Daughter Googles meaning of Queen’s honours after engineer dad gets MBE

Professor Neil Alford has been awarded an MBE for services to engineering

Professor Neil Alford has been awarded an MBE for services to engineering - Credit: Archant

A distinguished academic who helps to promote the study of engineering by schoolchildren was honoured by the Queen this week.

Professor Neil Alford, of Daleham Gardens, Hampstead, was made an MBE in the Queeen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to engineering.

The vice-dean of Imperial College’s faculty of engineering said: “I had absolutely no idea it was on the cards. It was a very nice surprise. I opened the envelope in my kitchen with my 14-year-old daughter, who became quite excited and started looking up what the honours meant on Google.”

As well as his university work, Professor Alford has a keen interest in raising the profile of engineering and works with the Royal Academy of Engineering to boost interest among 11 to 14-year-olds.

“It’s very important,” he said. “One of the ways we’re going to get out of this economic lull is by making new inventions. We can use engineering to help ourselves out of economic crises.

“I don’t think relying on banking is going to do that.”

Professor Alford was attracted to engineering because it allowed him to work abroad after studying geology at university.