Joseph Stannah

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Joseph Stannah was an incredible engineer who pushed the boundaries of Victorian technology to make hoists, cranes, and lifts – amongst other things – safer, stronger and more efficient. Not only was he an engineering genius, he was also socially enlightened for his time with a genuine concern for his staff and the wider welfare and development of society.

As a business, our 150th anniversary provided a great incentive to look ahead and show our determination to reach our next milestone at 200 years. We also felt it was a fitting opportunity to pay tribute to our remarkable founder. As a business, we have always championed the cause of engineering through work in local schools and colleges and now, for the first time, we are bringing our benevolent activities under a new umbrella: the Joseph Stannah Foundation. Underpinned by a substantial donation from the Stannah family, the Foundation will support projects that promote engineering and related sciences as a career as we believe innovation in new ideas and solutions is the most important driver of growth, both for world economies and our company.

It is undoubtedly the duty of every engineer to instruct their share of the rising generation, but it is also their duty to do it in such a way as shall conduce most to the general prosperity of the future 

Taken from Joseph Stannah’s letter to The Engineer, 1 February 1889

Joseph stannah

Our aims

  • Encourage an early interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and careers;
  • Recognise excellence in young people in these areas;
  • Promote equality, diversity and inclusiveness in all matters related to STEM and product ideas and solutions.

Our projects

We support a wide range of projects

The Arkwright Scholarship

The Arkwright Scholarship is open to high calibre 15 and 16 year olds who have a keen interest in engineering.  They aim to support students during their A Levels and Scottish Advanced Highers or equivalent.  Stannah has supported these scholarships for over 15 years.  For more information visit

In 2018 Lowena Hull from Portsmouth High was awarded an Arwright Scholarship sponsored by Stannah.  Lowena will receive £2,200 spread over two years towards a project she in working on, which is to be split between herself and the school.  She also secured a placement at Stannah’s head office in Andover during her summer break.

The scholarship is the latest in a line of achievements for Lowena, who was named a UK Inspiring Junior in 2018.

Developing a passion for technology from an early age, at 13 Lowena entered and won a national Astro Pi competition, designing code which was used by Major Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station. She went on to gain 10 A*s and two 9s at GCSE and is now studying for ‘A’ levels, with plans to go to university and then work in the field of software engineering.

Stannah will be sponsoring another scholar in 2020.

STEM Project Enthuse

Stannah sponsor Project Enthuse from STEM Learning to build partnerships with local primary schools as well as support the continuous professional development of teachers of STEM subjects.

Being part of Project Enthuse has encouraged 14 members of staff to volunteer as STEM Ambassadors engaging with local schools and helping students develop a love of STEM subjects.  Being an Ambassador also helps our staff to develop their own skills and confidence.

Under the Project Enthuse banner, Stannah’s Ambassadors, together with other members of staff, have taken part in a number of workshops and STEM days at schools and will continue to do this throughout the year.

The STEM Insight scheme gives teachers the chance to spend a week working with us to find out what life in industry is really like.  This allows them to give better advice to their students on why they should consider engineering or other STEM related subjects as a career.  Stannah welcomed their first STEM placement teacher in July 2019. Shelley Frape, Maths Teacher at Harrow Way School in Andover, spent a week learning about many different aspects of the business.  After five full and varied days she left highly impressed with both staff and the way the company does business.  Stannah will be welcoming another local teacher in the summer if 2020.

Portway School  annual science project

Every year Portway Junior School in Andover organize a two day science project.  Over two days around 100 children from year 5 are split into teams to design and build a self-propelling egg transporter. At the end of each day the children had to see how far each one could travel under its own steam.  The event is always a great success and gives the pupils a taste of engineering and experience in creative problem solving, team working and time keeping, valuable skills that will prove useful across all areas of education.  In 2020 we look forward to working with them again on a different challenge.

Greenpower Challenge

Run by the Greenpower Education Trust, the challenge is design, build and race an electric car.  In the UK alone over 700 teams enter each year with 35 regional events allowing 10,000 students to take part.  Since 2017 Stannah have helped Bourne Community College in West Sussex to develop their ideas and race their own car.  Welcoming the students to the facilities in Andover has allowed Stannah to showcase itself as a leader in engineering.  2019 saw Stannah enter their own team as well, made up of apprentices, graduates and work placement students.  Both teams made it to the finals at Silverstone.  2020 will see Stannah’s involvement continue.

Green Meets Grey

Green Meets Grey is a workshop day that encourages creativity and problem solving for year 11 students.  Stannah have hosted events in 2018 and 2019, organised by Connect TVT and Design Thinking.  Students, ‘green’,  from a number of local secondary schools were split into mixed teams and paired with a ‘grey’ Stannah ambassador.  The challenge was to design a stairlift or wheelchair lift for a series of specific personas with different mobility issues.  The greys led their greens through the design process of empathising with their persona and brainstorming ideas before coming up with a sales pitch to present to a board of Stannah ‘dragons’. Ideas have varied enormously, but both days were a great success and Stannah are hoping to hold a similar event in 2020.

New Designers Awards

The New Designers exhibition has been showcasing the work of the UK’s leading design students for over 30 years.

Stannah created the Joseph Stannah Award for the first time in 2018 to reward innovative inclusive designs that promote independent living and address real life problems.  The first winner in 2018 was Josh King, a 3rd year BSc Product Design student won the award for his device called ‘Ally’, a product worn somewhere like the wrist to monitor the wearer’s wellbeing.  Aimed at helping those over overcoming sexual assault, the monitor can tell when they may be in need of extra support. In 2019 the award went to James Seal a product design student from Huddersfield University.  James designed ‘Grace’ a new type of colostomy bag after learning of the difficulties of living with a stoma from two members of his family.  Like Josh he was presented with £1000 to support the further development of his career.  James subsequently spent a valuable six weeks on a paid work placement with the Stannah Concept team.  2020 will see Stannah again looking for a worthy winner of the award.

Brunel Institute Corporate Academy

In 2019 Stannah signed a corporate partnership with BICA – the Brunel Institute Corporate Academy.  Run by the SS Great Britain Trust, BICA is an award winning education programme that takes 12 Year 7 students form local schools and enrols them on a 5-year hands programme of hands-on learning and support.  The programme enables the students to experience STEM learning in a real world context to help them recognise new possibilities for their career aspirations.  Stannah look forward to developing this partnership throughout the coming year.

Applications to the Foundation

We welcome applications to the Joseph Stannah Foundation for projects that:

  • Promote understanding of STEM subjects at any stage of education by
    • developing classroom initiatives
    • creating programmes for teachers to help them develop how they present engineering to their students
  • Encourage innovation in all forms of engineering
  • Develop a clear vision for the future of UK engineering
  • Identify, recognise and encourage excellence in young people
  • Inspire women and other minorities to consider a career in engineering.

How to apply for funding

Please click the link below to email us details of how your project meets the JSF criteria and set out how we can support you either through funding or providing support in kind for STEM projects.

Email us your application

You can also apply by post at the address below:

The Joseph Stannah Foundation


Watt Close, Andover – Hampshire – SP10 3SD