1990s-2000s

2009 - McLaren new supercar

The design for the McLaren MP4-12C supercar marks the first car fully designed and built by the company in over a decade. Car launched 2011.

2008 - Crossrail

Construction begins on London's new transport network.

2008 - Carbon capture and storage

First pilot plant.

2007 - Stem cells

James Thomson and Shinya Yamanaka convert human skin into stem cells, previously the cells had to be harvested from human embryos.

2007 - Solar Atlantic Crossing

Sun21 completes the first solar-powered crossing of the Atlantic Ocean taking 29 days.

2007 - Skysails

SkySails is piloted on cargo ships. A 160 metre square kite, controlled by computers, its makers believe it could cut the fuel costs of cargo ships by 10 to 35 per cent.

2006 - Water 'creation'

Aqua Sciences develop technology to extract water from the atmosphere. The device works virtually anywhere that is inhabited by human beings, delivering clean water for drinking, industry etc.

2006 - Turbosteamer

BMW develops prototype turbosteamer technology. It converts 80 per cent of exhaust heat into power.

2006 - Institution of Mechanical Engineers first female CE

IMechE appoint Ruth Spellman Chief Executive.

2006 - Cosmoplane test flight

Russia’s Institute of Applied Mechanics developed a new aircraft: it takes off and lands like an ordinary plane, but it behaves like a spacecraft for the rest of the flight. The aerospace craft is expected to fly at heights between 100-200 kilometres and with speed as high as 30 thousand kilometres per hour. It takes the vehicle 20 minutes to fly from Moscow to Paris and 50 minutes to New York. The cosmoplane uses hypersonic engines fuelled by oxygen and hydrogen. Tests of plane’s 1:25 scale model by institute’s experts proved to be successful.

2004-2010 - Graphene

Graphene is one of the crystalline forms of carbon: carbon atoms are arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern. Graphene can be described as a one-atom thick layer of the layered mineral graphite. High quality graphene is very strong, light, nearly transparent and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. The method for isolating the layers is developed by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.

In 2010 a Nobel Prize in Physics was granted to Geim and Novoselov "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene".

2004 - Injection by soundwave

SonoPrep is invented by bioengineer Robert Langer. The device delivers medication by sound waves rather than injection.

2003 - Hybrid electric vehicle

The Renault Kangoo is produced. It is the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which can be recharged from the mains, and does not require conventional fuel for short trips.

2003 - Clear Skies

The Clear Skies renewable energy grant scheme is launched in the UK.

2002 - Scramjet

The HyShot supersonic ramjet (scramjet) makes its first successful flight at Mach 7.6, over seven times the speed of sound. It is a jet engine powered by oxygen which is taken from the atmosphere as it flies, compressed and mixed with a small amount of hydrogen to produce an explosion.

2002 - Hydrogen fuel car

General Motors reveal the Hy-Wire, a revolutionary concept car powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It is controlled electronically, removing the need for steering wheels, pedals and other traditional features of the automobile.

2002 - Falkirk Wheel opens

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in Scotland. It connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

2001 - Segway PT

The two wheeled, self-balancing, electric vehicle is unveiled by inventor Dean Kamen.

2000 - Blyth wind farm

Blyth offshore wind farm, the first in the UK, opens off the Northumberland coast. Its 2MW turbines are the largest offshore turbines in the world.

1999 - Millennium Wheel

The Millennium Wheel is hoisted into position, transforming the London skyline.

1998 - Robot assisted heart bypass

The first robot assisted heart bypass operation is performed by Dr. Ralph Damiano at Pennsylvania State Hospital, USA.

1998 - International Space Station

Work begins on the ISS, a collaboration between the USA, Canada, Russia, Europe and Japan.

1998 - Formula Student

Formula Student is launched, one of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers most popular events. Teams of students design and build a single-seater racing car, which then faces three days of endurance tests and scrutiny by professional engineers and industry experts.

1997 - Thrust SSC

Thrust SSC sets the land speed record, reaching 763.044 mph. It is the first car to officially break the sound barrier, it is jet-propelled. Designed by Richard Noble and driven by Andy Green.

1997 - The Institution of Mechanical Engineers first female President

The IMechE's 150th anniversary is marked by the appointment of its first female President, Pam Liversidge.

1997 - Mars probe

NASA lands its first probe on Mars, discoveries prompt theories that microbial life might once have existed on the planet.

1997 - Kyoto Protocol

55 nations agree to binding obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, aviation and shipping are excluded. The USA refuses to sign.

1997 - Hybrid automobile

The Toyota Prius is the first mass-produced hybrid automobile. It goes on sale in Japan in 1997, and is introduced worldwide in 2001.

1997 - Deep Blue

IBM's super computer beats Russian world chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov. Marking the first defeat of a human by a machine in chess.

1996 - Solar crossing of Pacific

Kenichi Horie completes the first solar powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

1995 - Space walking Briton

Dr Michael Foale performs the first space walk by a British-born American citizen.

1995 - M-theory

A new universal theory of everything is proposed by Edward Witten, uniting attempts to reconcile gravity with quantum physics (string theories). Witten's theory is championed by Stephen Hawkin, but remains incomplete.

1995 - GPS

Conceived by Roger Easton, GPS (Global Positioning System) measures time and location in all weathers using a network of satellites.

1995 - Fermat's Last Theorem

358 years after it is conceived, Pierre de Fermat theorem (or conjecture) is proved by Andrew Wiles. Famously Fermat placed it in the margin of a copy of Arithmetica but he claimed he had a proof that was too large to fit in the margin. It states that, no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two.

1994 - GM crops

Genetically modified crops, supposedly more resistant to disease and faster growing, are introduced.

1993 - Fuel cell bus

The first bus powered by a fuel cell is completed.

1993 - Dyson vacuums founded

Bagless vacuum cleaners are produced by James Dyson's new company. In 2005 they become the market leader in the USA.

1991 - UK wind farm

Delabole wind farm opens, the first in the UK.

1991 - First Briton in space

Helen Sharman is the first Briton is space, on-board the Soviet space capsule, Soyuz TM-12.

1990-1994 - Channel Tunnel

Construction workers drilling the Channel Tunnel meet in the middle, physically joining the UK to Europe for the first time in the modern age. The Channel Tunnel is formally opened by the Queen and the French President Francois Mitterrand in 1994.

1990 - Hubble Space Telescope

The Telescope begins to orbit, returning detailed images of deep space.