Engineers scoop two IET Innovation Awards

From l to r: Malcolm Lee, Hay Wong, Chris Sutcliffe, Eric Jones, Alex Booker

The School of Engineering scooped two awards at the prestigious Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards 2019 for a 3D printing Quality Control (QC) prototype developed by the Additive Manufacturing Research Group.

Dr Hay Wong was the winner of the Young Innovator award. The project team, including Dr Wong, Professor Chris Sutcliffe, Dr Peter Fox, Mr Derek Neary and technical staff from the School of Engineering, was awarded with  the Manufacturing Technology award.

Dr Wong developed an in-situ QC prototype to inspect the electron beam melting (EBM) process via electronic imaging. EBM makes use of an electron beam to melt metallic powder in a layer-by-layer fashion. Despite being one of the most promising 3D printing processes, EBM is prone to defects which impacted on the uptake of this process.

The custom-built prototype developed by Dr Wong addresses one of the bottlenecks slowing down wider industrial uptake of metal 3D printing and has the potential to benefit and companies with a wide range of personalised products and custom-made machine parts.

Dr Hay Wong said: “I am delighted to see the group’s innovation receiving recognition over its potential societal and industrial impacts. I look forward to continuing my research in this exciting area with the Additive Manufacturing Research Group. I would also like to thank Stryker Orthopaedics for their support, technical assistance and input throughout the project.”

The IET Innovation Awards celebrate the most pioneering innovations across the breadth of science, engineering and technology. Dr Wong and the team were presented with their awards by Alex Booker at a glittering ceremony in London.

Professor Eann Patterson, Head of the School of Engineering, said: “I would like to pass on my sincere congratulations to Dr Hay Wong and the team on winning these prestigious IET Innovation awards. These awards celebrate outstanding engineering ingenuity and are deserved recognition of the technological excellence and impact that Dr Wong’s research could have within the manufacturing industry.”

IET President, Peter Bonfield, said: “This year’s finalists come from a diverse range of companies and academic institutions, who all demonstrate the innovation and imagination of engineers worldwide as they tackle major economic and social challenges.”