Previous-wes-prize-winners

2013 Winner

Yasmin Ali, Operations Engineer, E.ON

Read more about Yasmin here.

Watch a video of the 2013 winners.

2012 Winner

Charlotte Tingley, Leading Hand, BAE Systems

Read more about Charlotte here

Watch a video of the 2012 winners

2011 Winner

Kelly Walker, Combustion Engineer, E.ON New Build & Technology

Kelly has a passionate belief for green energy, coupled with a desire to raise the profile of sustainability. At the age of 14, when she first discovered the phenomena of rainforest deforestation and finite energy resources she aspired to 'save the world' and experienced work placements in Conservation and the Environment Agency.Kelly

Her enthusiasm for cleaner and efficient energy combined with her dynamic and pro-active attitude allows her to make a difference every day through engineering; engaging in the security of energy supply and acting at the forefront of new biomass technologies.

Kelly’s current role within E.ON places her in a highly visible position in a pan-European team of engineers working alongside academia. She is responsible for the provision of both specialist and general technical consultancy to the E.ON coal and oil power stations throughout Europe and has several years experience specialising in Low NOx systems and biomass co-firing. Having worked previously for a supplier and now as an owners engineer, she has excelled in the variety of the role; from engineering design and safety audits, to plant optimisation and performance testing.

Currently an Associate Member of the IMechE, she is working towards Chartered Engineer status. Kelly has a MEng 1st Class from Leeds University, and when work and travel commitments are less frequent she enjoys horse-riding, photography and competing in triathlons.

2010 Winner

Sarah Curtis, Team Leader, Energy Infrastructure, E.ON New Build and Technology

After successfully completing a Masters Degree in Chemistry at the University of Leeds, Sarah embarked upon a structured graduate engineering development scheme at E.ON New Build and Technology, the science, engineering and technology hub of the E.ON Group.Sarah

After gaining a wide range of experience across key engineering disciplines in her first few years with the company, including a placement at a coal-fired Power Station in Germany, Sarah went on to lead a team in the New Technologies Department in August 2009.

Currently responsible for a team of eleven engineers engaged with the development of cutting-edge low carbon technologies, Sarah also manages a large R&D budget. Along with her team, Sarah works with technology companies and universities to understand important energy research topics and demonstrate the potential of new and emergent technologies. In addition to this, Sarah is committed to the promotion of STEM subjects in schools, universities and at regional and national events – for example, Sarah will be filmed as a case study for the UKRC’s National Conference, “Women Mean Business”, in October 2010.

In her leisure time, Sarah is a keen mountain biker and likes to spend her weekends enjoying the pursuit in the Peak District. Having danced since she was 10, Sarah also goes to regular ballet and tap lessons during the week.

2009 Winner

Farah Azirar, Solutions Manager, Sony-Electronics

Multi-lingual Farah Azirar attended the University of Surrey where she studied Electrical Engineering, gaining Associateship of the University of Surrey with Distinction.Farah

In her vibrant career to date, she has worked with both Mitsubishi and Sony Professional, displaying a flexibility of engineering skills within the AV/IT sector and supplementing these with marketing expertise, leading to the final stages of a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Farah is not without a competitive edge, competing in cycle racing at a semi-professional level as well as writing for the UK’s market-leading cycling magazine and also enjoys mountaineering.

2008 Winner

Bijal Thakore, Global Client Development and Technical Consultant at LEGO Systems

Bijal is now based in Denmark. Her previous job was as a composite research trainee engineer at Airbus.

Bijal was delighted with her award. “Young people – both men and women alike – are contributing to the advancement of engineering, science and technology in our society in more ways than ever before and are moving engineering away from the professional stereotypes. Being recognised for this is a great honour,” she said.

She greatly enjoys her present job. “I love waking up every day to solve challenges for LEGO’s B2B applications team that combines solutions in engineering, technology as well as social behaviour and hence, being able to break the traditional silos in which different sectors operate.”

She likes to keep moving in her leisure time. She completed the half marathon in Strasbourg in 1.5 hours and is set to cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia in eight days during February 2010

2007 Winner

Mamta Singhal, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Strathcylde University

Mamta describes herself as a serial innovator and entrepreneur. "From a young age I have been developing and engineering new products. I decided to become an engineer as there is a long family history of engineering particular on my mother's side". Also my father is a world renowed physicist so from a young age, he installed a great passion in me for learning especially in science and technology".

Mamta gained a BEng (Hons) in Product Design Engineering which was an affilated degree with the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art. She then did an MSc in Integrated Product Development from the Department of Design, Maufacture and Engineering Management at Strathclyde University. She began her career as a creative development engineer with the toy manufacturer Hasbro helping produce a range of hugely poplular toys including Action Man, Shrek and Lord of the Rings Monopoly. She is now a lecturer of Mechanical Engineering at Strathclyde Unviersity and is studying for an executive MBA.

2006 Winner

Maire McLoone, Lecturer and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow

Maire leads a research team looking at the security in modern communications applications such as email, online shopping and banking in the Electronics, Communications and Information Technology Research Institute at Queens University Belfast.

Maire was exposed to engineering early in life. “My father decided to build a hydro-electric scheme on the river running by our house. Then in secondary school, I enjoyed mathematics, physics and technology, and with two older brothers in engineering, I decided that it was also the career for me,” said Maire

“I studied for my degree in electrical and electronic engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. In the final year I was sponsored by a local company to carry out a research project in the area of data security. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to research new ideas and designs using cutting-edge technologies and as a result, I decide to study for a PhD in data encryption architecture. In 2033 I was awarded a five year Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship which has allowed me to further develop my research career, and in 2004, I was appointed as a lecturer in the System-on-Chip group at Queen’s.”

2005 Winner

Rachael Johnson, Automation maintenance engineer, Royal Mail.

Rachael decided that she wanted to become an engineer after a week’s job experience at the local apprentice training centre, South West Durham Training Centre Ltd on Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate. “The excitement and enthusiasm that I gained from that one week has stayed with me throughout my career. It was an excellent introduction to engineering – one that I wish other young people also had the opportunity to use, as I can’t think of a better way to be introduced to this stimulating and diverse profession,” said Rachael.

She is keen to do what she can to help encourage other girls to become engineers. “I would not be the person I am, and therefore be where I am today if it were not for the support and guidance I have received over the years from my mentor. Now I feel I am in a position where I can start to give something back to the engieering community and have the experience that would be beneficial to share with other like-minded young women in the profession.

2004 Winner

Claire Woolaghanwon, Control Systems Team Leader,  British Nuclear Group.

Claire manages a team of ten engineers, who provide support in the form of maintenance, breakdown cover, modifications and improvements, for the control systems at the Magnox East River Plant (MER) in Cumbria. Altogether the team has 100 programmable electronic systems for which they are responsible and have five ongoing programmes to replace the legacy control systems.

Claire always knew that she wanted to be an engineer and decided to take the practical route into engineer after speaking to established engineers whilst on work experience.

Upon leaving school, in 1992, Claire embarked upon an apprenticeship as an instrument mechanic at BNFL where she completed an NVQ before going on to complete an HND and then a BEng (Hons) at the University of Central Lancashire.

“The advice I received from those engineers definitely paid off. I was able to continue with my education whilst gaining practical experience,” said Claire. “I love the buzz of doing a job where I know people are depending on me,” said Claire. “I want to continue to develop and progress within the engineering field. I’m not setting limits, just challenges.”