Sally Walters with Kate Walsh. Crown Copyright - Sgt Andy Malthouse RAF.

Exeter graduate is Young Woman Engineer of the Year

A University of Exeter graduate has been named this year’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Sally Walters was named Young Woman Engineer of the Year at the awards ceremony held at Savoy Place in London.

Sally received a trophy and cheque for £1,000. Sally achieved an MPhil in Engineering from Exeter University in 2008 and is now a Senior Civil Engineer with Pell Frischmann Consulting Engineers in Exeter.

As Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Sally will be an ambassador and spokesperson for the industry.

She said: “It’s a privilege to win this award and I’m excited about the opportunities it will open up to promote engineering as a valuable, rewarding and exciting career. The award will also enable me to highlight the achievements of women within the Industry across all the engineering sectors. I also hope, through me winning Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award that my enthusiasm and passion will inspire others to seek careers in engineering.”

She brings a high level of professionalism to her current role, from specific project work to mentoring colleagues and has also recently achieved ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) chartered status.

While at the University of Exeter, Sally worked in the Centre for Water Systems under the supervision of Director, Professor Dragan Savic. She was employed by the University to work with South West Water to help them prioritise investment in small wastewater catchments. While working at the University, she signed-up for the MPhil in Engineering.

Professor Dragan Savic of the University of Exeter’s School of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences said: “During her project at Exeter, Sally was a very valued and highly regarded member of the Centre for Water Systems. Due to her industrial experience she has an excellent ability to quickly appreciate the engineering problem and she is able to communicate these ideas well and effectively. I’m not surprised that she has been selected as the Young Woman Engineer of the Year by IET."

Runner-up of the BBC series The Apprentice and co-presenter of Live from Studio Five, Kate Walsh presented the Awards.  She said:  “I'm very happy to be supporting this event as it is incredibly satisfying to see so many talented young women take up a career in engineering and technology. It is very important to recognise talent that will produce and develop new and innovative feats within this vital industry and the IET is certainly playing a pivotal role in achieving this goal”.

Professor Christopher Snowden, President of the IET, said:  “These young women are not only pushing the boundaries of engineering and technology, they are also powerful role models to other aspiring young women and their influence and inspiration will not be limited solely to the engineering field.  I offer my sincere congratulations to the finalists – they are all winners in their own right.”

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award seeks to reward the very best female engineers the UK has to offer, highlight the achievements of women in engineering and encourage others to enter the profession. The Award which is one of the most high profile events in the engineering calendar is now in its 33rd year.

IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award was sponsored by e-ON, GCHQ, Molson Coors, Royal Air Force, RS Components, Transport for London, Scottish Power and Scottish Renewables.

Date: 9 December 2009

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