The Sir Barnes Wallis Medal

Awarded in recognition of an exceptional and innovative contribution to aviation.

2022 Awarded to: Squadron Leader Calum Law RAF

No. 6 Flying Training School is responsible for the delivery of flying training to circa 1,000 University Air Squadron students and the provision of Air Experience Flights to circa 25,000 cadets every year. As one of the Squadron Commanders within that organisation, Squadron Leader Calum Law recognised an opportunity to improve exposure to the aviation environment through the provision of low-cost synthetic training that hitherto had been unavailable and made that vision a reality.

Sqn Ldr Law then created a low-cost solution that could provide a synthetic training capability to both University Air Squadron students and RAF Air Cadets. His initial achievement produced an augmented reality training aid which provides a handset-based knowledge platform, including 3-dimensional aircraft models, key documentation and airspace information. Not only does this offer an excellent aid for both students and instructors alike, it makes learning a truly enjoyable experience and has brought ground training into the 21st century.  

LAW Calum 02Not content with that success, Sqn Ldr Law then focussed on creating a much larger synthetic strategy that could deliver a host of capabilities across multiple organisations. Through that work he has now designed, self-funded and built an integrated Virtual Reality Tutor aircraft trainer, in addition to a fully integrated cross-reality Tutor training solution, which is now fully active and utilised daily within his squadron. These training devices are simple enough to allow students to operate them on their own yet are sufficiently complex to provide genuine side-by-side, or remote, flying instruction for students who might struggle to assimilate certain skill sets. In addition, Sqn Ldr Law has identified an opportunity within his strategy to create 360-degree video footage of all lessons within the flying training syllabi, along with footage of all aircraft types, which will enable students and cadets to learn remotely whilst having a fully immersed experience of military aviation.

Throughout this initiative, Sqn Ldr Law has led from the front and has fused military, industrial and academic expertise to deliver a first class, affordable, solution. It is, however, only due to his dogged determination to succeed, along with personal investment in his vision that he has been able to realise the potential of the project. With senior level support, Sqn Ldr Law has now produced an integrated strategy, business case and a financial plan that is expected to deliver this capability to 12 locations within this financial year. This will provide access to aviation experiences to thousands of students and cadets every year. Incredibly, Sqn Ldr Law has managed to do all of this alongside meeting the demands of his routine role. Furthermore, he has limited the cost of the entire programme to less than £250k, circa £5m less than external quotes.  Sqn Ldr Law’s ultimate aim is to develop the capability to support ‘Project Telum’, the RAF’s future net zero elementary flying training capability. This project has represented aviation innovation and unrelenting pursuit of excellence in its purest form and, as a consequence, Squadron Leader Calum Law is truly deserving of award of the Sir Barnes Wallis Medal.

Previous Winners:

1979/80  Gabe Rob (Jock) Bryce

1980/81  Captain John Archibald Cameron OBE

1982  not awarded

1982/83  John A Denyer

1983/84  HMS Endurance Flight

1984/85  Air Cdre Peter Howard

1986  not awarded

1986/87  Peter F Cedervall

1988  not awarded

1988/89  Jeffrey Kindersley Quill OBE

1990 - 1992  not awarded

1992/93  A J Smith

1994  not awarded

1994/95  Michael Foale PhD

1996  not awarded

1996/97  Keith Perrin

1997/98  Gp Capt John Cunningham CBE DSO** DFC* AE

1998/99  Wg Cdr K H Wallis

1999/2000  Peter Holding

2000/01 Professor Kay Young PhD

2001/02  Lt Cdr Paul C J Stone RN and Sqn Ldr Justin Paines

2002/03  Dr Martin (Dill) Faulkes

2003/04  Sqn Ldr Charles W (Bill) Thompson

2004/05  Kenneth Peter Ross Smart

2005/06  5 Regt AAC

2006/07  Sam Wells OBE

2008   not awarded

2008/09  Timothy Prince OBE FRAeS

2010  not awarded

2010/11  Maj David Amlôt MBE

2011/12  Michael John Miller-Smith

2012/13  Nicholas Dean Lappos

2013/14  Hybrid Air Vehicles

2014/15  Dr Richard Raistrick OBE

2016 - 2017   not awarded

2018  AVM Simon "Rocky" Rochelle OBE DFC RAF

2019  Maj Thomas W Aseltine USAF

2020  F-16 Cruise Missile Defence Tactics Development Team

2021  Sqn Ldr James Skinner RAF

2022  Sqn Ldr Calum Law RAF