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 Prizes and awards


A number of awards are given by the IRSE usually following nominations of individuals by companies or organisations in the industry.

The IRSE Merit Award
This award was introduced in 2007 In order to recognise meritorious service to the Institution by a volunteer or staff member anywhere in the world. The award is made by the Council following receipt of a nomination by either; an individual who knows of the contribution of the person; an IRSE committee or local section committee; another body in the rail industry or by Council. 

Merit Awards were presented to Ian Moore FIRSE and David Nicholson at the AGM on the 26th April 2019.Ian was nominated for long service to the Institution and in particular the York section. David was nominated for his assistance to Institution members in their preparation for the professional exam.

Meritorious service is defined as making a substantial contribution to the Institution’s work over a period of time by organising activities, or carrying out specific tasks which have furthered the Institution’s aims and objectives. The award takes the form of a plaque mounted on a rectangular plinth with an engraved citation to record the date, name and purpose of the award.

If you want to nominate someone who you think deserves to be considered for a Merit Award, please contact the Chief Executive.

The Thorrowgood Scholarship Award
The Thorrowgood Scholarship is awarded annually to a candidate who has excelled in the IRSE’s Professional Examination. The award, which is presented at the Institution’s AGM in the April following the examination, comprises the Thorrowgood Scholarship Medallion and a cheque for £1500.

Under the terms of the bequest of W J Thorrowgood (Past President), the Scholarship is awarded on the basis that it should assist the development of young engineers employed in the railway signalling and telecommunications field. The award must be used to finance a study tour of railway and/or signalling installations or manufacturing facilities, usually in a foreign administration, after which the award holder presents a report on the study tour to the Younger Members Section.

To be eligible for the award, candidates are usually expected to have sat the required four modules in the same year and achieved outstanding results.

The Thorrowgood Scholar for the 2018 Exam was REECE MARTIN who is Senior Conformance Engineer for Network Rail in the UK. He received the award at the AGM on 26th April 2019 and plans a study tour to China to gain knowledge of High Speed.  

The IRSE-Signet Award 
The IRSE-Signet Award represents a further way of recognising high performance in the IRSE's Professional Examination.  The Award is made annually to the candidate who achieves the highest marks in any single module of the Exam.  The Award is made jointly by the IRSE and 
Signet Solutions Ltd, and was introduced in 2016 on the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Company.  The winner receives funding to attend the Institution's annual Convention.

In 2019 Paul Hobden of TfL won the award. He received the award at the AGM on the 26th April 2019.

The Dell Award
The Dell Award is made annually under a bequest of the late Robert Dell OBE (Past President). It is awarded to a member of the Institution employed by London Underground Ltd (or its successor bodies) for achievement of a high standard in the science and application of railway signalling. The award consists of a plaque with a uniquely designed shield, engraved with the recipient’s name together with a cheque for £300.​

The Dell Award winner for 2019 is  Janagan Yoganathan of London Underground. He received the award at the AGM on the 26th April 2019.

The Innovation Award
The IRSE sought entries for the first IRSE Innovation Award in its Centenary Year (2012/13) to recognise significant innovations in the field of railway traffic management, train control, telecommunications and related disciplines.

The IRSE Innovation Award is made for an innovative system, product or service that is relevant to the scope of interest of the Institution. Innovations on all types of railways are eligible. It can be awarded for infrastructure–based and train-borne systems and products; support tools, technologies and services; processes etc. The IRSE seeks to attract applications from all parts of the world.

Ideally the innovation will have been recently brought into use or service somewhere in the world, but cases where something is still at the “proving” stage will be considered provided that there is sufficient evidence that the projected benefits will be delivered.

Subject to sufficient entries being submitted, there are two classes of the award, namely to an individual and to a company. The primary criteria against which an innovation are judged are the degree of novelty and the benefits it delivers. Benefits can include a broad range of factors – cost reduction, customer satisfaction, reliability, maintainability, safety, environmental, the scope for wider application, etc.

Award winners will benefit from extensive coverage of their innovation in IRSE NEWS, online and via other communications channels, thus reaching an audience of railway companies and individuals world-wide.  In the case of individuals, a prize to the value of £500 will be awarded. The winner of the individual prize does not have to be a member of the IRSE nor, in the case of a company, does it need to have any affiliation to or links with the IRSE.​