Posted: 29 January 2015
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Noble prize

Chief Executive Steve Holliday explains why supporting the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a natural fit for National Grid.

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Noble prize

Noble prize

The QEPrize is awarded every two years. The winner of this year's accolade will be announced on 3rd February.

“National Grid was a founding donor of the awards - and we continue to proudly support them.”

Steve Holliday, National Grid Chief Executive.


To meet existing demand for engineers, we need 1.25 million more science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians by 2020.

Source: National Grid.

As one of the organisations that has supported this since its inception, National Grid is delighted to be again supporting this year’s Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize), the ultimate accolade for the world’s greatest engineering minds.

The QEPrize is awarded every two years and celebrates the most inspirational achievements in global engineering – and those that have had a significant impact on mankind. The prize is the engineering equivalent of the Nobel Prize.


Steve Holliday, National Grid Chief Executive.

As an international business with engineering at its heart that uses incredible innovation and design to deliver smart, sustainable and affordable energy solutions, the awards are the perfect fit for us.

The prize demonstrates that we are serious about supporting and explaining the importance of engineering. We want the world to come to us and celebrate the best in scientific, engineering and design endeavor.

The QEPrize focuses on how applied technology is working to solve the world’s biggest problems, including the clean and sustainable supply of energy. It shines a light on the fact that engineering is at the heart of almost every significant humanitarian and technological breakthrough.

Along with the prestige and financial benefits enjoyed by the winners, the prize aims to have a wider impact. One of the key objectives is to raise the public profile of engineering, explode any stereotypes that may exist about the profession and inspire more young people – and particularly girls – to become engineers. This is something we’re extremely serious about at National Grid.

It’s a dispiriting fact that just six per cent of the professional engineering workforce is made up of women and there’s clearly a compelling need to change that pattern. The problem extends beyond that to all youngsters, not just girls.

Click on the video below to view the QEPrize Create the Future Film of the Day from the 2013 awards.

To meet existing demand for engineers, we need 1.25 million more science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians by 2020. That’s a lot of youngsters who’ll need inspiring and convincing.

The QEPrize is a great way to boost the profile of engineering. By celebrating the achievements of our greatest engineers, we set them up as role models for the next generation of talent.

We’re passionate about promoting the study of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). We’re also working through various programmes and exhibitions such as Engineer Your Future at the Science Museum to get school-age children thinking more positively about engineering and create a more diverse pool of young talent – in terms of gender and ethnicity – to meet the demands ahead.

Engineering is one of the highest-paid professions in the UK and provides incredible opportunities and rewards, even in tough economic conditions. So we have the tools to win the hearts and minds of youngsters.

We’re already seeing something of a renaissance. Young people are beginning to sit up and realise that a career in the industry can be the route to an extremely rewarding life where your work changes lives, stimulates you personally and brings real financial rewards.

Engineers design the future. They help shape the global economy of tomorrow, and on a broader scale, the future of our civilisation.

It’s a message that chimes with the bright and ambitious youngsters in our schools. It’s a way to be a part of something that’s going to shape our lives and solve the world’s problems.

The QEPrize and the work we’re doing at National Grid is turning up the volume on one of the greatest jobs in the world.

The winner of the QEPrize will be announced on 3rd February. More details about the award can be found on the QEPrize web site.

Read more:

National Grid’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Holliday has been helping to inspire young engineers of the future at the ‘Creating the Future’ event at the Royal Institution in London.

Gas innovation in full flow