MBE for IfM graduate and BBC Robot Wars judge

Photo credits: Karla Gowlett


Does responsible and professional science and engineering communication need to be dull? Not at all, according to IfM alumna Dr Lucy Rogers, who was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to engineering. Throughout her career, Lucy has established herself as a respected inventor with a playful touch. Her inquisitive mind has led to numerous inventions, and she is also highly regarded as a science writer. Many people may recognise her as one of the judges on the BBC's Robot Wars from 2016 to 2017.


At the time of writing, Lucy is researching a new popular science book. Her previous one, "It’s Only Rocket Science: An Introduction in Plain English," has become a popular introduction to the subject for audiences of all ages, and it exemplifies her dedication to clear, rigorous and engaging communication.


"I love to learn. When I write, I have to completely understand the subject first, and science writing gives me the opportunity to do the deep dives into a subject. I also enjoy the challenge of then re-explaining the science in a way eight-year-old me would understand, without dumbing it down. I do this mainly using analogies. Its difficult to imagine 1m^3 but "a little bigger than a washing machine" makes sense to most people."


Lucy was a master's student at the IfM on the Advanced Course in Design, Manufacture, and Management (now the MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture, and Management (ISMM)) from 1995 to 1996 and fondly remembers her Cambridge days.


"The variety of experiences, including in-company projects, coupled with the informative lectures from people within industry I had on the course was a wonderful grounding in different aspects of manufacture. The presentations at the end of each mini-project also gave me invaluable experience, and the European tour opened my eyes to opportunities beyond the UK."


Asked what it means to her to receive the honour of an MBE, Lucy says:


"A recognition of the value of the breath of my experiences is fantastic as I believe we do not just need people who have specialist knowledge, but also people who can join the dots between specialities and see problems and solutions from a wider point of view."


Lucy is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Designers.


Find out more about the diversity of Lucy’s past, present and future work on her website and about the MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management.

Date published

9 July 2024

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