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Article written for Prospero, the newspaper for retired BBC staff

by Bert Gallon

Annual Prizes in memory of Ivor Tupper

Two annual prizes have been established in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, London, in memory of former BBC engineer, Ivor Tupper (1927-2008). Ivor, who spent the whole of his working life with the BBC, was an engineer of outstanding ability. Joining the BBC as a youth in training, he spent the early years of his career at the Droitwich and Daventry Transmitting Stations before moving to Transmission Head Office, where he quickly established a reputation for solving unusual technical problems. His work spanned the full range of Transmission Group’s activities and he was at the forefront of all major developments from the automation of medium frequency radio transmitting stations, in the late 1940s and early 50s, through to the ground-breaking improvements in klystron efficiency that was achieved in the latter part of his career.

It is highly appropriate that that this outstanding engineer will be permanently associated with the annual prize giving of the prestigious Imperial College London. Founded in 1907, the College is renowned for the delivery of world-class scholarship, education and research in science, engineering, medicine and business, with particular emphasis in the application to industry, commerce and healthcare. The College, which attracts the brightest students from over 150 countries around the world, was ranked as the third best university in Europe and the fifth globally by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) World Rankings in 2009.

The “Ivor Tupper” prizes are to be awarded for excellence in the fields of signal processing, broadcast and video technology, one at BSc degree level and the other at MSc degree level. They will offer an important means of encouraging and rewarding students for achieving excellence in their studies and Imperial College has stated that it is honoured to be able to award these two prizes in perpetuity from 2010 onwards. The awards will carry an enormous amount of prestige within the College and, given the ever increasing cost of higher education, also offer a welcome financial boost to the winning students.

July 2010