WES launches 2021 WE50 Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards

01 February 2021

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The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is delighted to launch its 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards today, 1 February 2021. Once again, the competition will follow a public nominations process, from which the top 50 will be selected.

This year’s WE50 theme is Engineering Heroes to celebrate the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering: those who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution; who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones. Derived from the Greek word heros, "hero" literally means "protector" or "defender", and in 2020-21, engineers around the world have played a major role in protecting and defending us from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, the extraordinary public health crisis we are experiencing has brought into sharp focus how engineers also deliver and maintain critical services and infrastructure, keep civic society functioning at every level, and support lives and livelihoods. And let's not forget those engineers who also undertake world-leading research and innovation to tackle the long-term, structural global challenges of our time, especially climate change.

In 2020, the Top 50 Women in Engineering focused on tackling climate change with its theme of Sustainability. WES received over 300 nominations for the awards.

Full details of the criteria nominees will need to satisfy for the 2021 awards can be found on WE50 web page at: www.wes.org.uk/we50

Nominations should focus on the criteria and any other reasons why the nominee (who can also self-nominate) should be considered. Nominees do not have to meet all criteria. The aim is to be inclusive and to highlight and celebrate women who have gone beyond what is expected in the sector or discipline of engineering and allied sciences, technology and mathematics (STEM).

Nominations launch on 1 February 2021 and close at noon on Monday 8 March 2021, International Women’s Day. The awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony on 23 June 2021 in tandem with WES’ annual global campaign, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).

WES will manage the nomination and judging process, and has appointed Professor Catherine Noakes OBE, CEng, FIMechE, FIHEEM, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings and Deputy Director of the Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics at the University of Leeds’ School of Civil Engineering as the Head Judge of this year’s WE50. Professor Noakes is also Chair of the Environment & Modelling Group (EMG), a cross-disciplinary SAGE subgroup advising the government on the physical spread of COVID-19.


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