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Engineering the future - John Perkins discusses engineering in the 21st century

For immediate use
Tuesday 13 December 2005

The future of engineering as an academic and professional discipline is the subject of this year's Roger Sargent Lecture at Imperial College London.

Professor John Perkins will discuss engineering in the 21st century

Engineering the Future will be delivered by Professor John Perkins, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Manchester and former Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial.

Professor Perkins will use the lecture to trace the development of engineering over the last 200 years.

Though an ancient art, Professor Perkins will argue that engineering as a profession only found its feet towards the end of the 18th century with the formation of institutes specialising in technical education sitting alongside the ancient universities, together with the founding of engineering societies. As well as analysing the evolution of engineering since then, Professor Perkins will envisage what the future holds for the discipline in the 21st century.

The lecture is organised by the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE) at Imperial, which holds the event annually. Head of the Centre Professor Stratos Pistikopoulos Opens in new window says:

"It is an honour for us to have John Perkins, a former head of the CPSE, here to speak to us. He is obviously someone with an enormous range of both academic and industrial experience and who is ideally placed to give unique insights into the past, present and future of engineering."

The Roger Sargent Lecture will take place on Thursday 15 December at 17.30 on Imperial's South Kensington campus. It is sponsored by Air Products, one of the worlds largest industrial gas producers.

To confirm attendance, contact Monica Nestor on


For further information contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Notes to editors:

About Professor John Perkins

Professor Perkins was until 2004 Principal of the Faculty of Engineering and Courtaulds Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London.

His academic career spans periods at Cambridge University and at the University of Sydney as well as Imperial College. He has industrial experience with Shell and with ICI, in the UK and in Australia, and has acted as a consultant in process control and process modelling and simulation for a number of companies around the world. He is the author of a number of authoritative reports and has managed several industrial consortia projects aimed at benchmarking and introducing advanced control methods into industrial practice.

His research interests cover a number of facets of process systems, including process design, process control and process modelling and dynamic simulation. He is the author of around 200 papers, and he has supervised more than 30 successful PhD candidates.

Professor Perkins is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the City and Guilds of London Institute, the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Mathematician and a Chartered Scientist.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.