Akinola wins Young Woman Engineer of the Year

10 December 2012
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
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Gabby Logan and Yewande Akinola

Gabby Logan and Yewande Akinola

The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) has announced the winners of the 2012 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, with Yewande Akinola named the overall winner.

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards were presented by TV presenter Gabby Logan at IET London: Savoy Place.  

The event seeks to recognise the very best female engineers under the age of 30 working in the UK today and aims to inspire others to enter the profession.

Akinola walked away with the top prize of £2,500 and will act as the new IET young woman engineer ambassador for 2013.

"Winning this has encouraged me to work even harder to put all the effort I can into spreading the message about how successful women in engineering are and can be," Akinola said.

"I’m hoping this will help me tell an effective story that will inspire young girls to consider a career in engineering and will demonstrate the diverse and fantastic opportunities this industry has to offer."

Akinola, an Environmental Services Engineer with ARUP, was recognised for her commitment to sustainability and innovation regarding water supply technology, including water sanitation methods for developing and underdeveloped countries.

With a passion for design and production, Akinola successfully demonstrated her talent of taking engineering ideas from concept right through to manufacture.

Notable achievements included her contribution to the large brownfield redevelopment and sustainable regeneration of Central St. Giles, one of the first city centre projects with a site-wide biomass heating system, extensive green roofs and recycling of rainwater and grey water.

Akinola was also selected to star in Channel 4’s Titanic: The Mission which saw a team of engineers reproduce a 30ft section of the steel bow to scale, and erected it at the Belfast dock from where Titanic was launched.

A graduate from the University of Warwick, Akinola holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology, and a Masters in Innovation and Design from Cranfield University.

Other awards on the night included the 2012 WES Prize which was awarded to Charlotte Tingley, BAE Systems.

The 2012 Intel Inspirational Award for Entrepreneurship was awarded to 18 year old Jessica Jones, Managing Director, LGS Ltd Cardiff.  

She was awarded for her recent work in helping to design a portable, electronic foetal contraction monitor for Huntleigh Healthcare Diagnostics.

Currently in the process of patenting a form of fibre optic sensing technology, Jones has set up her own limited company with her father, to market the product.

"These awards continue to champion some of the UK’s highest achieving female engineers who have become the finest role models for young people across the nation," said IET Deputy President, Barry Brooks.

"The awards demonstrate the wide variety of career possibilities available in engineering and technology, particularly in such uncertain times for a lot of young people.

"I congratulate each finalist and hope that each has inspired a new generation of young women to consider the opportunities that are available to them, as an engineer."

Sponsors of the event included BP, EADS, GCHQ, Intel, National Grid, Ofcom, Royal Air Force, RS Components, Selex Galileo, Siemens, Transport for London and Virgin Media.

Further information:

Nominations for the 2013 YWE Awards are now open

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