The Commission's Fellowship programmes, established in 1891, have greatly benefited receivers of the award in the past, with 12 winners going on to receive Nobel prizes.
Only four of these pilot fellowships for EngD students have been awarded. Matthew was the first to receive the award from Mr Malcolm Shirley, Commission Secretary and former Director General of the Engineering Council. Mr Shirley stated: "The 1851 Royal Commission is delighted to work with EngD Centres to identify top students as candidates for its Industrial Fellowship programme, which shares similar aims to support research excellence for the benefit of productive industry."
Matthew Robbetts comments "I am truly honoured to receive such a prestigious award and be placed alongside the 1851 Commission's previous fellows. The fellowship will offer new opportunities in my work including a generous travel allowance and will help me achieve the very best in my EngD at iSLI. I am delighted."
Fellowships and grants from the Royal Commission are only awarded to research students in science and engineering, applied research in industry, industrial design and other projects supporting the development of science and technology. The Commission decided to develop an idea to exclusively support students registered for the EngD degree in the UK. The Institute for System Level Integration is the only UK establishment providing the Engineering Doctorate in System Level Integration and is extremely pleased that Matthew, one of their first year research students and a graduate from the University of York, has been selected for the Fellowship.
Siân Williams, EngD Centre Manager at iSLI, comments on the Royal Commission Fellowship, "The Institute is delighted for Matthew and extremely proud that his research with Wolfson Microelectronics and the University of Strathclyde is being recognised by this truly historic body. The Royal Commission's legacy of supporting engineering, stretching back to the middle of the 19th century, is remarkable; we are very grateful for the Commission's continued encouragement of UK engineering excellence and its championing of young British engineering talent".
Matthew's Fellowship will begin in September for three years. Exact details are yet to be confirmed, however it is expected that the researcher will not only receive an enhanced stipend compared with other EngD Research Engineers, but also a substantial annual travel allowance. Benefits will also be extended to the sponsoring organisation and the University of Strathclyde, where Matthew's supervisor Dr Stephan Weiss, is based; including an honorarium of £10,000 to the university once the programme is completed.
The Industrial Fellowship awards inspire graduate engineers, enabling them to carry out further research in industry that can lead to a higher degree. The aim of the Commission president is to encourage innovation and creativity in British industry. The current president is HRH Duke of Edinburgh
Founded in 1998, iSLI (the Institute for System Level Integration) provides postgraduate education, professional training and research in system level integration incorporating cross over technologies such as hardware, embedded software, MNT/MEMS.
A collaboration of the computing science, informatics and electronic engineering departments of the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde, and Scottish Enterprise, the Institute is the first centre of excellence in system level integration to be established worldwide. Its aim is to support the development of electronics systems design worldwide and to encourage the exploration of new technologies through research.
iSLI's operations are underpinned by funding from Scottish Enterprise, UK Central Research and HE funding agencies, and substantial sponsorship funding, including "expert in-kind support" from companies in the microelectronics industry.