SIR FRANK Whittle is set to be celebrated in the company of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
The Coventry-born engineer passed away in 1996, though his legacy is set to continue as the former member of the Royal Air Force is to be honoured at a brand new exhibition in London’s Savoy Place.
Born in 1907, Sir Frank is credited with single-handedly inventing the turbojet engine and served as an RAF engineer air officer during World War II.
As a member of the Royal Air Force, Whittle argued that planes needed to fly at a higher altitude to achieve longer ranges and higher speeds.
With the aircraft technology of piston engines and propellers not being suitable at the time, Whittle created an alternative with the world’s first jet engine.
His engines are still used today in British Airways planes and by the Royal Airforce.
Shortly after announcing his retirement from the RAF, Whittle received a knighthood and later moved to America where he accepted the role of research professor at the United States Naval Academy.
Ranked by the BBC as the 42nd greatest ever Briton, Whittle passed away in 1996 after suffering with lung cancer.
The display of ‘126 most influential engineers’ honours a range of engineers – past and present – from around the world.
It celebrates the achievements of those who have dramatically improved the quality of lives with innovative ideas and problem solving capabilities.
All of those featured in the showcase are considered as having an impact on human kind and as reflecting the development of engineering over the 144 year history of the IET.
David Lindley, chairman of the IET’s aerospace technical professional network, said: “Frank Whittle’s life and achievements have long been an inspiration to many.
“His persistent efforts to overcome both technological challenges and bureaucratic barriers are testament to what can be achieved.
“If we continue to believe in our own abilities just like Whittle did throughout his career we can overcome adversity and ensure engineering continues to influence a prominent part in a dynamically changing and evolving world.”
Simon Timmis, senior marketing manager for IET venues and events, said: “The development of these exhibits is hugely exciting for all involved.
“It represents and celebrates the best in engineering accomplishments and reminds us of the huge positive impact that technological invention can have.
“We are very much looking forward to showcasing it as it provides a fantastic backdrop for conferences and events, and is really what sets us apart from other venues in London.”