Faraday Medal recognises ultrasound pioneer Fleming
26 Oct 2021
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has named the winners of its 2021 Achievement Awards, including the Faraday Medal for the obstetric ultrasound device pioneer John EE Fleming.
While working for Smiths Industries in Glasgow, Fleming became the lead engineer in charge of developing the first ultrasound machine; the diasonograph – the first scanner to go into commercial production. He also worked on the development of specialised test equipment for radar and later, computer logic development and data transmission systems.
In 1988 Fleming was appointed Honorary Assistant Keeper of Ultrasonic Equipment to the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, where the original ultrasound scanner is kept. He has also co-authored a book on the history of ultrasound developments.
Acknowledging the work of his predecessor the late Tom Brown, Fleming, said: “To know that I have contributed to the development of these instruments that are now in worldwide use is very rewarding and to receive a medal for my contribution was an enormous surprise.
“I would like it to be seen as a recognition of the work of all the engineers and health professionals who continue to advance the development of medical diagnostic instruments."
The IET Achievement Awards recognise individuals across the world who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of engineering, technology and science in any sector – whether through research and development in their respective technical field or through their leadership of an enterprise.
Meanwhile, the Mountbatten Medal goes to Professor Nick McKeown, the Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Sequoia Capital professor of computer science and electrical engineering and faculty director of the Open Networking Research Centre at Stanford University.
McKeown received the accolade for his work in creating a scalable internet through his design of scalable routers – critical for the Internet of Things where systems need to increase capacity.
McKeown said: “I am thrilled to receive the Mountbatten Medal from the IET. It's a great honour to work with such great PhD students and colleagues across the networking industry to make networks faster and software-defined. By lifting the definition of networks up and out of hardware, we have allowed the Internet and 5G networks to improve at the speed of software.”
Also included is Dr Subir Chowdhury, chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group, who won the Mensforth Gold Medal for Manufacturing for his outstanding contributions to improving process and product quality in all types of manufacturing industries. Through his work on process improvement with Six Sigma and Design for Six Sigma, and his contributions on the promotion of excellence, he has improved the quality of life on a global scale.
Chowdhury responded: “I am deeply honored to receive this international award in recognition of my services and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry. To know that my work has contributed to the improvement of manufacturing processes, quality and the subsequent benefit to society is very humbling. I hope it inspires other young manufacturing engineers to continue to drive forward change in the sector.”
The trio join 11 other winners, who were nominated by their peers as leading engineers and technicians in their field.
The full list of award winners includes:
Faraday Medal – John EE Fleming for his role in the development of the world's first obstetric ultrasound device.
Mountbatten Medal – professor Nick McKeown MIET for his work in creating a scalable internet through his design of scalable routers.
Mensforth Gold Medal for Manufacturing is awarded to Dr Subir Chowdhury HonMIISE FSME FSAE FASQ FRSS FESD FQSA LFRAS for his pioneering work in the field of quality engineering and management.
IET Achievement Medal in Communications Engineering – professor Hsi-Tseng Chou, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Graduate Institute of Communications Engineering, National Taiwan University.
IET Achievement Medal in Wireless Communications – professor Mischa Dohler, chair professor of Wireless Communications at King's College London.
IET Achievement Medal in Manufacturing Technology is awarded to David Holmes, operations director,BAE Systems.
IET Achievement Medal in Power and Energy Engineering – professor Chongqing Kang, researcher in power and energy engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
IET Achievement Medal in Telecommunications Engineering is awarded to Xiaohu You, professor with the National Mobile Communications Research Laboratory, Southeast University, China.
IET Achievement Medal for Volunteering – Elaine Greig for her outstanding contribution to the IET Energy Policy Expert Volunteer Panel.
Sir Henry Royce Award – Dr Giacomo Valle, a postdoctoral researcher at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), for his exceptional work in developing innovative algorithms able to restore natural touch in amputees using neuroprosthetic devices.
Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award – Dr Adeayo Sotayo for his technological excellence as lead researcher and eEngineer on a novel and sustainable building project.
Paul Fletcher Award – Thilini Wasundara, chair of the IET Young Professionals Sri Lanka, member of the Young Professionals Committee and IET Young Professionals Ambassador
Technician of the Year – Kieron Coyle, Hydrock
Apprentice of the Year – Lauren Burns, Kainos Earn as you Learn Apprenticeship scheme.
Armed Forces Technician – Chief Petty Officer Adam Finch, Royal Navy
Photo: Medal winners Fleming, McKeown and Chowdhury