On #INWED21: Celebrating the 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes

23 June 2021

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On International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), 23rd June, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes Awards (WE50).

The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is delighted to announce the winners of the Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes Awards (WE50). Now in its sixth year, the 2021 WE50 celebrates women who have made a significant contribution to helping their organisation, community or indeed the world functioning during the last year. Even in the current climate, the number and standard of nominations were high, emphasising the exceptional achievements made by women in this field.?

Head Judge, Professor Catherine Noakes OBE CEng FIMechE FIHEEM said of the awards: “2020 was a year unlike any other and remarkable times call for remarkable people. That is why, in 2021, the Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards celebrate the engineering heroes who have responded to the challenges of an ever-changing world, from healthcare and climate change to infrastructure and championing diversity, with inspirational innovation and leadership. With over 230 nominations, only the exceptional made it to the top 50. The standard of nominations received was outstanding. It was wonderful to read about the achievements of these extraordinary women and the impact that they are making on society with their talent, hard work and dedication. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how truly important science, technology and engineering are to the health of our planet. The 2021 WE50 personify the inventive and inclusive thinking needed to build a sustainable future. If there was ever a time that we needed these heroes in engineering, it is now.

WES’ CEO, Elizabeth Donnelly MSc FRSA MRAeS MINCOSE observed: “The literal definition of hero, meaning “protector” or “defender” could not be more apt in the current climate. Often the unsung heroes, the past year has seen the world faced with challenges which have highlighted the immeasurably important role that those working in engineering, technology and the applied sciences play in safeguarding our way of life. Engineers have provided PPE which has enabled medical professionals dealing with the coronavirus pandemic to do their jobs safely and have built lifesaving ventilation equipment used to treat critically ill patients. They have continued to tackle the climate crisis, developing solutions which minimise impact and reduce carbon emissions, paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future. The impact of engineering is as diverse as the people it benefits, which is why inclusivity is so important. The women represented in this year’s WE50 are a testament to the fact that the more diverse the minds and voices of engineers are, the greater their influence will be. We are delighted to celebrate the trailblazing women whose work and advocacy are changing the shape of engineering in the UK.

Judges of the WE50 Awards
The WE50 awards were judged by a panel of industry experts as follows:

•    Professor Cath Noakes OBE CEng FIMechE FIHEEM – Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, University of Leeds, Chair, Environment & Modelling Group (EMG), a cross-disciplinary SAGE sub group (Head Judge)
•    Simon Barber – Managing Director, Assytem UK (WE50 Sponsor)
•    Dawn Childs FREng – UK Change Director, National Grid & President, Women's Engineering Society
•    Emma Crichton CEng MICE – Head of Engineering, Engineers Without Borders
•    Scott Dalrymple BA Hons FCIPD – Vice-President, Human Resources, Crane Building Services & Utilities
•    Neil Gibbs – Group HR Director, AB Systems
•    Frankie Laugier-Davies MSc CIWFM – Senior Account Manager, Pareto Facilities Management Ltd
•    Mara Makoni – Consultant, PA Consulting & Board Member, Association For Black Engineers
•    Sarah Mogford – Environment & Planning Divisional Director, RSK
•    Dr Mark McBride-Wright CEng MIChemE – Equal Engineers
•    Emma Nicholson – Development Project Manager, SLC Rail, Trustee Board Member, Women's Engineering Society
•    Steff Smith BA Hons MSc MWES – Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Measurement & Control
•    Elizabeth Donnelly – Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Engineering Society

The 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes (WE50) winners are listed below (in alphabetical order). This top 50 was chosen from 100 Finalists. For the full list of 100 finalists, visit: www.wes.org.uk/WE50-2021

•    Dr habil Tayebeh Ameri, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, School of Engineering
•    Samidha Anand, Engineering Manager, Caterpillar UK (Perkins Engines Co Ltd)
•    Phoebe Baker, Construction Manager, Mace
•    Dr Claire Bennett, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Arup
•    Dr Grace Campbell, Senior Natural Hazard & Risk Specialist, Arup
•    Jackie Carpenter, Director, Friendship Cohousing
•    Dame Jo da Silva Global Sustainable Development Leader, Arup
•    Georgia Davey, Senior Buyer, Babcock International Group
•    WO2 Claire Dewhirst, Aircraft Engineer, 1 Regiment AAC Workshop REME (Ministry of Defence)
•    Dr Karen Donaldson, Research Associate, University of Edinburgh
•    Professor Hua Dong, Professor in Design, Dean of Brunel Design School, Brunel University London
•    Dr Katherine Dunn, Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh
•    Dr Natalia Falagán, Lecturer in Food Science & Technology, Cranfield University
•    Professor Elena Gaura, Professor of Pervasive Computing, Coventry University
•    Kate Grant, Director of Network West Midlands, Cadent Gas Limited
•    Katherine Grigg, HS2 Main Works Agent, SCS Railways Joint Venture (HS2 Main Works)
•    Jo Hartnell, Assistant Tunnelling Engineer, Atkins
•    Milly Hennayake, Civil Water Engineer, Arup
•    Jean Hewitt, Senior Inclusive Design Consultant, Buro Happold
•    Debbie Janson, Senior Lecturer, University of Bath
•    Dr Sohini Kar-Narayan, Reader (Associate Professor) in Device & Energy Materials, University of Cambridge
•    Emma Kent, Director - Construction, Metropolitan Police
•    Dr Suk Kinch, Senior Design & Development Engineer, Renishaw Neuro Solutions
•    Hanna Leeson, Senior Environmental Engineer, BAE SYSTEMS
•    Dr Kristen MacAskill, Lecturer, University of Cambridge
•    Caitlin McCall, Engineering Doctorate Student, Swansea University & icmPrint
•    Linda McVittie, Sales Manager, Scotland, J & E Hall Limited
•    Dr Helen Meese, Founder & CEO, The Care Machine Ltd
•    Susana Neves e Brooks, Lead Project Manager, National Grid
•    Mimi Nwosu, Assistant Materials Engineer, Sir Robert McAlpine
•    Jennifer Olsen, PhD researcher, Newcastle University
•    Polly Osborne, Assistant Electrical Engineer, Burns & McDonnell
•    Dr Cristiana Pace, Founder, E-novation
•    Dr Tannaz Pak, Senior Lecturer in Energy & Environmental Engineering, Teesside University
•    Sergeant Sarah Partington, Senior Medical & Dental Technician, Army Medical Services Training Centre
•    Kelly Paul, Core Projects Team Lead - UKI, Air Products PLC
•    Kayisha Payne, Founder & Programme Director, BBSTEM (Black British Professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) Ltd
•    Andrea Pearson, Senior Engineer – Operations, Sabic UK Petrochemicals
•    Professor Alison Raby, Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics, University of Plymouth
•    Catherine Rennie, Consultant ENT surgeon, Charing Cross Hospital
•    Professor Jane Rickson, Professor of Soil Erosion & Conservation, Cranfield University
•    Dr Dipa Roy, Senior Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh
•    Jyoti Sehdev, Group EDI lead, Costain
•    Era Shah, Senior Engineer - HS2 Enabling Works, Costain Skanska Joint Venture (HS2 Enabling Works)
•    Professor Rebecca Shipley, Professor of Healthcare Engineering, UCL
•    Dr Maria Sunyer Pinya, Senior Climate Change Consultant, Arup
•    Dr Larissa Suzuki, Data/AI Practice Lead, Google
•    Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk (Chief Executive), Rochester Bridge Trust
•    Hannah Vickers, Chief Executive, Association for Consultancy & Engineering
•    Julie Wood, Director, Arup


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