BAE Systems apprentice Rachael Carr

Wind tunnel test engineer scoops apprentice awards

BAE Systems apprentice Rachael Carr, a wind tunnel engineer from the company’s military aircraft business in Warton, Lancashire has been named BAE Systems Apprentice of the Year.

As well as winning the Apprentice of the Year, Carr was also named Technical Apprentice of the Year.

Twenty-two year old Carr joined BAE Systems in 2006 and completed her apprenticeship last March with an additional NVQ unit in Aircraft Electrical Sub-Assemblies.

She moved to work in the wind tunnel as an electrical and electronics test engineer and subsequently spent ten weeks at Cranfield University as the electrical expert working on the Demon, an unmanned air vehicle developed by BAE Systems and ten universities. Demon demonstrated ‘flap-less’ flight on its maiden flight from Walney Island, Cumbria in September 2010.

“I’m shocked but delighted to have won and hope I can act as a role model to other young women and girls who are considering working in engineering,” says Carr. “I’ve worked on some fantastic aerospace projects so far and am sure this is the start of a really exciting career for me.”

A further seven awards were made at the ceremony, which focused on apprentices who excelled within a variety of sectors including mechanical and electrical.

“The BAE Systems Apprenticeship Awards recognise the very best of our apprentices,” says Nigel Whitehead, group managing director at BAE Systems. “Our 1,000 apprentices are crucial in ensuring BAE Systems maintains a pipeline of talent to sustain our position as a leading UK engineering and manufacturing company. Many of BAE Systems' senior managers started as apprentices, and I’m an ex-apprentice myself.”

The company will be recruiting almost 300 new apprentices this year, making it one of the largest employers of apprentices in the UK.

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