British Engineering celebrated with stamps from Royal Mail

Synthetic bone-graft material stamp


  • The 10-stamp set features marvels of British engineering from the last 50 years
  • From the smallest of computers, the Raspberry Pi, to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift, Britain has a long and proud history of engineering
  • Also included are: the three-way catalytic converter; superconducting magnets and the monumental tunnel boring project that will enable Crossrail
  • Completing the main six-stamp set is the synthetic bone-graft devised by Dr Karin Hing at Queen Mary University of London
  • Also featured is the Harrier Jump Jet, celebrating 50 years since it entered RAF service. Four stamps, presented in a Miniature Sheet, show the first operational jet fighter in the world to use revolutionary vertical short take-off and landing technology​​​​​​​
  • Royal Mail worked with the Royal Academy of Engineering on the stamp set​​​​​​​
  • The stamps and a range of collectible products are available from, by phone on 03457 641 641 and in 7,000 Post Offices throughout the UK​​​​​​​
  • Royal Mail today reveals 10 new Special Stamps to mark Britain’s long and proud history of engineering excellence.

World-class inventions and innovations have had a huge impact on many aspects of modern life, from medicine and computing to travel and infrastructure. The last 50 years have produced many marvels of British engineering, from the smallest of computers, the Raspberry Pi, to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift.

  • At just the size of a credit card, the Raspberry Pi might be tiny, but with sales of over 20 million these microcomputers have revolutionised education in computer science and programming worldwide.
  • A collaboration of British engineers and architects produced the world’s first and only rotating boat lift, The Falkirk Wheel, joining two major Scottish canals for the first time in 70 years with a phenomenally beautiful structure.
  • Today cars are far less polluting than they were 50 years ago, due to three-way catalytic converters scrubbing car exhausts of harmful gases.
  • MRI scanners, on which we now rely for routine imaging of our bodies, would not be possible without the work done with superconducting magnets by British engineers at Oxford Instruments.
  • The monumental tunnel boring project that will enable Crossrail, required 13 miles (21km) of twin tunnels under the city, and navigated existing sewers,Tube train tunnels and building foundations.
  • The team at Queen Mary University of London led by Dr Karin Hing, engineered materials that encourage bone growth when used in complex orthopaedic surgeries and have improved the outcomes for hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide.
  • Dr Karin Hing said: “It was a delightful surprise and a huge honour for my work on synthetic bone grafts to be recognised with a stamp and, in particular, to be part of a set which celebrates some incredible innovations in British engineering. I feel very fortunate that my research has gone on to have such a positive impact on people’s lives, but this would not have been possible without multidisciplinary collaboration. Having our engineering of synthetic bone grafts celebrated on a stamp like the Marvel Comics and the Harry Potter books might even impress my kids.”
  • Completing the issue, is another of the UK’s many success stories - the Harrier Jump Jet, designed and produced by Hawker Siddeley, which entered service with the RAF 50 years ago. It remains one of the few operational aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing. More advanced Harriers developed by British Aerospace (later BAE Systems) and McDonnell Douglas (later Boeing) were used by the militaries of a number of countries. This cross-section of engineering marvels showcases the ingenuity of engineers working in the UK.