Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

The Karen Burt Memorial Award

The Karen Burt Memorial Award

This most prestigious WES award is awarded to the best newly qualified woman Chartered Engineer. It is an annual award to encourage more women to aim for and celebrate the achievement of Chartered Engineer status. 

2014 Award

Professional Engineering Institutions are invited to consider nominations for the 2014 Karen Burt Award using the forms which can be downloaded below. Please contact us for a Word version of the form. The deadline for receipt of the forms from the nominated candidate is 31 July 2014. Please notify WES HERE of the details of your nominated candidate by the end of June 2014.

2013 Award

The 2013 award went to Professor Molly Stevens of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and was presented at the WES annual conference Harnessing the Energy on 4 October 2013. See the Press ReleaseMolly Stevens here.

See the other nominated candidates for the 2013 award HERE.

All Professional Engineering Institutions eligible to nominate candidates for the 2014 award have now been notified, and the deadline for receipt of nominations (from the candidate) will be the end of July 2014. Please contact the WES office at karenburt@wes.org.uk for further details of the award process.

See the other previous winners here, and see the annual nominees from the BCS here.

What is the award and who is eligible?

Launched on 3 November 1998 by WES, the Karen Burt Memorial Award is made annually to a newly Chartered woman in the following disciplines – engineering, applied science, IT.

The award recognizes the candidate's excellence and potential in the practice of engineering and highlights the importance of Chartered status, as well as offering recognition to contributions made by the candidate to the promotion of the engineering profession.

How are nominations made?

Each participating accrediting engineering Institution nominates one candidate annually, following the normal institutional review process, with final selection by a WES panel on the basis of further information provided by the candidate. This latter stage focuses particularly on the candidate's contribution to the promotion of the engineering profession. The collaboration strengthens links between WES and the engineering Institutions and helps raise the profile of women engineers and encourage them to attain Chartered status.

Further information on the Karen Burt award

Individuals wishing to obtain further information about the award and the nomination procedure should in the first instance contact their own accrediting professional Institution. Institution managers who need further information should contact the WES office.

Who was Karen Burt?

Picture of Karen Burt

As an active member and Council office holder in The Women's Engineering Society, Dr Karen Burt was a tireless campaigner for the recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering. From her own experience and her extensive research she was regarded as an expert in the management of career breaks and women 'returners' to engineering.

Karen graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and obtained a PhD from Reading University in electron microscopy. She joined British Aerospace Systems at Stevenage as project engineer for scientific satellites and progressed to Senior Systems Engineer before developing an interest in management in the Total Quality Environment, and subsequently becoming Business Acquisition Manager.

Leaving BAe, she set up her own consultancy and was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation Systems within University College, London. She had just accepted a position on the staff of UCL when her career was abruptly ended by a devastating stroke.

Karen is remembered as a gifted communicator and her fight to recover speech and mobility following her stroke was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Karen Burt Award Forms 2014.pdf660.21 KB
Karen Burt Award Winners' Biographies 1999-2012.pdf622.06 KB

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