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Stuart Burgess wins the 2019 James Clayton Prize

Professor Stuart Burgess

Britain’s premier mechanical engineering award


Published: 2 January 2020 (GMT+10)

We are delighted to congratulate associate CMI speaker Professor Stuart Burgess for his latest accolade, the 2019 IMechE James Clayton Prize. The UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) state that prize is:

“awarded to a member of the Institution who has made an exceptional contribution to mechanical engineering and related science, technology and invention – by way of research, invention, experimental work, a paper, engineering design or services to engineering.”1

IMechE publically recognise “Stuart’s distinguished career … working at the cutting edge of mechanical engineering research” and explain that there were two projects in particular that impressed the judges:

  • His work on all four of the European Space Agency’s major earth observation satellites. They give special mention to Stuart’s critically important ‘Double Action Worm gearbox’. Indeed, in his co-authored book Inspiration from Creation, Stuart uses the example of this very gearbox (which was critical to the deployment of the satellite solar array) to illustrate the challenge of good engineering design.2
  • His research as Bristol University team leader on Team GB’s Olympic bicycle design. Stuart’s Olympic Gold-winning bike chain-wheel design played a part in the enormous success of Team GB’s velodrome cyclists at the 2016 Olympic Games—a haul of 11 medals, including six golds and several world records. Of course, that is not to take away from the incredible talents of Team GB’s athletes who had also been dominant at the previous Olympics. In July 2017, in honour of the part Stuart had played in the team’s success, the Royal Society of London invited him to showcase his work at their Summer Science Exhibition.3 He and his team are currently doing innovative work to improve industrial chain drives.

IMechE sum up Prof Burgess’s worthiness to receive the Clayton Prize with these words:

“With his role in British Cycling’s gold medals and world records, or the ESA’s satellites which are helping to monitor climate change - the biggest issue of the day - Stuart is clearly leading in his field and is a worthy winner of the award.”1

Not bad for a man who is an avowed and unashamed biblical creationist! So much for the fatuous and thread-bare claims that creationists can’t be scientists, and that they make no contributions to science. On the contrary, Stuart stands alongside many accomplished men and women who achieved high standing in the competitive academic world. They are people who are constantly striving for excellence, both as Christians (who believe Genesis 1–11 as factual history) and as eminent scientists, medics and engineers. It can certainly be said of Stuart Burgess that his life is about Giving glory to the Creator.

References and notes

  1. James Clayton Prize 2019, imeche.org; accessed 18 December 2019. Return to text.
  2. Burgess, S. and Statham, D., Inspiration from Creation: How engineers are copying God’s designs, Creation Book Publishers, Atlanta, GA, pp. 28–31, 2018. Return to text.
  3. See the Update Box at the end of this article: Bell, P., Olympic Gold-winning bike design, creation.com/olympic-gold-winning-bike#box, 5 September 2016. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Inspiration from Creation
by Professor Stuart Burgess & Dominic Statham
US $14.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Melvyn F.
Well done Stuart from the Rugby Creation Science Group (UK).
Thomas C.
You can't be a scientist and be a consistent evolutionist! If chance says anything it says no predictability and that is basic to scientific investigation. Also, I've yet to see a rigorous logical tie between chance and logic, chance and laws, chance and purpose, chance and interdependent systems, for that matter chance and systems. In order to do science there must be calculated repeatability in observations. Even Einstein wondered why the non material intellectual exercise of mathematics was in any way relevant to reality. Even using mathematics to predict a future finding.
John C.
It is always gratifying to know the level of genius that CMI has to support its teachings. I congratulate Dr. Burgess in this wonderful achievement, and CMI for the recognition of his incalculable value as a representative for the Creation Movement.
Luke M.
Congratulations to Professor Burgess on his award, may he continue to excel in his field and give glory to God in equal measure.
Steve H.
A well deserved award for Professor Stuart Burgess - an accomplished, world-leading expert in the design process, and a highly respected speaker and teacher.

Thank you CMI for bringing him to Australia recently - as guest speaker at the “Proclaiming Creation Conference” - where I had opportunity to hear him speak and to meet him personally.

As a retired engineer myself, I loved how he analysed the mechanical characteristics of the range of elements our gracious God has given us, showing how they meet all of our basic needs, and how a designer can select suitable materials for a defined purpose. I loved his talk on the design process and the complexity of the mission-critical applications that Stuart has contributed to, now recognised by this award. Understanding just how difficult the design process is leaves Stuart in awe of the elegant, and significantly more complex designs he sees in nature, many exhibiting irreducible complexity, which refute evolution and point instead to the awesome ingenuity of the Master Designer, our Creator God.

CMI has published a number of Stuart’s articles, books, and DVDs on design, and inspiration from creation (biomimetics).

Stuart’s work on efficient bicycle chain drives (https://creation.com/olympic-gold-winning-bike) - which led, in part, to his winning the 2019 James Clayton prize, and to Team GB’s cyclists winning 11 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics - was an extension of God’s irreducible design of the human knee which Stuart had previously analysed in great detail (https://creation.com/critical-characteristics-and-the-irreducible-knee-joint).

Stuart is a Bible-believing Christian who argues that true science - such as research of irreducible design in nature - provides evidence for a literal understanding of Genesis 1-3.
David M.
I was blessed to hear Dr Burgess speak at a creation event in Sydney in 2019 so I am especially pleased to read of this award.
Philip P.
Only my congratulations . We know that there are great scientists in CMI but it is good to see that the secular world recognises it too. I did not know about Dawkins efforts to destroy Stuart's career but it is pleasing to know he failed.
Rodney P.
Well done, Stuart! What makes this recognition of your achievements even more satisfying is the embarrassment it would cause Richard Dawkins who tried to destroy your career. God surely blesses those who stand strong for Him.

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