Women in Tech

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

11th October 2022
Sheryl Miles

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, five young women engineers have been announced as finalists for the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2022.

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engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and dirty overalls.

Ama Frimpong, Constance Rudman, Eneni Bambara-Abban, Lauren Smith and Veena Kumari have all been shortlisted for awards.

The finalists are:

Ama Frimpong is Head of Product Development at 52 North Health. Ama manages the company’s engineering teams in the development of NeutroCheck. NeutroCheck is a low-cost, portable device that helps identify people living with cancer who are at risk of neutropenic sepsis – a life-threatening medical emergency occurring in immunosuppressed chemotherapy patients.

Ama has made a lifelong commitment to volunteering as an ambassador, advocate and mentor to support and inspire more young people into STEM.

Constance Rudman is a Body Engineering Degree Apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover. Working in the interior lighting team, Constance creates innovative lighting solutions whilst studying for an Applied Engineering Degree part-time at Warwick University.

Since beginning her apprenticeship, Constance has worked extensively alongside the Early Careers and Future Talent Teams to improve the experience of apprentices, as well as promoting apprenticeships and engineering more widely through work experiences and outreach as a STEM ambassador.

Eneni Bambara-Abban is a Robotics Engineer at the Techover, applying her robotic engineering experience to create custom and innovative technical projects for clients.

Eneni is the founder of two organisations, the Techover Foundation and Anime and Chill. The Techover Foundation is an international NGO that focuses on encouraging, educating and supporting individuals from underserved communities into technology. Anime and Chill is a safe and inclusive community of people interested in anime and/or gaming to come together and network irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or race.

Lauren Smith is a Trainee Medical Engineer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust. Lauren is part of a team that ensures the proper function of medical devices within the healthcare setting and works to support the needs of clinical staff by repairing and managing the devices they rely on daily to diagnose, treat and monitor patients.

Lauren gives talks about clinical engineering at a local college, speaking to more than 50 students, encouraging them to think about STEM careers.

Veena Kumari is a Group Network & Security Engineer at Telent Technology Services. Supporting the development of a corporate network infrastructure, Veena works to develop and implement the latest generational technology to drive enhancements and efficiency across the business, as well as keep employees, assets and customers safe and secure from cyber threats.

Veena thrives from helping others and is an active volunteer involved in several charitable activities.

As well as highlighting 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 16.5% of those working in engineering occupations are women (source: Engineering UK).

2021 Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Ciara McGrath, said: “Being the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year has been an immense privilege. I have had the opportunity to inspire and excite potential future engineers – children who could someday be designing and building life changing technologies. Engineers create the technologies that shape the world around us, and I truly believe that we need a diverse community of engineers to ensure that the future we are building is the best it can be, for absolutely everyone.

“Thank you to the IET for giving me this opportunity to champion the incredible strides engineers are making today and inspire the next generation. It has been an honour. Now, as my year comes to an end, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings for the 2022 Young Woman Engineer of the Year!”

Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the IET, Dr Laura Norton said: “Engineers bring ideas to life, turn dreams into reality and make solutions to big challenges possible. Engineering is a fantastic career where you really can make a difference and even change the world, but the shortage of women in the industry is a huge problem.

“With a lack of understanding around what engineering is, perceived gender norms and not enough role models for the next generation, there are a lot of reasons as to why the UK struggles to attract women into engineering.

“Our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are all about shining a spotlight on the incredible engineering talent up and down the country, and to find role models to get girls and the engineers of tomorrow excited and inspired about a career in engineering.

“I’d like to congratulate Ama, Constance, Eneni, Lauren and Veena for making the final five and demonstrating the tremendous talent of women working in our industry today.”

The winner will be announced at the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony on 1 December 2022.

Registration is now open for the awards – to register to attend, please visit: https://youngwomenengineer.theiet.org/

This year’s YWE Awards are being sponsored by Alstom, Boeing, Capgemini Engineering, Collins Aerospace, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, GCHQ, Leonardo, MBDA, Ofcom, Rolls Royce, Royal Air Force, Royal Mail, RS Components Grass Roots, Teledyne and Thales.

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