new solutions to improve our everyday lives, from pioneering cancer treatments and more sustainable sources of energy to state-of-the-art infrastructure.
🙋♀️ The most exciting talent who are shaping tomorrow!
London would not be the world-leading city it is today without the contribution of engineers who have been responsible for creating major transport projects in the capital. The map represents a global city built on ingenuity thanks to the brilliant engineers who have shaped the way it looks and behaves, from below ground to the skyline itself.
Highlighting engineering icons ✨
11 individuals who showcase the power of engineering are highlighted below.
- Shepherd’s Bush has been renamed as Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng, who was the first female President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She worked on pioneering noise-reduction research on Concorde.
- Oxford Circus station has been renamed as Harry Beck, who was an electrical draughtsman and created the iconic London Underground Tube map 90 years ago in 1933.
- Uxbridge has been renamed as Dr Gladys West, who was the first woman to receive the Royal Academy of Engineering’s highest individual award, the Prince Philip Medal. It was work that paved the way for the Global Positioning System (GPS).
- Ealing Common station has been renamed after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who is the most celebrated civil engineer of the nineteenth century. He pioneered projects during the industrial revolution. He built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, steamships, bridges and tunnels. He was responsible for designing and constructing the Thames Tunnel in London, as well as many other transport projects.
- Warren Street has been renamed as Ada Lovelace who is considered the world’s first computer programmer.
- Regent’s Park station has been renamed as Alexander Graham Bell who was the inventor of the first practical telephone.
- Abbey Wood station has been renamed after Isabel Coman who is TfL’s Director of Engineering. She played a significant role in building the Elizabeth line. She has been listed in the Financial Times as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in the engineering sector. She talks about her achievements in this video 👉🏽
- Harrow-on-the-Hill station has been renamed after Sir Charles Kao KBE FREng. He was known as the father of fibre optic communications. He won a Nobel prize work his work in pioneering information technology. He created methods to combine glass fibres with lasers to send and receive data. His work pioneered the development of fibre optics as we know them today, which went on to transform the internet.
- Nine Elms station has been renamed as Eneni Bambara-Abban. She is a multi-award-winning robotics engineer and stars in the new series of This is Engineering. She founded The Techover Foundation, an organisation on a mission to educate, inspire and support the next generation into STEM, especially those of underserved backgrounds.
More celebrated engineers
- Sir Joseph Bazalgette CB – Sir Joseph Bazalgette CB was an English civil engineer who created the sewerage system for central London. He also designed the Hammersmith Bridge and was the president of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1884. In 2020 the public space next to Blackfriars Bridge was named after him.
- George Imafidon MBE – George Imafidon MBE is the CEO of an organisation called Motivez, dedicated to upskilling young people and improving access to STEM careers. He is also a performance engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Team X44, as well as a board member at the Hamilton Commission, and the Co-op Foundation.
- Air Marshal Dame Sue Gray DBE CB FREng – Air Marshal Dame Sue Gray DBE CB FREng is a former senior Royal Air Force officer. She went on to serve as Director General of the Defence Safety Authority in 2019, she become the most senior female military officer in the British Armed Forces.
- Dr Caroline Hargrove CBE FREng – Dr Caroline Hargrove CBE FREng is Chief Technical Officer of Ceres Power. She Previously served as Chief Technical Officer at Zedsen, Babylon Health and Maclaren Applied Technologies. She also previously served as a visiting professor and the University of Oxford.
- Prof. Robert Langer Jr FREng – Prof. Robert Langer Jr FREng is a pioneering chemical engineer who innovated controlled drug release systems and tissue engineering which transformed a variety of treatments. He is the Co-Founder of Moderna. Also, he is the most cited engineer in history and 2015 winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
- Professor Adisa Azapagic MBE FREng FRSC FIChemE – Professor Adisa Azapagic MBE FREng FRSC FIChemE is a Professor of Sustainable Chemical Engineering at the University of Manchester. She was awarded the IChemE Award for Outstanding Achievements in Chemical and Process Engineering and the GSK/CIA Innovation Award in for masterminding the CCaLC carbon foot printing tool for industry.
- Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez – Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez is a designer, architect and inventor. He is the co-founder and co-CEO of Notpla. A company that uses seaweed to create a compostable, plant-based replacement for the single-use plastic layer in cardboard takeaway food boxes. In 2022 Notpla won the Earthshot Prize.
Come back to this blog for more details about each of the engineers featured on the map.
❓Who is the engineer featured near where you live? Let us know in the comments!
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