One of Britain’s most eminent engineers has shown her support for Prince Andrew, describing him as a "true beacon" of UK trade and enterprise.
In a rare public appearance since allegations emerged that he had sex with a teenager in the United States, Andrew delivered a short speech at the ceremony today in which he paid tribute to his father the Duke of Edinburgh for inspiring him.
Professor Dame Ann Dowling, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, told Andrew, who was representing the Queen at the ceremony in London, that he had been a “true beacon” as an ambassador for UK trade and enterprise and that his work was valued.
Prince Andrew: Life in pictures
Prince Andrew: Life in pictures
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Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrives at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 November 2014 in London
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Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (L) speaks to Queen Elizabeth II on the Queens stand during Derby day at the Epsom Derby Festival, in Surrey on 1 June 2013
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Prince Andrew with his daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice on the Balcony at Buckingham Palace, 2013
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Princess Beatrice (C) poses for photograph with her parents, Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke York (L) and Sarah Ferguson following her graduation ceremony at Goldsmiths College, in London, 2011
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Prince Andrew’s ‘pointless plunge’ down the Shard was the moment to take stock of his usefulness
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Prince Andrew is the first royal to take and tweet a selfie
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Prince Andrew with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Al-Khalifa at Royal Ascot in 2010
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Prince Andrew with Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan in 2009
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Prince Andrew with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the first day of his state visit to London
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Duke of York in his uniform
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Britain's Prince Andrew speaks to the press during a meeting with Turkish Businessmen at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul on 26 May 2004
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Wearing a traditional Guatemalan ceremonial jacket, Britains Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, turns on the tap innaugurating an irrigation system sponsored by the European community on 7 March 2002 in Nevaj, Guatemala
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The newly wed Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and his wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, wave to crowds on 23 July 1986 from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London while Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mother look on
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Prince Andrew and Prince Edward with their governess, Lavinia Keppel, at the Children's Book Show in Westminster, London on 7 November 1969
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Prince Andrew (bottom left) with his parents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip and siblings, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and little Prince Edward at Windsor Castle, 1965
“Your Royal Highness, you’ve been a true beacon as an ambassador for UK trade and enterprise around the world and on behalf of the engineering community, who you have promoted so strongly, I would like you to know how much we value your work,” she said in her address.
The Duke has faced allegations in the US that he had sex with a teenager, Virginia Roberts, which he denies. He spoke out publicly at the World Economic Forum in Davos to “reiterate and reaffirm” Buckingham Palace statements dismissing the accusations made in US court documents.
He described the £1 million biennial engineering prize as critical to encouraging young people to become involved in engineering.
The Duke quoted from Philip’s recent article in New Scientist magazine in which he wrote that: “Engineering is not just a profession to be learned and practised as a way of making a living.
“It is one of the few ways in which human talent can be given the chance to improve, and frequently to transform, the comfort and prosperity of the human community. In fact, engineering has made a greater positive difference to human life than almost any other human endeavour.”
Andrew said: “I think it encapsulates what we’re trying to achieve.”
He added: “I believe, that like many engineers, I have been inspired by my father as well and I think that this is something that young people can aspire to in the future.”
The winner of the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was chemical engineer Dr Robert Langer, who was recognised for his “revolutionary advances and leadership in engineering at the interface with chemistry and medicine”.
Dr Langer, an American engineer and one of 11 Institute Professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was the first person to engineer polymers to control the delivery of large molecular weight drugs for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and mental illness.
Controlled release in drugs is important because a dose that is too high could be toxic, but a dose that is too low will not be effective. It enables the patient to have a correct dose over a long period of time but requires much less frequent doses.
More than two billion lives are said to have been improved across the world by the technologies that Dr Langer’s lab has created.
His work has been the basis for long-lasting treatments for brain cancer, prostate cancer, endometriosis, schizophrenia, diabetes, and cardiovascular stents.