The winner of this year’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE) award was announced live from the IET’s headquarters at Savoy Place on 2 December.
The annual awards honour the best early-career female women engineers in the UK, with the Young Woman Engineer of the Year award presented to a dynamic young engineer who inspires her colleagues and encourages others to follow in her footsteps.
This year’s glittering awards saw finalists attend the event in person, with selected family and friends in attendance for support. The ceremony, which was hosted by Olympic hockey gold medallist, Sam Quek MBE, and featured guest speaker June Angelides MBE, was also broadcast live online.
Taking home the trophy on the night, as 2021’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year, was Dr Ciara McGrath, a lecturer in Aerospace Systems at the University of Manchester. She carries out engineering research projects in the areas of astrodynamics and space mission design, working with industry and policymakers to design space systems that can help support life on Earth.
Frazer-Nash’s Anna Will was shortlisted as a finalist, alongside the five other inspirational and hard-working women who strive to address the gender divide within STEM careers.
Frazer-Nash’s People Director, and Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee member, Sam Geis, commented:
“Congratulations to all those talented young women shortlisted for the IET awards, and especially to the winners. We are so proud of Anna for making it to the final, and for all the work she does to raise the profile of STEM careers for young women. She truly is an inspiration, and a shining example of our values: we care, and we want to do things that matter
“At Frazer-Nash, we believe that a culture of inclusion is vital to enable us to build a strong, sustainable business that harnesses innovation and creativity, which is why we continue to sponsor the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards, which works hard to build a brighter future for women in STEM careers.”
Last year’s Young Woman Engineer winner – Ella Podmore delivered an inspirational speech at the event, describing how the last 12 months have provided the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of her life. In addition to the Young Woman Engineer prize, awards were presented on the night to three other worthy winners.
The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Prize went to Eftychia Koursari, a Senior Civil Engineer for Amey Consulting, specialising in scour, the main impact of climate change on infrastructure, whilst also undertaking part-time PhD Research on scour at the University of Glasgow. Effie is an active STEM Ambassador and has been named one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering for 2020 and was also awarded the Women Leaders Association Rising Star in STEM.
The Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices, awarded to a young female apprentice whose promise shows the potential for them to be one of tomorrow’s leaders in engineering, was won by Dilani Selvanathan – a Junior Software Engineer for Herotech8, who works alongside the technical delivery team to support growing technical requirements and helps build the products and services. Dilani is a STEM Ambassador and took part in the STEMazing programme, giving online interactive sessions to primary schools. She is also a WISE role model, promoting young women in STEM.
Returning for a third consecutive year, the Gender Diversity Ambassador Award recognises an individual who has spent a large proportion of their career committed to addressing the gender imbalance within their profession. The 2021 award went to Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, an internationally-known figure in higher education, and president and CEO of New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE). Elena’s colleagues praised her for her tireless efforts to advocate for inclusion, and her role in influencing so many people over the years.
For more information on the IET awards, visit: youngwomenengineer.theiet.org.