(L to R) Sara Underwood, IET President Barry Brooks, Abbie Hutty, IET Chief Executive Nigel Fine and Yasmin Ali at the awards ceremony

Young Woman Engineer of Year announced

A space engineer from Hertfordshire has been named Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Abbie Hutty, a Spacecraft Structures Engineer at Astrium, won the top prize at the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, which aims to honour the very best young female engineers working in the UK and encourage others to enter the profession.

The 26-year-old holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Surrey, where she graduated first in her class, and is currently working on the ExoMars Rover mission – Europe’s first Rover Mission to Mars.

The judges picked Abbie as the winner from a group of five other high calibre finalists due to her commitment to the public promotion of engineering through working as a STEM ambassador, mentor, and promoter of women in engineering roles.

IET President Barry Brooks said: “Abbie is a worthy recipient of the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award.  She has demonstrated her commitment to develop her career with some challenging work, combined with outreach work to encourage the next generation.   She should be very proud of her achievements to date.  She is a fantastic role model to all young people thinking of a career in engineering and technology.”

In her day job, Abbie co-ordinates a team of specialists who aim to achieve a rover structure that will survive the rigours of a rocket launch before landing on the surface of the Red Planet. Her role covers all aspects of the design lifecycle, from concept design through to manufacturing, and ultimately to testing and final delivery.

E.ON operations engineer Yasmin Ali, 25, from London, was also honoured at the ceremony, winning the IET’s Women’s Engineering Society Prize for her work promoting engineering careers by presenting at schools and arranging work experience placements for students with her company.

And higher apprentice Sara Underwood, 21, from Lancashire, has been announced as the winner of the IET’s Mary George Prize for Apprentices.

Originally from Godalming in Surrey, she works at Rolls-Royce where she spends time working in multiple teams within the Manufacturing and Engineering departments on process, quality and product improvements to help cut time and costs to the business.

Now in its 37th year, the awards are designed to highlight the achievements of women in engineering to encourage more to enter the profession – currently just seven per cent of the engineering workforce is female.

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