Mechanical Engineering


UCL Mechanical Engineering Alumni Ben Hodgkinson awarded British Empire Medal

4 January 2022

When Covid-19 hit, Ben Hodgkinson, then Head of Mechanical Engineering at Mercedes AMG HPP, became part of the UCL-Ventura team.

Ben Hodgkinson

The UCL-Ventura team worked day and night to rapidly create a new continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, dubbed the UVL-Ventura device. The device was developed in just ten days, with an initial order from the UK Government for 10,000 units. The design for the unit was made freely available and has been downloaded and utilised around the world.

UCL-Ventura co-leads Tim Baker and Rebecca Shipley were previously recognised for their contributions to the Covid-19 national effort with an MBE and an OBE, respectively. Ben Hodgkinson has now been recognised, receiving a British Empire Medal in the 2022 New Year’s Honours. 

In an interview with the Northants Telegraph, Hodgkinson said: "I am proud that I did it but I also do not feel as worthy as some. What I did was work incredibly hard for about three weeks. There are doctors and nurses who have been working in these conditions, day and night, for months and months. I helped as much as I possibly could and it was something that I knew how to do. It was just my duty."

Ben has a long-standing relationship with UCL, having studied here and served as a visiting professor within the Mechanical Engineering department, putting teams of UCL MechEng undergraduates through their paces in design scenarios, design challenges and mock interviews. In May 2021, he left Mercedes and took up the position of Technical Director at Red Bull Powertrains. 

Congratulations to Ben on receiving a British Empire Medal!

Find out more about UCL Ventura:

The UCL Ventura project is a collaboration between UCL Institute of Healthcare EngineeringUCL Mechanical EngineeringUniversity College London Hospital (UCLH) and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. Find out more about it on the UCL Ventura website here.

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