Science Museum and QE Prize celebrate Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 06 June 2012

A dozen of the most significant inventions from the past 60 years have been selected by the Science Museum and the Royal Academy of Engineering to honour The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The inventions – which range from the Pilot ACE computer to the World Wide Web, the Apollo space programme and the mobile phone – mark some of the milestones of engineering excellence over the decades of Her Majesty's reign.

The project coincides with the ongoing public nominations for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering – the new £1 million prize run by the Academy to recognise outstanding advances in engineering that have changed the world and benefited humanity. Nominations for the prize will close on 14 September 2012.

"Taking much of our inspiration from the museum's collections, we have looked back over the last six decades and chosen stories that we believe have had the greatest global impact," explains Ben Russell, curator of mechanical engineering at the Science Museum.

"These inventions have brought people and communities together, and have challenged our ideas of what we perceive engineering to actually be," he adds.

The projects are divided into two main categories: those that have stood out and had a very high public profile and those which have been more understated, but still played a major role as enabling technologies.

Inventions represented include: the integrated circuit (1952-58); optical fibres (1966); the CT scanner (1971); the BBC Micro computer( 1981); GPS (Global Positioning System – 1991); and the Millau Viaduct (2004).

Brian Tinham

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