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IET YWE - Young women engineers make national final and get set to inspire more girls to join the industry

These prestigious engineering industry awards celebrate women working in modern engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and dirty overalls.

Amber O’Connor (25), Charlotte Buffey (21), Claire Lucas (33), Samantha Magowan (21), Shrouk El-Attar (27) and Ying Wan Loh (28) have all been shortlisted for awards. The finalists are:

Amber O’Connor is an Equipment Health Monitoring and Performance Engineer, and Engineering Programme Manager for Siemens Aeroderivative Gas.

Amber is an active STEM Ambassador and regularly supports projects and events to encourage the next generation towards a career in STEM, by highlighting the amazing opportunities that exist within engineering careers.

She also wants to be a positive role model for career-driven women, demonstrating through her own experiences of having two young children, that pursuing a career doesn’t mean that personal life goals, such as having a family, need to be put on hold.

Ying Wan Loh works as a Manufacturing Engineer at Rolls-Royce plc.

Ying completed an MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management at the University of Cambridge. During this time, she co-founded a technology startup that developed rapidly within a year and won the CSSA UK High-Tech Entrepreneurship Bronze Award. In addition, she also published her dissertation work on technology intelligence in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

As a keen STEM ambassador, Ying aspires to combine her passion in arts and engineering to engage and inspire the next generation of engineers.

Charlotte Buffey is a Material Laboratories Apprentice at Rolls-Royce plc, and is currently undergoing an Aerospace Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship as part of the Laboratory at Rolls-Royce.

She works closely with various special processes, as well as being actively involved in continuous improvements.

Since starting her Apprenticeship, Charlotte has dedicated a significant proportion of her time to STEM activities, both personally and professionally. She regularly attends careers events, and the feedback from the hosts always note her positive attitude and passion for Engineering.

Dr Claire Lucas is an Associate Professor of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Warwick.

In 2015, Claire joined Warwick as Director of Studies for Systems and Information Engineering, where she is responsible for teaching activity in Systems, Biomedical and General Engineering.

She studied Engineering Science at Oxford University and previously worked at Jaguar Land Rover as a Mathematical Modelling Specialist.

Shrouk El-Attar works at Renishaw and designs electronic circuits for large robotic machines – some costing as much as £500,000.

Shrouk won the DaVinci Engineering Award, IET local PATW was named as Young Woman of the Year by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and was named in the BBC list of 100 most influential women in the world.

At Renishaw, she met several times with the company CEO to discuss the gender pay gap and she is setting up the company’s first diversity network.

Samantha Magowan works at Dale Power Solutions as an Applications Engineer, figuring out solutions for customers.

She started out in a rotational apprenticeship, allowing her to try all the business departments and find out exactly what she liked doing.

Sam commits a lot of her time to the promotion of STEM, helping raise issues including the lack of female engineers and encouraging young people to pursue careers in a social mobility cold spot.

She actively works with schools, careers fairs, local Girl-guiding and Scout groups, helping young people to develop electronics skills and learn more about engineering.


As well as highlighting female engineering talent, the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards seek to find role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis by promoting engineering careers to more girls and women. Just 12 per cent of those working in engineering occupations are women (source: Engineering UK).

2018 Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Sophie Harker, said: “After winning YWE in 2018, I didn’t realise how incredible my year ahead was going to be. I have had so many wonderful opportunities, from judging competitions and delivering speeches and lectures, to being encased in a giant bubble and launching clarinets into space!

“This award and the IET have provided me with a huge platform to share my story with young girls and women across the country (and even the world), passing on the inspiration that was sparked in me as a teenager – and that’s what these awards are all about. I can honestly say it has been one of the most positive and rewarding experiences of my career and I cannot wait to see where it leads me next!”

Jo Foster, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the IET said: “Engineering is a fantastic career – it’s diverse and exciting with the opportunity to do something life- or world-changing. But the lack of women in the sector is a huge problem.

“The difficulty in attracting women into engineering is down to a combination of things, including a lack of understanding around what engineering is, the image of engineers within the UK, careers advice girls are given in schools and the way that companies with engineering roles advertise their opportunities.

“It’s also a result of the lack of engineering role models for girls, which is why our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are all about finding role models to get girls – and young people in general – excited and inspired about a career in engineering.

“I’d like to congratulate Charlotte, Amber, Shrouk, Ying, Claire and Samantha for making the final six and in helping to demonstrate the tremendous female engineering talent in our industry today.”

The winner will be announced at the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony on Thursday 5 December at IET London: Savoy Place. 



Notes to editors

About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
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  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
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