Springboard’s Lucy Bennett Wins Engineering Award

Springboard was proud to attend the regional Engineering Development Trust (EDT) awards evening on 3rd July at Arup, London. The awards evening celebrated the successes of Year in Industry (YINI) students throughout the South East region and was an opportunity for STEM professionals across various fields to come together to support up and coming talent in the industry.

Lucy Bennett presenting from her standSpringboard’s own YINI student, Lucy Bennett, was one of 8 finalists who gave a short presentation on the contribution they had made to the company during their year. Lucy discussed many aspects of her year including the diverse role she had fulfilled in working through various stages of projects including writing proposals, weekly presentations to clients and writing sections of reports. Her passion for promoting diversity within Engineering was clear to see through the various initiatives she had driven throughout her year at Springboard; these include being a delegate at WES conferences, attending IET Women in Engineering Awards evenings as well as designing and running a 5-week STEM project at a local primary school. Lucy also demonstrated her considerable technical skill through a case study on a recent heart surgery project where her ability to contribute to projects at a high level was evident.

Lucy Bennett presentingAll eight Year in Industry Students gave phenomenal presentations; their achievements and the contributions they had made to their companies were exceptional by any standard. These ranged from writing a white paper on sustainable transport in Wales, to improving the performance of a weather anemometer by up to 30%. The two students chosen to progress onto the national finals in September were Eloise Knights from Carbon footprint, and Springboard’s Lucy Bennett. Both students showed solid technical understanding of their subjects, proficient presentation skills and an undeniable enthusiasm for Engineering.

The audience, of around 150-200 STEM professionals and fellow Year in Industry Students, were asked to submit a vote for the Audience Choice award, sponsored by Bion. Jane High, Director of Bion, announced Lucy Bennett as the winner for the award, and gave a special mention to Springboard for the opportunities they gave Lucy that allowed her to drive the STEM initiatives forwards.

Further awards included the South East Year in Industry Student of the Year which was presented to Evie Raynes for her creative video entry, as well as three highly commend students, Lucy Bennett, Springboard Pro, Ross Brogan, Centrica, and Dierbhile Sharkey, Bion. You can see Lucy’s video here.

Lucy Bennett receiving audience choice awardOverall, the event was great opportunity to showcase the up and coming talent in the industry and Springboard looks forward to the next stage at the Future Industry Leaders event in September.

  • EDT run various STEM initiates for people aged 11-25
  • The finals of the Future Industry Leaders Awards are free to attend and are held on 6th September at the IET. Register your attendance here
  • Lucy Bennett has been part of the Year in Industry scheme; to find out more about how taking on a Year in Industry student could benefit your business, or consider participating in the scheme yourself, information can be found here

Springboard attends WES Annual Conference 2017

Springboard recently attended this year’s annual WES conference, ‘Get connected: Empowering women and enriching careers’, held at University College London (UCL). The event brought together Engineers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, offering networking opportunities as well as a programme of talks packed with information, advice and coaching.

Professor Nigel Titchner-Hooker, UCL Dean of Engineering, opened the conference with his insight into the necessity of diversity within Engineering. Further speakers followed including Dr Andrew Tyler CBE who gave a perceptive keynote on ‘Men as Allies’ which addressed the topic of shifting the way gender equality is viewed by men from ‘apathetic’ to ‘positive’. When discussing why we need more women in Engineering, Tyler reasoned ‘we’re missing out on half of the brain power and talent of the population – and why would we want to do anything like that?’

The morning plenary, ran by Madeleine Morgan, focused on confidence and communication in career decision-making and revolved around the pyramid of career success. This emphasised the importance of the different aspects of career progression – from setting ambitious goals to having the resourcing around you to succeed.

Perhaps one of the most insightful parts of the day was a panel of representatives from three women’s networking groups discussing the value and role of such groups. Camilla Ween, WTS London, Maxine Symington, WiN UK, and Liz Bacon, STELLAR debated questions from the audience which ranged from the difficulty in naming a group – do you have ‘woman’ in the title? – to what are the key objectives a group should have. This was challenged and complimented by audience contributions of their first-hand experiences of women’s networking groups.

Further talks informed attendees on a range of topics from registration and chartership, to flexible working and how to get your employer on-board. Jacqui Hogan from MentorSET spoke about the many benefits for mentors and mentees, as well as how the MentorSET scheme is playing a crucial role in encouraging girls and women to pursue a career in STEM.

Overall, the day gave Engineers the opportunity to come together to focus on the issues women face in STEM, learn about techniques for overcoming adversity, and ultimately be more successful Engineers. The conference proved invaluable in linking up female Engineers in an industry that is particularly sparse of women.

Lucy Bennett, Springboard’s Year in Industry Student and delegate at the conference, has since drawn up an action list of events, ideas and discussions with the aim of increasing female representation within Springboard and the Engineering industry.

Useful links:

  • Women’s Engineering Society, WES, is a charity and professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists
  • Madeleine Morgan is based in Cambridge and offers various types of coaching from early career to personal development
  • WTS London networking group focuses on advancing women in transport
  • Women in Nuclear, WiN UK, looks to address the industry’s gender balance, improve the representation of women in leadership and to engage with the public on nuclear issues
  • STELLAR women’s network aims to inspire, promote, support and collaborate to address the lack of women in IT, Engineering, Mathematics and Science professions
  • MentorSET is a successful mentoring scheme to help women working in STEM which has been running since 2002 and has created many hundreds of mentoring pairs across the UK

Springboard attends Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards

Lucy Bennett and Adam Nightingale at the IET Young Women Engineer Awards

Lucy Bennett and Adam Nightingale at the IET Young Women Engineer Awards

Springboard recently attended the 39th Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards ceremony at the IET’s Savoy Place headquarters in London. The event, which recognises outstanding female engineers in the UK, aims to highlight the achievements of young women working in Engineering.

Many notable people from the engineering community came out to celebrate the achievements of the young women nominated for awards and to show a commitment to addressing the systemic underrepresentation of women in engineering jobs in the UK.

Speakers included Roma Agrawal, the structural engineer behind the Shard skyscraper, who described the journey which has led to her becoming one of the country’s best known female engineers. She stressed the importance of building relationships as one of the key skills for success in engineering, and offered advice on tackling the ‘imposter syndrome’ that many people will experience at some point in their career.

Other speakers included the IET President Professor Jeremy Watson and Robot Wars’ resident Engineering Professor Noel Sharkey, who called for comprehensive research to be commissioned into the barriers which dissuade young women from entering a career in science and engineering and how they can be addressed.

All the finalists for the awards were inspirational spokespeople for Engineering, with Jenni Sidey, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, winning the title of Young Women Engineer of the year.

The event provided the incredible opportunity to meet and speak with a range of pioneering women in Engineering and share experiences. It has helped raise awareness within Springboard, and provided us all with motivation to do everything that we can to support women in Engineering.

Lucy Bennett, Springboard’s current Year in Industry student, has since become a STEM ambassador to help encourage and inspire the next generation.

Useful links: