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The origins of the Smeaton medal date from the 1970s and were associated with the 250th anniversary of the birth of John Smeaton. The Society decided then to award a medal annually to a distinguished engineer at the peak of their career. Three such medals were awarded between 1974 and 1977 to top engineers of the day for their outstanding engineering achievements. These were to Geoffrey Morse Binnie (1974), Sir Stanley Hooker (1975) and Sir Leonard Renshaw (1977). A second series of medals was launched in 1999 with an annual award being made to a final year student or researcher nominated by a university selected by the Society. The second series of medals concluded in 2020.

The current, third series of medals has been commissioned by the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers to commemorate the 250th anniversary of formation of the Society in 1771. The third series is intended to recognise engineers in the early or mid-stage of their careers who have demonstrated outstanding engineering achievement in hostile environments, such as windstorms, earthquakes, the human body, space, cyberspace, the deep oceans or under extreme chemical, biological or nuclear conditions.

The Award consists of the medal, in hallmarked sterling silver with a gilt finish. There is no accompanying certificate or gift. The medal is presented at an event hosted by the Society in London in October or November each year.

Click here to see the winners of the second series of medals (2009 - 2020).



Nominations for the 2021 Medal have now closed.


If you want more information about the Smeaton Medal, the society's history and application process, please download our Press Pack.