Written by Jack Chamberlain
The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Boscombe Down Branch held its annual presentation competition for young professionals, the Joe Morrall Award, back on Tuesday 3rd March 2020. The competition honours the well-respected aerospace engineer Joe Morrall and helps to provide continual professional development tothose who participate. This year, one QinetiQ and one Air Warfare Centre (AWC) engineer pitched their aerospace-themed lectures head-to-head in front of a small audience of QinetiQ staff and invited RAeS Boscombe Down Branch guests, with the chance to win a two-day trip to the RAeS Branches’ Conference in Paris* and entry into the national N E Rowe Award competition.
*Unfortunately, due to the subsequent development of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the RAeS Branches’ Conference has now been postponed and an alternative prize for the winner is being arranged by the branch committee.
Chris Blakeborough (QinetiQ Aviation Engineering Centre Electrical Designer) opened proceedings with a detailed insight into the engineering connections behind the construction of the giant Hawker Typhoon sculpture for the 2019 Chalke Valley History Festival. Chris also explained how the team overcame the many challenges encountered during the project, which extended far beyond the logistics of simply designing and building such a large structure.
Rebecca Bates (AWC 56 Squadron Operational Analyst) then followed with an interesting and informative presentation on how the rise of renewable energy sources (most notably wind farms) has created issues for monitoring aircraft and how the AWC are identifying and responding to these issues. Rebecca’s lecture generated plenty of questions from the audience, but she ably responded to them in a concise and informed manner.
It was the difficult job of Nick Lay (QinetiQ Director Engineering – Air / RAeS Boscombe Down Branch President) and Doug Gale (QinetiQ Director Strategic Engagement) to decide which of these two excellent presentations was worthy of receiving the Joe Morrall Award. After a long period of deliberation, it was announced that Rebecca Bates was the winner of this year’s competition.
Given how close the competition was this year (just a single point difference in the marking criteria), the Boscombe Down Branch congratulates both participants on delivering such high-quality lectures. The RAeS would also like to thank QinetiQ for their continued sponsorship of the competition and Boscombe DownBranch, as well as Nick and Doug for sparing their time to adjudicate the event this year. We are already looking forward to what will surely be another close competition next year!