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Leamington Spa engineer celebrated nationally as inspiration to future generation of female engineers

Thirty-three-year-old Claire, who is an Associate Professor of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Warwick and Director of Studies for Systems and Information Engineering, was presented with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) prize at the prestigious IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards ceremony in the heart of London last night.

Claire is responsible for teaching activity in Systems, Biomedical and General Engineering at the university. On winning, she said: “It feels amazing to have won this prize but it’s a complete shock. I came here this evening knowing the incredible talent of my fellow finalists, just to be among them is incredible so to have won is a fantastic feeling.

“It is my passion that no girl will ever be the only girl in a science or maths class or have their voice ignored, it’s why I do what I do.”

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engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and dirty overalls.

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% of those working in engineering and technical occupations are women (source: Engineering UK).

Other winners of the night included Ying Wan Loh (28), who won the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award, Samantha Magowan (21), who won the IET Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices and Wing Commander Glynis Dean who won the Gender Diversity Ambassador Award. Finalists Charlotte Buffey, Amber O’Connor and Shrouk El-Attar were all highly commended.

Jo Foster, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the IET, said: “I’d like to congratulate our fantastic winners and finalists of this year’s awards. They are a real credit to the engineering profession and will make excellent role models to young girls who might be thinking about a career in engineering and technology.

“It’s vital we champion engineering careers to the next generation – it’s a diverse, creative and exciting career, which offers the opportunity to do something life – or even – world-changing.”

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Rt Hon Chris Skidmore added: “It is crucial that we recognise the importance of this industry in advancing society and economic growth. Boosting engineering is a top priority for the Government, and it is events like this that are helping to transform our agenda on this topic.

“I would like to congratulate all nominees and winners for taking part in this year’s awards. As some of the most promising young women in the UK, you are truly inspirational role models for women across the country. You should all take great pride in everything you have achieved.”

The winners were announced at the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony on 5 December at IET London: Savoy Place.

This year’s YWE Awards are being sponsored by Analog Devices, BAE Systems, Boeing, BP, BT, Collins Aerospace, Frazer-Nash, GCHQ, GKN Driveline, Leonardo, MBDA, Ofcom, Protolabs, RAF, Royal Mail, RS Components, Teledyne e2v and Wiley.

To find out more information, please visit the IET YWE website.

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Notes to Editor:

About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • 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.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
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