THE technical director of one of the world’s leading prosthetics manufacturers has received the royal seal of approval from the Duke of Edinburgh.

Saeed Zahedi, from Chas A Blatchford & Sons, headquartered in Basingstoke, was presented with a highly commended certificate by the Duke at the 2011 Prince Phillip Design Awards.

Saeed is among the leading designers of prosthetics and has been at the forefront of breakthroughs which make life better for amputees.

Using digital electronics and intelligent interfaces, the company, based in Lister Road, has developed a number of foot, hydraulic ankle and microprocessor-controlled knee systems.

It is the second time that the design team at Blatchford has been singled out at the awards, with Brian Blatchford, the current owner’s father, having been a winner in 1976.

Brian’s son Stephen Blatchford, who is now chief executive, and his mother Joyce Blatchford were also at this year’s awards event.

Saeed, who received an OBE 12 years ago, said: “When I was called to receive the special nomination on behalf of the Blatchford team, I felt content and happy that we have completed a chapter in our history, and this award was an endorsement of the highest level of our team achievement.

“This prize recognises the creative and innovative nature of our work, representing engineering and manufacturing in the UK in creating greater wealth and prosperity, not only for ourselves, but for the whole community.

“This is one of the greatest things that any engineer can dream of, and that is to apply engineering and advances in technology into rehabilitation of people who have lost limbs, restoring their function to the full.

“I think we are one step closer to fulfilment of this ultimate aim and being motivated by this award, can now move to next chapter.”

Established in 1890, Blatchford operates more than 30 per cent of NHS prosthetics and orthotics contracts, including the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, at Headley Court.

The company won the Queen’s Award for Technology in 1996 and the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2010.