£10,000 Scottish energy cash prize up for grabs by young pioneer

James Hutton by Sir Henry Raeburn, 1776
James Hutton by Sir Henry Raeburn, 1776


The Royal Society of Edinburgh has called for nominations for its biennial RSE BP Hutton Prize in Energy Innovation.

This prize, funded by the BP Trust, carries a prize of £10,000 and is awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to an individual early career researcher based in Scotland, who has shown “a significant individual contribution to energy innovation through research and knowledge exchange”.

The award recognises an early-career researcher who has shown a significant individual contribution to energy innovation through research and knowledge exchange.

The innovation must have at least completed the proof of concept stage with a lab demonstrator or small-scale engineering prototype available. The Selection Panel expects the outcomes of this award to have an impact, or potential impact, in economic and/or social benefits to humanity.

The Prize is named in honour of James Hutton, an eminent Scottish Geologist and an 18th century Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

His most important contribution to science was his Theory of The Earth (1785) which later earned Hutton the accolade of ‘founder of modern geology’.

Although Hutton’s ideas received a wide circulation among European scientists, their immediate impact was blunted by the fact that Hutton’s writing style was difficult to understand.

Fortunately, his close friend John Playfair wrote a clear and precise summary of Hutton’s work and published it in 1802 under the title ‘Illustrations of the Hutton Theory of the Earth’. An agriculture institute near Dundee is also named after James Hutton. 

James Hutton's 'Theory Of The Earth'
James Hutton’s ‘Theory Of The Earth’

The following Disciplines are included within the Energy heading:-

  • Geological Sciences
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Control Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Chemistry
  • Solid State Sciences
  • Related Social Sciences that advance the areas of Oil, Gas, Carbon Capture, Bioenergy, Biofuels or Renewable Technologies

This year’s prize-winner will be announced in Edinburgh in November. The winner will be required to deliver the RSE/BP Hutton Prize Lecture, either at the RSE or at another appropriate location, within one year of the presentation of the Award.

HW-SEN Research Award supplemement

** See also: 2015 Heriot Watt University Energy Academy / Scottish Energy News research of the year competition – http://goo.gl/jkaFeU

The Heriot-Watt/Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2015 were awarded in May in a memorable ceremony when Scottish Energy minister Fergus Ewing MSP presented the awards to six winners in diverse categories at the UK head office in Edinburgh of the Green Investment Bank.

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