Image courtesy of the Energy Insistute. 

Penryn graduate crowned Energy Champion

An Exeter Renewable Energy graduate has won a prestigious Energy Institute (EI) award for her work in promoting carbon reduction.

Kate Simpson, who graduated with a BSc degree in Renewable Energy from the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus in 2013, received her Energy Champion 2015 prize at an awards ceremony and dinner, held in London.

The EI Awards is an annual competition run by the Energy Institute to recognise individuals who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in their daily work in the energy sector.

Kate, who is a carbon management consultant with influential international engineering consultancy Grontmij, part of Sweco, was the first ever recipient of the new Energy Champion award, which was introduced to reward professionalism, the promotion of knowledge and good practice, and the championing of the work of the energy industry, particularly among the young generation.

As well as being recognised for raising energy literacy in her current professional capacity at Grontmij, where she helps clients tackle their carbon emissions, Kate was also acknowledged for her work in raising energy awareness through a number of community and educational projects.

“I was very pleased to win this award which I feel is positive recognition of the importance of sustainability. This played a big part of my application for the award and I hope this will be encouraging to others who are trying to promote the low carbon agenda,” said Kate.

A panel of judges also paid tribute to Kate’s academic achievements. While in her final year at the University of Exeter, Kate won a Dean’s commendation and a prize for effort and achievement.

“The Renewable Energy degree course at Exeter provided me with the background and skills to promote sustainable energy both in my job and outside in the community. It definitely helps me in my day-to-day work with carbon management,” said Kate.

Kate hopes that the award will also raise awareness of the opportunities for women working in what is traditionally a male-dominated industry. “I think it’s helpful for others to see women succeeding in these roles,” she added.

Professor Stephen Eichhorn, Head of Engineering at the University of Exeter said: “I am delighted for Kate on receiving this award. She was an exceptional student and it is great to hear that she is achieving so much in her career. In Engineering we are committed to the Athena SWAN charter which aims to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women. It is important to the engineering sector in the UK that we all work to unlock the potential talent pool of 50% of the population. This will lead to greater growth and prosperity in the sector. Kate is a fine example of where that is working well.”

Date: 29 February 2016

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