20 November 2014
Corporal Aled Phoenix has been named as the winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Armed Forces Technician of the Year.
Aled, originally from North Wales, was awarded his prize at a prestigious awards ceremony hosted by science presenter Steve Mould, on 19 November in London, beating strong competition from an impressive range of Armed Forces Technicians from across the UK.
Now in its second year, the IET Armed Forces Technician of the Year award aims to raise the profile of the vital role that apprentices and technicians play in the armed forces.
Aled joined the Army in 2008 and completed training in Ground System Electrical Engineering with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
Aled has won this award following his performance on an Operation (Operation Herrick 18) in Afghanistan. He was posted as the only Electrical Engineer in a demanding patrol base, working with the Armoured Infantry. He was part of a reconnaissance team, and was also in charge of keeping the vehicles in the mission moving forward, and in, worst case scenarios, recovering broken or disabled vehicles.
At base camp, Aled was also in charge of managing all power generators, including those that run the accommodation tents, the operations bunkers and camp security. Throughout all this work, Aled established a reputation for delivering high quality work and for also having the ability to diagnose and repair complex faults efficiently and safely within these dangerous environments.
Furthermore, Corporal Phoenix has endured probably one of the most challenging tours as a member of the Theatre Equipment Support Group, working in particularly austere locations and conducting over 30 infantry deliberate operations while executing his REME duties. Throughout all this, his soldiering skills never fell short of being exceptional.
Aled said: “I am extremely pleased and proud to have won the award – I hope it will help raise the awareness of all the other apprentices and technicians that work within the armed forces.”
William Webb, IET President, said: “Aled should be very proud to have been awarded the IET Armed Forces Technician of the Year award as he was selected from an exemplary line-up. His award recognises that he is one of the most exceptional technicians working in the Armed Forces.
“The UK engineering skills crisis will only be tackled if we can increase the pool of home grown technical expertise. More engineering apprentices and technicians will ensure increased growth in the UK economy through a combination of innovation, creativity and practical skills.”
Aled’s award includes a £1,000 prize, two years’ free membership of the IET and payment of his professional registration fees.
The Apprentice and Technician Awards are part of the IET’s Inspiring Engineering Excellence Awards Series, which this year provided over £1million in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians. All IET awards seek to inspire engineering excellence, including apprentices at the start of their careers, through to fully established professional engineers and technicians.
A spokesperson from GCHQ, which is a sponsor of the IET Achievement awards programme and ceremony said: "The Apprentice and Technician Awards scheme is a particularly special scheme because it acknowledges the significant impact that young people are having on engineering businesses through boosting productivity and enhancing the skills base. Modern apprenticeships in particular are a genuine alternative to University education and lead to just as rewarding a career path. Congratulations to the winners!"