Previous winners include astronaut, Major Tim Peake CMG, in 2019, and engineer and founder of EqualEngineers, Dr Mark McBride-Wright, in 2022. Ruth Amos is an award-winning British inventor, presenter, and professional speaker. She was named Young Engineer for Britain in 2006 for designing StairSteady — a fixed handrail and sliding supporting handle that moves freely when pushed, but locks in place when weight is applied, acting as firm support for either climbing or coming down the stairs – as part of her GCSE Resistant Materials Course. She then co-founded the Kids Invent Stuff with fellow inventor, Shawn Brown. The videos target primary school aged children (aged 4-11 years) where they can submit invention ideas to be brought to life by real engineers. The channel has had millions of views, and annually has over 10,000 invention ideas submitted.
The Academy says Ruth Amos’s work in engaging children with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) ‘has inspired children in a variety of ways’. She has established strong connections with industry partners and institutions to create new outreach projects, while each of her projects is ‘unique’. The Academy explained: “She sits down with sponsors and partners to craft one-of-a-kind, novel engagement opportunities to inspire the next generation of engineers and inventors.”
Ruth Amos said: “I nearly missed out on a career that I love because I didn’t see myself as an engineer. Kids Invent Stuff thus targets the 4-11 age group to inspire young children to see themselves as belonging to the engineering community. Engineering is fun, and I hope to inspire engineers of the future to consider this as a career for them.”
Sophie Harker, engineer at BAE Systems, and winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Young Engineer of the Year award 2019, nominated Ruth for the award alongside Ella Podmore MBE. She said: “Above all, how Ruth really makes a difference is through her honesty and openness when communicating. While talking about engineering, she has a sense of wonder beautifully grounded in realism – even when talking about a 7 ft foot robotic cleaning dinosaur.”
Ruth’s next project is the free-to-attend Spirit of Invention exhibition at the National Archives – which encourages people to think about what it means to be an inventor, and is open to the public until 29 October. She continues to create videos for Kids Invent Stuff, and welcomes applications from all 4–11-year-olds.