The shortlist, compiled by engineering body Semta, which represents 128,000 companies across the UK, also features industry heavyweights Sir James Dyson, Apple’s Sir Jonathan Ive, all-terrain wheelchair entrepreneur Tim Morgan, and pioneering prosthetics engineer David Gow.

“It was a complete shock to find out I had been nominated,” Mr Etherington told the Daily Telegraph. “I had to pinch myself.”

This is the first year that Semta has unveiled an engineering Hall of Fame. “This is our way of showing that Britain’s engineers are still the best in the world,” said Semta’s chief operating officer Ann Watson. “We will be putting them on a world stage to take a bow alongside their illustrious predecessors.”

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