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IET Fellow, Professor Leong Wai Yie, has been announced the 2021 Laureate of the GREE WFEO Women in Engineering Award winner!

She is passionate about promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) within engineering, even right from the start of her career.

“In the older days, engineered had been classified as not suitable for women as it was too tough and challenges,” she says. “I wish to break the ceiling of that statement and show to all women the contribution they can have.

“We all know engineers are critical to our world – they are the driving force behind innovations that shape our lives.

“We need more engineers, of all kinds, and I wish to show women that they can be a part of the solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing society.”

The WFEO GREE Women in Engineering Award was first announced during WFEO’s 50th Anniversary celebration at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in March 2018, with its sponsor GREE Electric Appliances.

2021 saw Leong take the title of WFEO Women in Engineering award winner

“Receiving the award is not just for show,” she says. “It is a symbol of respect and acceptance of a great responsibility that is my legacy, and could potentially change the world.”

The WFEO award recognises Leong’s hard work and achievements, hopefully boosting the moral and motivation of female engineers around the world as it acknowledges their contributions to the engineering community.

Raising awareness about women in engineering

“It’s brilliant to raise awareness around women in engineering, as they are desperately needed in the industry.

“Female engineers are actually making huge waves and this award showcases what female engineers can do, against all odds,” she says.

Congratulated by the King and Queen of Malaysia

On winning, the King and Queen of Malaysia congratulated Leong on this fantastic achievement, expressing that this would be a source of inspiration for other Malaysians to work hard and strive to achieve success in their respective fields, either in their country or abroad.

Her accomplishments and contributions to the ASEAN Federation of Engineering as Chair of Women Engineers in 2016 and Honorary Secretary in 2017, has established her academic maturity. She also represents Malaysia in ASEAN conferences and have been actively supporting its initiatives to get women into engineering internationally.

Leong has achieved so much throughout her career and is an active member and Fellow of the IET. She is currently the Immediate Past Chairperson of the IET Malaysia Local Network and Council member.

What’s next for her?

“I would like to give back to our community by taking on the role of a mentor and help future engineers and technicians develop their careers,” she says.

“I would also like to contribute my professional skills to research and social welfare. Working with other engineers to keep inventing for our planet and the people within in to help protect lives, the planet and prevent disease.

“Engineers are at the forefront of technological advancement, so we need to continue designing new machines and algorithms to help tackle societal problems, with the result of combatting climate change, improving quality of live and bringing people closer together.”