Michelle was recognised for her work as an ambassador for women in engineering, for spearheading ground-breaking education initiatives aimed at encouraging young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and setting engineering standards.
On learning of her MBE, Michelle said: “It is a privilege and thrill to receive this award, which was totally unexpected. The importance of engineering cannot be overestimated in the world today and the next generation needs to realise what an exciting career opportunity engineering and technology presents.”
Mike Carr, IET President, said: “It is fantastic to see Michelle Richmond awarded with an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list and to have her achievements and services to engineering recognised in this way.
“Michelle is an unstinting advocate for women in the engineering sector and has outstanding tenacity and enthusiasm to expand programmes aimed at supporting young people. Committed to driving forward engineering education, she established the IET’s Education 5-19 team, specifically to inspire and engage more young people in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“She has constantly demonstrated her passion and commitment to professional registration of engineers and technicians, championing the routes for engineers and technicians to progress to Chartered Engineer.
“It is a great way to end 2018 – the Government’s Year of Engineering - and celebrate the vast contribution engineering and technology makes to advancing the world around us for the benefit of society.”
In 2016, Michelle supported the IET’s marketing and PR campaign to raise awareness of the lack of women in engineering roles in the UK (#9percentisnotenough). It reached over 20 million people and won media awards including Best Award for Social Media Campaign and the Association Excellence Awards 2017, Mark of Excellence: Best Use of Social Media.
Since 2016 she has also led the development of a first-ever UK Registered Professional Electrician (RPE) Certification Mark for use by electricians working in the UK. This work will lead to the first-ever UK Register of Professional Electricians – a significant contribution to public safety.
Michelle was the driving force behind positioning the IET (the largest professional engineering institution in Europe) as the ‘Professional Home for Life® for Engineers and Technicians’. She introduced the innovative ‘Academic Partner’ programme enabling academics and students to engage actively with the engineering profession. More recently she oversaw the creation of Enterprise Partners, supporting those in SMEs to gain professional recognition.
She led the creation of ‘Faraday Challenge Days’ which engage with over 6,000 students every year and instigated the IET as the operational partner of FIRST® LEGO® League in the UK and Ireland. The largest STEM competition in the world, the League has over 7,200 students from over 600 schools in the UK and Ireland alone. In 2017, championed by Michelle, the International Open Championships was held in the UK for the first time.
Michelle joined the IET in 2006 and is also currently on the Board of Trustees for the Engineering Council.
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