Two Engineering Professors elected as Fellows by the Royal Academy

Two of our Professors from the Faculty of Engineering have been recognised for their contribution to engineering after being elected as Fellows by the Royal Academy of Engineering – the highest accolade in the sector.

Profs Rainforth and Zhu

Professor Mark Rainforth from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering were announced as new Fellows at the Academy’s 40th AGM last week.

Fellowship of the Academy is considered to be one of the highest national honours that an engineer can receive. The UK’s most eminent engineers  are elected to the Academy and represent the nation’s best engineering researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, business and industry leaders.

Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro-Vice- Chancellor for Engineering at Sheffield, said: “It’s an incredibly competitive process to become a Fellow, with only 50 new Fellows selected each year, so I am delighted for both Professor Rainforth and Professor Zhu. Becoming a Fellow of the Academy is a matter of high esteem; it recognises the ingenuity and expertise of our finest engineers and promotes excellence in the profession.”

Professor Mark Rainforth was elected in recognition of his outstanding work in the use of advanced microscopy techniques that bring new insights into the understanding of friction and wear of materials. An international expert in materials processing, mechanical properties and characterization, much of his research has led to new materials design conceptions being adopted in commercial products within sectors including automotive, aerospace and biomedical materials. Mark is also the Advanced Metals Processing academic champion for the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute; supporting the transformation of advanced manufacturing in the UK.

Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu is distinguished for his outstanding contribution in the field of electrical machines and control systems. He leads the internationally renowned Electrical Machines and Drives Research group at the University and has pioneered advanced machines that use novel techniques to provide high torque density and high efficiency. His work has been commercially exploited by a number of international companies in automotive, aerospace, domestic and renewable energy market sectors.

The first meeting of the Fellowship of Engineering took place on 11 June 1976, when 130 leading engineers of the day were invited to Buckingham Palace by Senior Fellow HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Leading engineers have been elected to the Fellowship every year since and it now consists of around 1500 engineers from across engineering disciplines in both industry and academia.