The Federation of Model Engineering Societies (FMES) is delighted to provide support for young people interested in pursuing engineering activities because engineering is such an extremely satisfying, creative and worthwhile pursuit, both as a career and as a hobby activity. Indeed, the seeds of this interest are usually implanted at a very early age and hobby activities give young people an outlet for developing their interest and their practical abilities. Many of our affiliated member clubs have young member sections and these can be a good place for a young person to gain skills that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives by learning from experienced people willing to pass their enthusiasm and ability on to later generations.
We can support these clubs and young engineers by providing communication and links, events and competitions and more as we can interact with other organisations. One example is the ‘Polly Award’, a competition open to young engineers with voucher prizes and a trophy.
Previous award winners Daniel Bell and Matthew Kenington are members of Hereford Society of Model Engineers. (Photo: John Arrowsmith)
‘The Engineer views hopefully the hitherto unattainable’
Phrase coined by Benjamin G Lamme to be inscribed on a medal awarded in his name (the IEEE Lamme Medal), founded in 1924 and awarded between 1928 and 2002. Lamme was Westinghouse Chief Engineer 1903 – 1924.
‘When you want to know how things work, study them when they are coming apart’
Said by William Gibson, US novelist. Works include Neuromancer (1984) and other Science Fiction.
‘Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It's coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.’
Said by Sir James Dyson, inventor and entrepreneur who founded Dyson bagless vacuum cleaners amongst other things. He opened a new University ‘The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology’ in Wiltshire in 2017.
‘Engineering is a profession that can do the job of almost all other professions.’
Born in 1988 in India, Amit Kalandri is an author who wrote ‘Wealth of Words’ and others. Also a magician and mentalist, his statement above is best made by a non-engineer!
Federation Trophy and Polly Model Engineering Prize
This Award is made with the aim of encouraging young persons to participate in the hobby of model engineering with particular emphasis on acquiring the relevant skills and use of appropriate materials.
While pursuance of excellence by those in their late teens and early twenties is promoted, work by youngsters taking their first steps in the hobby of model engineering is also encouraged. Participation in Club or Society activities is important.
The winner will receive prizes donated by the proprietors of Polly Model Engineering Limited and the FMES together with a suitably inscribed Trophy which shall be retained.
The award will normally be presented at an Annual General Meeting of the FMES at which representatives of the winner’s family and Club or Society are welcome to attend.
The 2024 competition has been announced, with a closing date of 31st December 2023 – and this year with an increase in the prize values! The awards will be presented at the AGM on 2 March 2024 to be held at the Boscombe Down Aviation Museum in Wiltshire. The nomination forms and other information can be found here: