Permanent magnet pioneer Sagawa wins 2022 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
1 Feb 2022
The 2022 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) has been awarded to Japanese inventor Dr Masato Sagawa for his work on the the world’s most powerful permanent magnet.
Sagawa is credited with the discovery, development and commercialisation of the sintered neodymium-iron-boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnet, credited for its contribution towards cleaner, energy saving technologies.
He also makes history as the first annual winner of the QEPrize, which was previously awarded bi-annually.
Receiving his award from Lord Browne of Madingley, chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, Sagawa said:
“Receiving the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a special moment for me, as this prestigious prize encapsulates what engineering is all about. The purpose of engineering is to benefit humankind, and this award inspires engineers to keep working towards their goals.
Engineering is essential to solving today’s most pressing issues, and this includes tackling climate change… I am therefore honoured to be part of the engineering profession’s contribution towards the fight against climate change, and equally as honoured to receive this unique prize,”
Sagawa‘s breakthrough innovation was the creation of a new compound formed by replacing scarce and expensive cobalt and samarium with more abundant and cheaper iron and neodymium. He also introduced boron to improve the magnetic properties, paving the way for mass production.
Chair of the QEPrize judging panel Professor Dame Lynn Gladden described Sagawa’s work as “an innovation which has had such an impact both on the way we live now, and how we will live in the future, especially as we look towards a greener one’.
Sagawa will be formally honoured at the QEPrize presentation ceremony later this year. He will receive £500,000 and a trophy (pictured), designed by the 2022 Create the Trophy winner for young designers, Anshika Agarwal, aged 17 from India.