Three young women engineers have been recognised at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards.
Titi Oliyide (32; pictured above), the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year, is a senior process safety engineer at Supercritical Solutions, where she provides technical process safety expertise for innovative hydrogen-production technology.
Jade Kimpton (22), the IET Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices, is an apprentice substation engineer at National Grid, where she carries out maintenance on substation assets and is involved in the commissioning of new renewable generation connections.
And Zainab Adigun (31), winner of the Women’s Engineering Society Prize, is a senior structural engineer at Pell Frischmann, where she manages a small engineering team that develops and delivers engineering solutions for clients.
‘I can’t believe I’ve been named the 2023 Young Woman Engineer of the Year, joining an incredible line-up of outstanding women who have come before me,’ Titi said. ‘I am really passionate about demystifying and promoting the industry, and this gives me an amazing platform to introduce more young people to the world of engineering and show them how they can make a difference in the world through this impactful profession.’
All of the winners and finalists will play an ambassadorial role for the engineering and technology professions in the forthcoming months, promoting engineering careers to more girls and young people.
Now in its fifth year, the Gender Diversity Ambassador Award, which recognises an individual’s hard work in achieving gender equality within the engineering industry, was awarded to Adrienne Houston. This lifetime achievement award aims to showcase innovation and good practice to compliment the YWE Awards, by recognising the support and encouragement of women in STEM careers.
During her career, Adrienne has worked tirelessly to promote engineering to young girls from all demographic areas who want to pursue STEM careers. She actively promotes and supports gender equality and inclusivity, and actively contributes to the advancement of women, helping to pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive engineering profession.
Adrienne is the owner of Eurovacuum Products, which she established in 2012, specialising in vacuum and low-pressure compressor systems. Her company was born out of discrimination she suffered after she became a mother. She recognised the talent of a diverse workforce and built and fosters an inclusive company culture.
The IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year 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 the talent of women engineers, the 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. According to EngineeringUK data, just 16.5 per cent of those working in engineering occupations are women.
‘Engineering and technology have been improving our world and shaping our future for centuries,’ said Laura Norton, head of equality, diversity and inclusion at the IET. ‘Engineers make an ongoing difference to the world around us and we want to celebrate those engineering a better world for us all. However, due to a lack of understanding around what engineering is, perceived gender norms and not enough visible role models for the next generation, the UK has a shortage of women engineers.
‘Our awards tell the stories of incredible women engineers who are changing our world for the better and I’d like to congratulate our fantastic winners and finalists this year,’ she continued. ‘They are a real credit to the engineering profession and 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 that offers the opportunity to change lives, or even the world.’