Meet the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group

Meet the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group

Board Members

Andrea Pearson MEng CEng MIChemE 

Andrea is a Chartered Chemical Engineer who has worked for over 14 years in the Petrochemical and now Biotechnology industries in the North East of England. She started her career at SABIC Petrochemicals as a Process Engineer and worked her way up to Operations Manager. In that role she had responsibility for a SABIC’s Logistics assets, managing a team of over 50 and moving over 2 million tonnes of highly flammable hydrocarbons every year. In 2021 she moved to FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, where she is now Technical Operations Manager for a team of Engineers and Scientists supporting the Mammalian Cell Culture Manufacturing assets, where they have recently manufactured the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine. Andrea was named one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering 2021 and is passionate about encouraging women into STEM careers and encouraging flexible/part time working. 

Elena Martin Fernandez, MEng (Hons), CEng MICE 

Spanish civil engineer B+M Eng (Ingeniera de Caminos, Canales y Puertos) by the Technical University of Madrid. Specialised in transportation, tried different things before settling for roads 3D designer. I have been a site engineer and an R&D project manager, and both have given a frame and a “Think out of the box” context to my designs. Specialised in C3D, OpenRoads and BIM coordination, I love the “solving the puzzle” that each design is. Interested in always learning something new, the more diverse the workforce the better design you can produce – we design for everyone, and only listening, pondering and experiencing different ways of doing things you can produce inclusive designs.  


Emma is an accomplished award-winning Chartered Construction Manager and Chartered Environmentalist with over 24 years construction and property consultancy experience. She has worked on projects of national significance and has studied net zero climate change studies with the University of Cambridge. Emma was elected Associate Fellow and Board Trustee with the Women’s Engineering Society (2020 – 2022), and is a Board Trustee with the Yorkshire Collaborative Academy Trust.   She is founder of Women in Sustainable Construction and Property LinkedIn group, and has organised numerous industry events. She is a CIOB Equality Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Panel member, Institute of Directors Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador for the North East and Yorkshire, and Founder Chair of the Women’s Engineering Society EDI Specialist Interest Group.  Emma is also a member of WES’s Climate Emergency Group and a Sustainability Ambassador for The Major Projects Association. 

Gaynor Woodford-Phillips, Safety Lifecycle Services Manager 

Gaynor is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers and a Professional Process Safety Engineer with over thirty years’ experience in project design, operations support and line management in the petrochemical and chemical industries.  At ABB Consulting Gaynor is responsible for revenue performance of a team of Safety Lifecycle consultants, who deliver services globally across multiple sectors, in both green and brownfield opportunities. In leading the team she has championed all aspects of diversity. 

Gaynor is personally passionate about sustainability in the broadest sense. She currently leads the ABB UK working party driving ABB’s Sustainability theme “we promote social progress”, from Diversity and Inclusion through to encouraging employee engagement in relevant and impactful community engagement. 

Helen Ramsay FIChemE CEng MBA MA MEng (Cantab) 

Helen is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow member of Congress of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of the Women in Engineering Society with an MBA from Cranfield University. Helen is currently a Technology Board Advisor and IT director in freight-forwarding with 20 years’ experience of engineering management in the Medical Devices industry. She ran a department of over a hundred multi-discipline engineers designing, developing, testing and maintaining hardware and software for blood glucose sensor manufacturing. She is a Public Governor for Oxfordshire for the South Central Ambulance Service and a Trustee for The Engineers Trust (Charitable Trust Fund of the Worshipful Company of Engineers) focused on building its diversity and inclusion reach.  

Helen is passionate about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She partnered with STEMReturners and AfBE at her workplace to significantly increase diversity and inclusion and is a WES judge for UK Karen Burt Award celebrating the achievements of recently chartered female engineers. She mentors multiple women in STEM specialising in supporting those overcoming the challenges common to minority groups in early stages of their professional careers. 

Ms H Taylor BSc (Hons) MBA CEng MIET 

Hillary is a Systems Engineer with a background in software, systems, automation and change. After graduating, she lived in Japan, Asia and Australia before returning to the UK. 

A Chartered Engineer, she’s delivered many firsts – from car engine management systems (before they were a thing), to automated telecoms test systems. In between, she developed systems/software for manufacturing automation and air-bag traceability, manufacturing  AI, and also project-managed early city dealer room automation. Hillary is an accomplished change agent and analyst with a speciality in new business development.  

Throughout her career, she’s always been actively engaged in the importance of equity and access: within education, the workplace and wider engineering communities.  

Hillary speaks Japanese and French, is also an artist, writer and local community champion. She loves travel and running. 

Professor Ian Green MBE, Chartered MCIPD 

Worked in Advanced Manufacturing for 39 years starting as an Engineering Apprentice, moved into Production and latterly heading up the Learning and Development function for an Automotive OEM. In 2022 started a new challenge supporting setup and launch of a GIGA factory in Blyth Northumberland as a Learning specialist. Was also appointed by Newcastle University as a Professor of Practice for Electrification skills.  Actively involved in promoting education and skills regionally and nationally. In 2022 New Years Honours awarded an MBE for services to Apprenticeship and STEM education. In 2021 I was Regional and National Apprenticeship Ambassador Champion and recognised in 2018 as a top 20 Exemplar in the Manufacturing magazines Top100 list. I am passionate about giving young people the best possible chances, a core focus is raising the aspirations of local youngsters showing social issues, economic background, and gender are not barriers to a career in the sector. 

Jo Parker

Jo decided at the tender age of 14 that she wanted to be a civil engineer and over 50 years later she is still working as one and still loving the work. She decided to specialise in water and worked for Thames Water, Wessex Water and Affinity Water before setting up her own consultancy – Watershed Associates, advising a variety of clients on mains installation, reapir and replacement plus leak detection. She is a fellow of the ICE and the Institute of Water and was awarded the MBE for Services to the Water Industry in 1994 and identified as one of the top 50 women working in sustainability by the Women’s Engineering Society. 

She has always promoted careers in engineering so that others can have as much fun in their work as she has had and believes that engineering should be open to all whatever their sex, ethnicity or abilities . 

Kat Draper FIHE MCIHT WES MEng CEng 

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer, working in the construction industry, focusing on the highways sector.  I studied MEng Civil Engineering at the University of Southampton with my recent roles focusing on management and co-ordination, including Team Leader, Project Manager and Design Manager. The projects I’ve worked on range from early feasibility studies, preliminary design and detailed design, with extensive collaboration with Contractors, Clients and various third-parties. 

I am keen to promote engineering to others through mentoring, being a STEM Ambassador, career events and work placement initiatives. 

I believe that if people have certain skills or are good and keen to do certain roles, they should be able to do a role that utilises those skills. This shouldn’t be limited or defined by gender. The best teams will have different skills, emotions and personalities within them, and this provides resilience and balance.  

Kim Groshek   

Kim brings over three decades of professional services experience to her consulting engagements and is a highly perceptive and skilled practitioner of organizational design, people empowerment, and coaching. Her expertise is in improving business processes, instilling a culture of excellence, building capacity, exploring the future, and amplifying profit.  

An active leader in the engineering profession, she served extensively on the Society of Women Engineers, developed a leadership program and appointed WES Fellow Ambassador and the Online Programs’ Vice President for DAMA Board of Directors. 

Kim enjoys competing in Ironman Triathlons, running, swimming, yoga, cycling and is a veteran of the 50 states running club, World Marathon Majors and Wisconsin Ironman. Additionally, enjoys spending time with her now retired husband who is on faculty part-time teacher and their daughter is a Marketing Director for the National Children’s Miracle Network.  

Kim will be releasing Head Rush her fiction novel in 2023. 

Elizabeth (Liz) Rickard MIET MIoD 

Director – Springrise Consultancy Ltd 

Liz is a structural engineer, and height safety expert with over 27 years’ experience in design and project management. Her company specialises in safety at height on some of the UK’s largest building projects. As a member the British Safety Industry Federation height safety group, advising the on BSI and HSE on industry standards, Liz is actively working to raise standards and awareness within the height safety sector. For over 10 years she has worked with top international experts studying the dynamic engineering principles utilised in height safety products. In 2018 she led a successful trailblazer application to formalise competency in her specialist sector, for which she received a BSIF award for outstanding contribution to the industry. 

Liz is passionate about improving the image of the construction industry, and skill retention in the sector. As a senior member of The Women’s Engineering Society is working on a BSI committee for Diversity and Inclusion within the workplace. 

Magdalena Sartin

I am currently holding Global Engineering Director role for Cargill. Originally from Poland where I graduated MSc in Civil & Structural Engineering from Gdansk University of Technology. Prior to Cargill, I have spent over 17 years working for various industries in the UK and in the USA including: residential, commercial, industrial, Oil and Gas (offshore and onshore). 

I am a chartered member of the ICE UK and a member of the AISC (USA). I’m also chairing the PIP Globalization Community in the USA. 

Throughout my career I have had to overcome many barriers as a foreign female engineer however, I have met amazing mentors (males and females) who helped me navigate and succeed in my career. I would like to share my journey and inspire younger talented females to choose engineering as their career path as it has been very rewarding for me. It allowed me to travel the world, live and work in other countries across the globe and to meet inspirational people.  

Melissa Ahmed CEng  

Melissa is a design engineer, entrepreneur and ambassador. She is passionate about being a role model, not just for engineers, but for young entrepreneurs, females from ethnic minorities and the next generation; showing that engineering can be a viable career choice for all. At 28 years old, Melissa has achieved Chartered engineer status, is a certified SolidWorks professional member, a SolidWorks Champion programme, a STEM & female role model, an advocate for women in engineering and a successful entrepreneur, running an engineering consultancy, Techwuman. 

