Helen Randell, recognised as a born problem solver and champion of engineering for women and girls, is this year's winner of one of the most prestigious prizes in engineering, the Karen Burt Award.
Helen, a chartered civil engineer who graduated only five years ago, started acting as an ambassador for the engineering profession while she was still a student at Cambridge. She is currently working at the Baddesley Colliery Site creating, on very fast-track programme basis, a new vehicle storage facility for Jaguar Land Rover. Her previous experience includes major projects for Severn Trent Water, Glasgow Energy from Waste Scheme, motorway and A-road new junctions and widening and Hereford and Worcestershire Energy from Waste Scheme.
Her work on these projects, coupled with a significant contribution to the promotion of engineering to young people and women in particular, has earned her a place on the roll call of winners of the Karen Burt Award, given by the Women's Engineering Society (WES) to honour the best of the year's newly qualified women engineers.
During her career, Helen has mentored many young people embarking on careers in engineering; presented at science fairs; given talks to schools and even developed her own school learning packs to introduce children to surveying, earthquakes, bridge building, water filtration and renewable energy. At Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, Helen has supported a number of recruitment events and, through her new role, continues to inspire young engineers while mentoring engineering apprentices.
Linda Maynard, chair of the judging panel for the award, said: "As in previous years the nominees were of an exceptional standard with very few marks separating the top four candidates. Helen's application was remarkable in all aspects of the judging criteria and all three judges agree she is a very worthy winner of the 2015 Award."
Helen said of her award: "I am thrilled and honoured to receive this prestigious award. I feel extremely fortunate that my love of problem solving has formed the basis of my career. It is so rewarding to have the opportunity to share my experiences with other young women and to know that some have been inspired to join the exciting and ever changing world of engineering where we really can make a difference."
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Head of Education and Inspiration, John Laverty, added: "We are delighted to see Helen presented with this highly valued award - she is an articulate, engaging engineer who exudes passion and conviction. Helen greatly impressed her professional review panel with her knowledge, aptitude and leadership potential, and she has impressed many others through her enthusiasm for ICE initiatives and her drive to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She is an outstanding example of a chartered civil engineer in every respect and will be an excellent role model for others on their path towards professional qualification."
The award was presented at a ceremony during the WES Prestige Lecture Evening at the IET, Savoy Place, London on Wednesday 4 November 2015, entitled 'Bridges: Past, Present and Future.'