News story

Army officer recognised as engineering visionary

Army officer Major Oli Morgan has been named as the 2014 Modern Day Visionary by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

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Major Oli Morgan [Picture: Crown copyright]
Major Oli Morgan

Major Morgan, from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), was chosen for his work leading the Army’s involvement in the Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project.

The recognition is part of IMechE’s Vision Awards, which celebrate those who, in their work, training or learning, have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to engineering and its future.

Speaking about the award Oli said:

I’m immensely humbled to be recognised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for my work with Bloodhound SSC.

The project’s goal is to inspire a generation into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by building a car capable of 1,000 miles per hour (mph) and I am proud to be a part of it.

As the Army’s team leader on the project Oli’s role is to lead the small team of REME expert technicians who are helping to build the supersonic car alongside managing over 150 Bloodhound educational ambassadors.

Bloodhound supersonic car
A computer-generated image of the Bloodhound supersonic car [Picture: Siemens]

The Bloodhound project aims to build a car to break the land speed record, using a jet engine and rocket technology to reach a speed of over 1,000mph. Oli said:

Bloodhound gives kids a unique opportunity to engage with a once-in-a-generation engineering project; it’s science fiction brought to life. We can place kids at the centre of the story by mixing educational workshops with distance learning on the internet.

REME has championed the Army’s involvement in the land speed record project with technical teams using their engineering skills to help build the Bloodhound car in 6-month rotations.

The project also recruited a large number of volunteer ambassadors who visit schools across the country to get kids interested in engineering:

This year over 40,000 children have received a lesson on Bloodhound and army ambassadors have been a part of this success story. The goal by 2018 is that nearly every child in the country will have had a lesson on the car.

Major Oli Morgan
Major Oli Morgan has been named as the 2014 Modern Day Visionary by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers [Picture: Crown copyright]

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Colin Brown, Director of Engineering at IMechE, said:

I think our 2014 visionaries have a very modern outlook on the fast-moving, dynamic engineering profession. They are already seeking to inspire those that follow them. Without exception, they are a credit to the profession and it is an honour to recognise them.

Head of REME personnel, Colonel Dan Scott, said:

Major Morgan exemplifies the title of ‘professional engineer’. His commitment to inspiring the next generation into STEM careers is outstanding and he is making a real difference to the prospects of future British engineers.

Oli is a specialist aircraft engineering officer, and before joining the Bloodhound project he led a REME detachment in Afghanistan supporting the Apache helicopter force.

Published 26 September 2014