Professor Sarah Spurgeon OBE delivered the 42nd annual Edwards Lecture

Professor of Control Engineering in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts at the University of Kent, Professor Sarah Spurgeon OBE, delivered the 42nd annual Edwards Lecture at City University, London, on 16th March in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre.

Professor Spurgeon’s lecture, “Control Engineers at the heart of society”, was a wide-ranging and stimulating account of the contribution made by control engineers across the engineering spectrum and their immense value to society.

Using statistics from EngineeringUK, the President of the Institute of Measurement and Control also drew attention to the severe shortage of engineers in Britain, despite the fact that engineering delivered 27 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014 and engineers earning a 15 percent wage premium over other professions. 182,000 people with engineering skills are needed every year to fill shortages in the country to the year 2022. She also stated that the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineering professionals across all EU states – European Labour Force figures show 8.7 percent of engineering professionals are female in the UK against 30 percent in some EU member countries. Against the wider international dimension, women make up 40 percent of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce in China, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Edwards Lecture Series is City’s longest running lecture series. It commemorates the work of F. D. Edwards, a member of staff at City’s predecessor, The Northampton Institute, and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers.