​The 2020 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability (WE50)

Photo montage of WE50 winners

The Women's Engineering Society would like to offer its congratulations to all winners of the Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50) awards in 2020

The 2020 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability winners are listed below (in alphabetical order):


  • Yasmin Ali, Energy Innovation Project Manager, UK Government, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Laura Bishop, Director, Infinitas Design Ltd
  • Laura Brown, Energy Research Programme Manager, Newcastle University
  • Adele Carey, Senior Sustainability Engineer, Arup
  • Dr Ellie Cosgrave, Lecturer in Urban Innovation and Policy, UCL
  • Carla Denyer, Councillor, Bristol City Council
  • Dr Pamela Dugdale, Engineering Teacher, International Study Centre Liverpool John Moores University
  • Rhiannon Evans, Technician, Aecom
  • Laura Frost, Associate, Cities & Climate Change, Arup
  • Ritu Garg, Senior Transport Engineer, Arup
  • Dr Barnali Ghosh, Technical Director, Mott MacDonald
  • Dr Rachel Gomes, Associate Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham
  • Professor Deborah Greaves, Head of School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, University of Plymouth
  • Professor Sandy Halliday, Director, Gaia Group Ltd
  • Caireen Hargreaves, Associate Director Product Sustainability, AstraZeneca
  • Kelly Harrison, Associate, Heyne Tillett Steel
  • Martha Hart, Senior Consultant, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd
  • Laura Hepburn, Director, Greenology
  • Katherine Ibbotson, Programme Carbon and Cost Manager, Environment Agency
  • Michelle Johnson, Technical Director, Wood Environment and Infrastructure UK Ltd
  • Jennifer Kelly, Associate, Arup
  • Eftychia Koursari, Civil Engineer, Amey
  • Clare Lavelle, Energy Consulting Leader - Scotland, Arup
  • Professor Claire Lucas, Associate Professor (Reader), University of Warwick; Incoming Professor of Engineering Teaching and Learning, King's College, London
  • Dr Xuanli Luo, Research Associate, The University of Nottingham
  • Brogan MacDonald, Structural Engineer, Ramboll
  • Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Champion UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC), Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Kerry Mashford, Non-Executive Director, Portfolio
  • Senamiso Mathobela, Delivery Manager (TNCC), National Grid UK
  • Mhairi McCann, Founder & CEO, Youth STEM 2030
  • Gill Nowell, DSO Lead, Electralink
  • Professor Rachel Oliver, Professor, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride, CSO of Poro Technology, University of Cambridge
  • Jo Parker, Director, Watershed Associates
  • Sally Povolotsky, Low Carbon Business Development Consultant, Straight 6 Design Ltd
  • Philippa Ross, Associate Director, Atkins
  • Anusha Shah, Director - Resilient Cities, Arcadis
  • Sandra Šlihte, Head of Engineering, Vattenfall Heat UK
  • Holly Smith, Civil Engineer, Skanska UK
  • Chitra Srinivasan, Real Time Control Software Engineer, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
  • Annie Stapley, Assistant Engineer, WSP
  • Dr Alisa Stratulat, Innovation Manager, Groupe Atlantic
  • Judith Sykes, Senior Director, Expedition Engineering
  • Dr Petra Szilágyi, Lecturer in Functional Materials, Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr Elizabeth Tennyson, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Camilla Thomson, Chancellor's Fellow in Energy, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Mi Tian, Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Professor Valeska Ting, Professor of Smart Nanomaterials, University of Bristol
  • Kusum Trikha, Senior Engineer, WSP
  • Jana Marie Weber, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge
  • Laura Williams, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) advisor, Keller​

Celebrating the 2020 WE50 winners
The judges stated that the standard of the nominations was extremely high and has highlighted the exceptional attainments made by women in sustainability and is testament to the difference that female engineers are making in shaping the world.

Sally Sudworth, the Environment Agency’s National Programme Manager for Asset Management & FCRM Sustainability Lead (Net Zero Carbon Programme), WES Honorary Secretary and WE50 Head Judge said, The panel of judges was thrilled by with the outstanding achievements demonstrated by all of the winners and were thrilled by the difference being made by the candidates”.
As part of International Women In Engineering Day (#INWED20) celebrations, WES is proud to award the Top 50 Women who are have contributed to sustainability within engineering and related roles. This year the presentation of the awards will be a little different to usual. Winners had trophies sent directly to their homes, and are being celebrated online at The Women's Engineering Society's celebratory INWED webinar event on 23 June.  They will also appear in social media and in the press.
Judges of the WE50 Awards
The judges for the WE50 2020 awards were as follows
  • Sally Sudworth, National Programme Manager for Asset Management & FCRM Sustainability Lead, Environment Agency, (Head Judge)
  • Ann-Christin Andersen, Rotork Board Member, Chair ESG Committee, CEO 4ADA, also Board Member for Maersk Drilling, Glitre Energi, and Quantafuel.
  • Richard Coackley, Past President & Sustainability Leader, Institute of Civil Engineers
  • Andrew Conway, BAI Communications
  • Louise Kingham, CEO, Energy Institute
  • Davide Stronati, Global Sustainability Leader, Mott Macdonald
  • Joanna Wood, Group Engineering Director, BAE Systems
  • Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO, Women’s Engineering Society

The WES INWED celebratory event will be held online on 23 June. The speakers at the event can be found below:

Alex Knight, Technical Director, Amey Strategic Consulting 

Alex is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the IMechE and Member of the IAM with over 15 years’ experience in Asset Management, Systems Engineering and Project Management. She is a Technical Director at Amey Strategic Consulting with experience in numerous market sectors including defence, power, highways and health.
Jay Surti, Business Presentation Consultant
Jay is a Business Presentation Consultant, Author and Keynote Speaker. Initially graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering, she later qualified as a lawyer and practised for 17 years before moving into speaking, coaching and consulting. Jay's clients include business owners, corporate professionals and MBA graduates - helping senior managers with their pitching/speaking as well as leadership and management skills.

Keynote Speakers:
Titi Oliyide, Safety Engineer, Siemens; IChemE Committee member - World Engineering Day Working Group 
Titi holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters degree in Advanced Chemical Engineering, specialising in Process Systems Engineering, from Imperial College London. She currently works as a safety engineer, providing safety assurance expertise for various engineering systems and  major projects in the energy and transportation industries. Her work also entails ensuring that engineering systems are reliable and continuously available for smooth operations. She also serves on the IChemE South Manchester Group committee as the Mentor Coordinator.

Sally Sudworth, National Programme Manager for Asset Management & FCRM Sustainability Lead (Net Zero Carbon Programme), Environment Agency; Honorary Secretary, Women's Engineering Society
Sally is a chartered engineer and chartered environmentalist. She is the sustainability lead and net zero carbon programme manager for Flood & Coast at the Environment Agency. Sally is a Fellow and Trustee of WES and is also Head Judge for the
Karen Burt award.

Our Sustainability Panel:
Dr Ellie Cosgrave, Lecturer in Urban Innovation and Policy, University College, London
Ellie teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students and the focus of her work is gender justice in engineering design. She led research for the C40 Cities Women4Climate programme, investigating the gendered implications of climate and co-authored a research paper exploring the interconnectedness of the SDGs, published in Nature and Nature Sustainability.

Professor Claire Lucas, Associate Professor (Reader), Warwick University; Incoming Professor of Education Teaching and Learning, King's College, London
Claire has re-developed and re-launched programmes in General, Biomedical and Systems engineering at Warwick to incorporate holistic systems thinking skills to give students the ability to solve engineering problems in the context of wider systems (people, the environment, infrastructure). She uses the Sustainable Development Goals to demonstrate systemic issues.

Senamiso Mathobela, Delivery Manager (TNCC), National Grid
Senamiso has worked to develop innovative solutions for more efficient and speedy connections of battery storage and medium scale windfarms which focus on sustainability and reduction of the carbon footprint of all grid connections. She currently manages teams that ensure efficient and sustainable operation of the power system.

Professor Valeska Ting, Professor of Smart Nanomaterials, University of Bristol
Valeska leads a research group working on the development of materials for sustainable applications and is developing new systems for on-board storage of hydrogen as a low-carbon energy vector. Her key contributions to the field include evidencing that exceptionally high densities of hydrogen can be stored within specially-tailored porous nanomaterials.

From the Women's Engineering Society:
Dawn Childs, UK Change Director, National Grid
​As UK Change Director, Dawn ensures National Grid can perform over the next regulatory period. This involves heading up a team that identifies change potential within National Grid and helps the company understand how to deliver and harness the value from that change. Dawn joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) straight from university to follow her passion for engineering. During her 23 years in the RAF she progressed to become Deputy Chief Engineer. She then joined Gatwick Airport and quickly took on a role as Head of Engineering. Four years later, Dawn moved on to theme park operator Merlin, and in 2019, she arrived at National Grid as UK Change Director.

Elizabeth Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Engineering Society
 After an early career in IT, Elizabeth graduated from the Open University, specialising in systems thinking. She was awarded Membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society as a result of her work with Rolls-Royce and went on to lead skills policy in the aerospace industry. Elizabeth chaired the RAeS Education and Skills Committee and was Deputy Chair and founder member of its Women in Aviation and Aerospace Committee. Elizabeth also founded the RAeS Amy Johnson Named Lecture. Later, Elizabeth established her own consulting company, graduated with an MSc in Systems Thinking in 2017 and in 2018 was appointed CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society. In 2020 the Royal Society of Arts invited her to become a Fellow for her work with women in engineering.

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is now in its seventh year. Held each year on 23 June the day is a global celebration of women in engineering. We encourage everyone to participate and think of ways to encourage the next generation of female engineers.