The Women’s Engineering Society is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2013 Karen Burt Award for the best newly qualified Chartered Engineer (CEng) is Professor Molly Stevens from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
Molly is Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Departments of Materials and Bioengineering and the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. She engineers biomaterials for applications in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and biosensing and has made a number of extraordinary breakthroughs using multidisciplinary approaches with publications in journals such as the Nature family journals and Science. Molly graduated from Bath University with a First Class Honours degree and a PhD from the University of Nottingham, which was followed by a Postdoctoral training with the internationally renowned Professor Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since the start of her independent career at Imperial in 2004, she has been recognised by the TR100, a compilation of the top innovators under the age of 35, a listing in The Times as one of the top scientists under the age of 40 as well as the EU-40 prize for excellence and achievement in the field of materials research by a scientist under 40.
“This award is a particular honour for me as it is in memory of an inspirational female engineer. My research career started off in biosciences and I came to CEng certification rather later and via the experiential route. I absolutely love working within the engineering field on exciting scientific questions that also have the possibility to significantly impact on human health, and I look forward to working with WES in their mission to encourage more women into engineering.”
The Karen Burt Award will be presented by WES President Milada Williams on 4th October 2013 at the WES Annual Conference ‘Harnessing the Energy’ at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London. www.wes.org.uk/energy.
• The Women’s Engineering Society and the Karen Burt Memorial Award Founded in 1919, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) is a professional, not-for-profit network of women engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development. Although the world has changed since a group of women decided to band together to create an organisation to support women in engineering, the need is very much still there. WES works in a number of ways to support women in STEM, to encourage the study and application of engineering, to promote gender equality and diversity in the workplace, and to award excellence and encourage achievement through our awards and grants schemes; www.wes.org.uk
• Karen Burt was a WES Council member who campaigned to improve the recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering. She was instrumental in the establishment 2 October 2012 of the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation Systems at University College, London, but her career at UCL was cut tragically short by a stroke. The Karen Burt Memorial Award was first presented in 1999 and is given each year to a newly Chartered woman in engineering, applied science, and IT. The award recognises the candidate’s excellence and potential in the practice of engineering and highlights the importance of Chartered status, as well as offering recognition to contributions made by the candidate to the promotion of the engineering profession; www.wes.org.uk/karen-burt-award.
• Molly Stevens has worked on a number of multidisciplinary projects including engineering biomaterials for applications in tissue engineering and directed differentiation of stem cells, nanoparticle-based biosensors capable of detecting disease specific biomarkers and materials-based characterisation methods towards their applications in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and biosensing. Among other honours, Molly was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering for her use of engineering across multiple disciplines in the development of her innovative biomaterials. Her breakthrough work in designing and developing a material-based approach capable of regenerating large amounts of bone during her stay in the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT is moving to clinical application. She leads a large group at Imperial comprising students and postdocs/fellows from a wide range of traditional backgrounds, such as bioengineering, chemistry, biology and medicine.
• The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) is the professional body for the international materials, minerals and mining community. With a membership of over 18,000 individuals worldwide, IOM3 provides a range of activities and initiatives, including information and library services, conferences and workshops, as well as publications, and promotes the materials discipline to younger generations through various educational resources. Educationally, there is provision of professional accreditation and qualifications, training courses and professional development. We assist our members in achieving Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Engineering Technician, Chartered Scientist or Chartered Environmentalist professional qualifications.
IOM3 is active in the promotion of women in materials disciplines and in 2012 created the Women in Materials Group to encourage the development of women working in materials. Molly Stevens is a member of this group; www.iom3.org