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Manchester tech-engineer triumphs in top industry honours

19 November 2015


A young data design engineer based in from Manchester has beaten off stiff competition to be named as this year’s Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Technician of the Year.

Sam Wicks has won a top prize in a set of IET awards which recognise the best and the brightest apprentices and technicians in the UK. He received his award during a prestigious Awards ceremony which took place in London yesterday, hosted by science presenter, Maggie Philbin.

Sam – who has been fascinated by design and construction since he was a child – always knew that he wanted to go into engineering. After studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester, he entered the professional engineering world just four years ago, as a Data Centre Design Engineer at Sudlows.

Early on in his career with the data firm, Sam developed his own bespoke computational fluid dynamics software analysis tools that brought Sudlow’s Data Centre designs to the next level of accurate testing and modelling – a significant achievement.

Since then, his career has grown from strength to strength, proving himself invaluable to the company and demonstrating great talent as an engineer within the field.

Striving to continually challenge himself, Sam was recently involved in the design, selection and testing of a new and complex, mechanical cooling system for a major international communications company. This involved designing and trialling new technology such as BIM (Building Information Modelling) and integrated control strategies to ensure the system’s infrastructure was not only at the top of its game, but matched high energy efficiency standards too.

Currently, Sam is working as a project lead on an exciting new ‘self-fixing’ technical system design, which detects and isolates faults while maintaining continuous cooling, without any interruption in the IT infrastructure housed within. This is critical for front-line, customer services such as online banking or communication where the system ‘going down’ can cost firms thousands of pounds in lost revenue or fines, as well as making negative headlines.

Sam’s Technician of the Year Award is part of the IET’s Apprentice and Technician Awards scheme, which aims to raise the profile of the outstanding work that technicians and apprentices contribute to engineering businesses.

As IET Technician of the Year, Sam has won a £1,000 prize, two years’ free membership of the IET and payment of his professional registration application fee for EngTech or ICTTech – a real help to an engineer in the early stages of his career.

Naomi Climer, IET President, said: “This is an excellent achievement and Sam should be very proud to have won this award. This year, as with every year, we had a high standard of entries and the honour therefore really shows the standard of excellence that we are looking for. His dedication to engineering as a technician is a benchmark of inspiration for others.

“Technicians and apprentices are essential to engineering firms, but they are rarely rewarded properly for their hard work, efforts and important contributions. These awards provide a real opportunity for the industry to acknowledge and celebrate the best technicians and apprentices in the field – and it is a pleasure for the IET to be able to do so.”

On winning the award, Sam said: “I’m thrilled to have won the IET Technician of the Year 2015 award – it feels really special to have my achievements recognised by such a prestigious institution. My engineering career so far has been a rewarding and creative experience and I hope that this award will act as an inspiration to others considering engineering as a career path.”

The Apprentice and Technician Awards are part of the IET’s Achievement Awards and Scholarships programme, 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 and reward engineering excellence, including apprentices at the start of their careers, through to reputable, established professional engineers and technicians.


Find out more about the Apprentice and Technician Awards here: www.theiet.org/apprentice-awards.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 163,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.