National Women in Engineering Day: Warwick & Abingdon engineers named

Photo shows: Chitra Srinivasan at the UKAEA
Chitra Srinivasan2

Three women from across the region have been named in this year’s Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50) awards, announced by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) on National Women in Engineering Day.

Senamiso Mathobela, Delivery Manager (TNCC), at the Warwick-based National Grid UK, Claire Lucas from the University of Warwick and Chitra Srinivasan, Real Time Control Software Engineer, at the Abingdon-based United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

Now in its fifth year, the WE50 awards seek to recognise the wealth of female talent within engineering and related disciplines; an annual celebration aligned with the campaign International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).

Chitra is part of a team developing fusion energy as a carbon-free source of electricity that could be used around the world.

Chitra said: “I am an upcoming engineer in fusion research and this achievement is highly encouraging for me. This would not have been possible without the support of my colleagues. At UKAEA, I have the opportunity to research sustainable energy by developing computer codes to control the fuel inside fusion machines. We are copying the process that powers the Sun for greener electricity.”

Claire Lucas named in Top 50 Women in Engineering 2020Dr Claire Lucas is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Warwick and a fellow of the IMechE. Previously, she was a mathematical modelling specialist at Jaguar Land Rover carrying out modelling capability improvement projects and multi-physics modelling for attribute interactions.

This is the second award presented to Dr Lucas by WES. Last year she won the IET Young Women Engineer of the Year Women’s Engineering Society Award for her work in engineering education.

Dr Lucas said: “I am immensely proud to have been named as one of the WES Top 50 Women in Engineering, following on from my Young Engineer of the Year award last year.

“It feels great to be acknowledged for my work on pedagogy and gender in engineering education.”

She said: “When we are trying to attract women into studying engineering we can use language which talks about community and collaboration – words that are proven to appeal to women more than those we typically use like lead and analyse. And then you have to change the way you teach and assess to match, so at Warwick we’ve put in a lot more group work where we reward collaboration and social and emotional interaction.”

2020 WE50 celebrates women who have made a significant contribution within sustainability. Winning nominees were required to provide evidence of their successful support of UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals or the Net Zero Carbon Programme. Even in the current climate, the number and standard of nominations were high, emphasising the exceptional achievements made by women in this field. The WE50 awards were judged by a panel of industry experts.

Sally Sudworth, WE50 Head Judge, the Environment Agency’s National Programme Manager for Asset Management & FCRM Sustainability Lead (Net Zero Carbon Programme) and WES Honorary Secretary said: “The panel of judges was thrilled by with the outstanding achievements demonstrated by all of the winners and were thrilled by the difference being made by the candidates”.

INWED celebrates the achievements of women in engineering and related roles and highlights the opportunities available to engineers of the future; this year the campaign is partnering with UNESCO UK.

Despite the unusual set of circumstances the country finds itself in this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, WES will still be celebrating the WE50 winners.  The 2020 winners are published on the INWED website and celebrated during WES’ own virtual INWED event on 23 June and across social media and press throughout the world.