In celebration of the IET’s 150th anniversary this year, a prestigious once in a lifetime award was created to recognise a person or group who are making a real difference to our world.
The competition asked people around the world to nominate a superstar scientist, a trailblazing technician, an exuberant engineer or a motivational mathematician worthy of receiving this once in a lifetime award. A person could nominate anyone – a celebrity, inventor, activist, or even a YouTube sensation – with the goal of changing the narrative on what it really means to be an engineer or technologist.
With three STEM Personality of the Year prizes to be won, nominations were assessed by the IET@150 Project Steering Committee for recommendation to the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees.
NASA Engineer and American YouTuber, Mark Rober, won the STEM Personality of the Year. On winning, he said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win this award, thank you! STEM is so important in improving our world and shaping our future and we need to let the next generation know just how exciting and life changing it can be!
“I feel really lucky to have such a fantastic and fulfilling career and I’m proud to be able to use my platform and voice to inspire the engineers and technologists of tomorrow to change the world.”
12-year-old CEO of iCodeRobots, Callum Daniel, won the Young STEM Personality of the Year. On winning, he said: “It's an absolute honour to be crowned the IET's Young STEM Personality of the Year. I still can't believe I've been chosen from hundreds of nominees.
“Receiving this award inspires me to continue to champion young people to get involved in STEM and begin their own journey as difference makers. I'm excited to work alongside the IET who value and invest in young people, encouraging those who may not normally engage in STEM to do so. What could be better than coming together to take STEM 'outside the bubble'.”
The Paralympic GB team won the Team STEM Personality of the Year. On winning, Chief Executive, Mike Sharrock said: “We were absolutely delighted to find out that we had won this award – a huge thank you to the IET.
“Engineering has helped to create technology that is maximising the ability of our athletes. The team are looking forward to competing in Tokyo in the Summer, showcasing both their talent and immense amount of training, and utilising many different types of technology to compete at the highest level. This will undoubtedly result in personal bests, medals and captivating performances, inspiring a change in attitudes to disability.”
IET President, Professor Danielle George, said: “This competition was all about finding STEM role models for young people so they could be inspired to change the world.
“We received hundreds of nominations from people across the globe, from industry leaders working on sustainable travel to people championing STEM education in Africa. The panel were overwhelmed by the quality and breadth of nominations, so I want to congratulate Mark, Callum and the Paralympic GB team on this incredible achievement.”
During its anniversary year, the IET is creating a global movement to inspire the next generation, where young influencers will uncover and share stories of incredible inventors, leaders, makers and doers who are engineering a more sustainable world. From inspirational talks and competitions to awards and unlikely partnerships – the IET is celebrating as far and wide as possible, as well as taking STEM ‘outside the bubble’ and sharing the wonder of engineering and technology with the world.
To find out more about the STEM Personality of the Year and the IET’s 150th anniversary, visit theiet.org/150