Three outstanding women celebrated as Young Woman Engineers of the Year

Three young female engineers have been recognised at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards for their work in engineering.

IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year

Ying Wan Loh (28), is a Manufacturing Engineer for 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. As a keen STEM ambassador, Ying aspires to combine her passion in arts and engineering to engage and inspire the next generation of engineers.

IET Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices

Samantha Magowan (21), is an Applications Engineer for Dale Power Solutions. Samantha started out in a rotational apprenticeship, trying all the business departments to find out exactly what she liked. In her current role, Samantha works out customers exact requirements and figures out solutions.

Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Award

Dr Claire Lucas (33), is an Associate Professor of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Warwick. Claire is a Director of Studies for Systems and Information Engineering, where she is responsible for teaching activity in Systems, Biomedical and General Engineering.

On winning, Ying said: “I am so honoured to receive this award. I have a great team and support system behind me, and this is an amazing feeling.

“This award isn’t just about me, it’s about all the outstanding women changing the world through engineering. The IET gives female engineers a voice to be heard and I want to use this platform to raise the profile of women in STEM and capture the imagination of young girls everywhere, showing them that they too can be an engineer.”

Finalists Charlotte Buffey, Amber O’Connor and Shrouk El-Attar were all highly commended. All winners and finalists will play an ambassadorial role for the engineering and technology professions in the forthcoming months, promoting engineering careers to girls and young people.

New to Awards this year, the IET created the Gender Diversity Ambassador Award, which recognises an individual’s hard work in achieving gender equality within the engineering industry. The award aims to showcase innovation and good practice to compliment the YWE Awards, by recognising the support and encouragement of women in STEM careers.

This was won by Wing Commander Glynis Dean. Glynis led the Royal Air Force Youth and Diversity Team from its inception in 2008 until she retired in December 2018. She was among the first to recognise that a growing gap in the availability of STEM skills nationally would impact the long-term future of the RAF, so she grew the RAF Youth and Diversity programme, with the driving aim of encouraging more girls to choose STEM subjects at GCSE and consider a career in engineering.

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).

Jo Foster, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the IET, said: “I’d like to congratulate our fantastic winners and highly commended recipients of this year’s Awards. They are inspirational and a real credit to the engineering profession and will play a huge part in altering the perception of what a career in engineering and technology can look like.

“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.

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