Prince Philip: “Everything Not Invented by God was Invented by an Engineer”

He may be well known for his politically incorrect gaffes, but Prince Philip has played some pretty important roles over the years, and we have to say, we’re quite flattered by his recent comments about engineers.

Speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme, the Duke of Edinburgh spoke about the importance of engineers, saying it’s hard to imagine life without them.

He speaks from a position of some authority – he’s actually been involved in engineering since he was a young cadet, carrying out basic engineering tasks as part of his duties, and is today a Senior Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – an institution he helped to create.

In the Radio 4 interview with Lord Browne of Madingley – another Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – the Duke of Edinburgh spoke about the problems the UK faced following the Second World War. The conflict caused serious damage throughout the country, with the Blitz affecting cities from Portsmouth to Glasgow, with knock-on effects to the infrastructure of the country. Combined with the cost of the war itself, the country was, in the Duke’s words, “completely skint. It seemed to me that the only way we were going to recover was through engineering”.

Over the following years, he used his influence to catalyse the formation of an academy for engineers as a way of integrating different engineering disciplines, identifying excellence in engineering and promoting the industry. Prior to the Academy’s formation in 1976, the Royal Society – the UK’s academy of sciences – had included engineers within its purview, but it was increasingly recognised that they needed a separate institution and today the two academies work side by side.

One of the interesting points that Prince Philip raised was that, despite the patently obvious importance of engineering to modern life, there is still no Nobel prize for engineering – an oversight he noted as “curious”. However, in recent years steps have been made to address this lack, with the introduction of the bi-annually awarded Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, first awarded in 2013 to the five engineers who are credited with the creation of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

The work of the Royal Academy of Engineering, supporting engineers, helping to encourage interest in the subject and bring young people into the industry, is certainly invaluable. As tension spring manufacturers, we depend on a continued support for engineering and manufacturing, and in turn support other manufacturers with our components, and it’s nice to see royal recognition for our industry!

If you’d like more information on the work we do here, or if you’re in need of components for your latest engineering project, get in touch with us on 048 9083 8605. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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