The Big Bang Fair to receive top prize

The UK’s largest science and engineering fair for young people is to receive special recognition for its work in promoting engineering.

The Big Bang Fair, led by EngineeringUK, is to be awarded the 2012 Rooke Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of its success in communicating the excitement of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)to young people and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The Medal will be awarded at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s annual awards dinner at the Royal Opera House on 26 June 2012.

EngineeringUK Chief Executive, Paul Jackson, said: “It’s great to be recognised by the Royal Academy for the work we’ve been doing. The team at EngineeringUK has developed new ways to work with a wide collaboration of business and industry, government, education and the wider STEM community. It shows how much can be achieved when we work together to reach out to the next generation of scientists and engineers.

“Since its first pilot event in 2009, The Big Bang Fair has grown attendance from 6,500 - 56,000 – a rate of growth quicker than Glastonbury. The fact that a careers fair can attract attendance larger than most Premiere League crowds is testament to The Fair’s ability to capture public imagination with science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the rewarding careers available in these fields.”

Rooke MedalNominating The Fair for the award, Robert Kirby-Harris, Secretary General at the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), said: "The Big Bang Fair has fostered strong links between industry, education professionals and the public sector to the extent that it has reached long-term sustainability and has built brand awareness on a national and regional political and media scale. It is also in the process of transforming through its physical, web and media presence in to a full year, pan-UK operation."

Over 56,000 people visited The Fair at The NEC, Birmingham, in 2012, almost doubling 2011 numbers and demonstrating tremendous growth since its inaugural event in 2009.

Delivered by over 170 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, The Big Bang Fair is led by Engineering UK in partnership with the British Science Association, the Institute of Physics, the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Young Engineers. It is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and industry sponsors.

The Fair hosts the National Science & Engineering Competition as well as other prizes. The Big Bang programme is expanding its reach via Big Bang Near Me events taking place nationwide to engage more young people close to home.


For media enquiries about The Big Bang or EngineeringUK please contact:

Miriam Laverick
Tel: 020 3206 0444

For information about The Rooke Medal or the Royal Acedemy of Engineering please contact:

Sarah Griffiths
Tel. 020 7766 0655

Notes to editors

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair 

The Big Bang Fair exists to inspire the UK’s future scientists and engineers. The Fair takes place annually to celebrate young people’s achievement in science and engineering, and aims to encourage more young people to take part in science, technology, engineering and maths initiatives, with support from their parents and teachers.

The Big Bang Fair is led by Engineering UK in partnership with the British Science Association, the Institute of Physics, the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Young Engineers

The Fair is part of a wider ‘year-round conversation’ with young people. This is made up of nationwide Near Me events and underpinned by a programme of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.

For further information about The Big Bang go to


EngineeringUK is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. EngineeringUK partners business and industry, government and the wider science and engineering community to produce evidence on the state of engineering, share knowledge within engineering and inspire young people to choose a career in engineering, matching employers’ demand for skills.

For more information about EngineeringUK please visit

The Rooke Medal for the Public Promotion of Engineering

The Rooke Medal for the Public Promotion of Engineering is awarded to an individual, small team or organisation who has contributed to the Academy's aims and work through their initiative in promoting engineering to the public. The medal is named in honour of the late Sir Denis Rooke OM CBE FRS FREng, a former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and one of the UK's most distinguished engineers. As Chairman of British Gas, his legacy was to build the UK's gas distribution network and unite the gas industry, making domestic gas a cheap and convenient fuel source for millions of people. He later became Chancellor of Loughborough University and served on many national advisory committees on both energy policy and education.

Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain's engineering.

The Big Bang Fair on video