Six decades of engineering celebrated for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

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A dozen of the most significant inventions from the past 60 years have been selected by the Science Museum and the Royal Academy of Engineering to honour The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The inventions, which range from the integrated circuit and optical fibres to the BBC Micro computer (pictured), mark some of the milestones of engineering excellence which have had the greatest impact on people's lives – each one marking a different decade of Her Majesty's reign from the 1950's to the present day. The project coincides with the ongoing public nominations for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering – a new £1 million prize run by the Academy that recognises outstanding advances in engineering that have changed the world and benefited humanity. Nominations for the prize will close on 14 September 2012. Ben Russell, curator of mechanical engineering at the Science Museum said: "Taking much of our inspiration from the museum's collections, we have looked back over the last six decades and chosen stories that we believe have had the greatest global impact. These inventions have brought people and communities together and have challenged our ideas of what we perceive engineering to actually be." He added: "The projects are divided into two main categories: those that have stood out and had a very high public profile and those which have been more understated, but still played a major role as 'enabling' technologies." Lord Broers, chair of judges for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, said: "The last 60 years have seen a quantum leap in our engineering and technological capability. We have visited the Moon and learnt the workings of DNA, the very stuff of life. Communication is radically different to how it was in the '50s – instant broadband communication with people on the other side of the world was just a dream for all but the inspired engineers who went on to make it a reality. "The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is looking for engineering achievements of this calibre – ideas that will change the world and inspire the next generation of engineers."