Introducing STEM promotion to children at a grassroot level allows them to explore a career choice early on and choose the right subject choices and career pathway to set the best foundation for their careers. In only 24 months, the impact from the STEM activity days have been phenomenal – delivering to over 3000 pupils as well as STEM promotion with over 30 different companies

Océane Tessa Mbaguta

Océane Tessa Mbaguta was born in Rwanda, and has lived for majority of her life between Rwanda and Belgium. In 2018, she moved to the UK to study an Integrated Master of Environmental Engineering at The University of Nottingham. She’s now going into her Final Year after completing in September 2022 her Industrial Placement year with UNIPER, an international energy company, where she worked as an Environmental Consultant.  

Océane’s passion to study engineering, came from her desire to develop solutions to tackle climate change.  Océane is a member of the WES ED&I Special Interest Group. Outside of WES, she is a student member of ICheme and IEMA. 

She has always enjoyed volunteering and making a positive change for students’ communities. Since she joined University, she has been part of several committees. In 2018, she became a STEM ambassador. In 2019, she served as the Treasurer of the Women Engineering Society. In 2020, she was the Vice-President of the Sustainability Society, the Treasurer for Environmental and Social Justice Network and a Lead Peer Mentor for the Faculty of Engineering. She has also served as a Student Switch-Off Ambassador and a Welfare Officer in her University Hall of Residence. Océane has received the Nottingham Advantage Award, recognition given to students who have achieved extra-curricular modules.  

In her free time, Océane enjoys running and practicing her photography skills. She speaks three languages and is currently learning Spanish. Océane enjoys working in teams and has experience in project management, team work, organization and planning. With her background and skills, she wants to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.  

Rachel Bennett 

I have worked at Ramboll in Cambridge since graduating with MSc Environmental Acoustics from the University of Salford (UK) in 2011. I have held the position of Senior Acoustic Consultant since 2017 and have over 10 years’ experience in building and environmental acoustics.  

I became a Chartered Engineer with the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) in December 2018. Following this, I was nominated by the IOA for the WES Karen Burt Memorial Award for which each professional engineering institution may nominate their best female engineer who was chartered that year.  

I work as part of an international acoustics team on a large variety of buildings and environmental acoustics projects. I have been working on and have managed projects across the UK and overseas, as a member of design teams with other engineers and architects. Examples range from new schools and hospitals in the UK to large-scale commercial and residential projects in the Middle East. 

Through Ramboll I have joined the STEM Ambassadors programme and give presentations to schools about acoustics and engineering in general. I am a member of the LGBT+ Allies network which celebrates diversity in the workplace.  I have also recently joined the new EDI group with the Institute of Acoustics.  

Throughout my career I have had experiences which have galvanized me to elevate the importance of EDI in the workplace. I have taken maternity leave twice and currently work part time, which have both presented challenges that have opened my eyes to some negative aspects of the engineering work culture. I am passionate about raising the profile of underrepresented communities in STEM, pushing for a positive change in the work culture and promoting STEM careers to school-aged children (something that I did not experience at that age). 

Samantha Lewis 

A Chartered HR professional bringing forth a wealth of experience within the Education, Manufacturing & Engineering Industries; I also  hold an MBA from Northampton University and am a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. 

Most importantly, I am passionate about enabling a can-do culture of employee development, wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusion.  As Chair of NMITE’s EDI Strategic Advisory Group, I want everyone to feel valued, differences to be celebrated and individuality to be respected.   

Vince Pizzoni

Vince has a portfolio career in international business, academia, executive search and career coaching and business mentoring. With an engineering background he spans the whole career lifecycle from school to executive/board and has made it his mission to inspire, motivate and mentor future generations into STEM careers. 

He has 30 years’ global business experience incorporating executive management and board positions in blue chip companies including ExxonMobil, Suez, Nalco, and P&G. 

Today Vince combines a career as Professor in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, executive search consultant, career coach to students at prestigious UK business schools and privately mentors dozens of individuals.  

Vince is a Fellow and CEng of the IChemE, Fellow of the CMI, Associate Fellow and Trustee of WES, and Fellow of the Energy Institute and Member of the IET. He is Vice Chair of a Multi Academy Schools Trust, and Trustee of MyBigCareer, and Focus Expatriates Organisation. 

Zenan Ahmed 

Dr Zenan is an ardent researcher specialising in renewable energy system modelling and optimization for community energy systems and is a long-time advocate of the climate change movement. She has a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from BRAC University, Bangladesh, and a MSc. and PhD in Renewable Energy Systems from the University of Nottingham, UK. She aspires to accelerate decarbonisation globally and challenge the status quo in the energy industry to promote a consumer centric and data-driven sustainable energy production and consumption model. Currently, she is working as a researcher in Swansea University Active Building Centre Research Programme, she is focusing on residential building retrofit simulation and data analytics. She has a keen interest in data science and is always on the lookout for opportunities to apply data science methods on the built environment. During her free time, she enjoys travelling around the world, playing badminton and trying out local restaurants. 

Naziyah Mahmood

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Oceane Mbaguta

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Paul Cliff

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Peters Andrea

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Rachel Bennett

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Rushna Nawaz

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Samantha Lewis  

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Sarah Green 

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Susan Robson 

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Tahsina Khan  

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Vince Pizzoni  

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Winnie Kwok Yee Tang  

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Zenan Ahmed Hosne 

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