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First Women Awards shortlist announced

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Awards celebrate achievements which are inspiring future generations

The search for UK’s most pioneering women moves one step closer as the shortlist for the 2013 First Women Awards, in association with the Lloyds Banking Group, is revealed.

The awards recognise trailblazing women in engineering, science and technology, media, business services, public service, tourism & leisure, retail & consumer, the built environment, finance and manufacturing.

This year the 56-strong shortlist includes Hanna Sykulska-Lawrence who, at just 27 years old, became the only woman from the UK to participate in NASA’s Phoenix Mars mission where she designed hardware that is now working on the surface of Mars.

The six women shortlisted for the 2013 "First Women of Engineering", supported by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, are:

Professor Lianne Deeming, director business excellence, Tata Steel in Europe

  • First female front line engineer at Shotton Power Station, and youngest and first ever woman to become a works manager
  • Many technical firsts over a 25-year career in the steel industry
  • Currently driving a five-year improvement plan for Tata Steel in Europe
  • Vision to build a sustainable European steel industry, and see more girls taking science at school

Kathy Ellis, general manager, nuclear propulsion systems, Rolls Royce

  • The first female engineer to join the reactor core design team at Rolls-Royce
  • One of the most senior engineering managers within the nuclear sector and the only woman in engineering to have achieved her current grade
  • Steering group member of Midlands 2% club, which brings together Midlands businesswomen to address the lack of board-level women
  • Non-executive director for Marketing Derby

Amanda Foster, senior instructor, artificer training, REME Arms School

  • One of the first five female soldiers to join REME as a Vehicle Mechanic in 1990
  • First female soldier to qualify as an instructor in the driving and maintenance of armoured vehicles
  • The first female Warrant Officer to become Artificer Sergeant Major of a combat battlegroup
  • Passionate advocate for engineering professionalism and leadership, becoming the first woman to hold key positions in the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE)

Joanna Kennedy, director, global leader of programme & project management, Arup

  • Trailblazer in civil engineering for 40 years
  • Studying engineering at Oxford, Joanna was one of just three girls among 100 students
  • When Joanna’s first son was born in 1985, her employer had no maternity policy and she was handed her P45
  • Joanna was a founder of the project management business, Arup and now runs a range of large complex projects totalling £900m

Mai Nguyen, civil engineer, London Bridge Associates

  • One of the UK's foremost civil engineers specialising in tunnelling
  • New horizons opening in tunnelling, as city planners recognise the potential for sustainable urban development
  • Lead player in the British Tunnelling Society Young Members' Committee, expanding knowledge of tunnelling among school children

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Hannah Sykulska-Lawrence, research fellow, University of Oxford

  • The only woman from the UK to participate in mission operations for NASA’s Mars Phoenix; youngest person on the instrument team
  • Introducing a new paradigm of sensors, including a novel miniature wide-band radiometer for terrestrial and space applications
  • Vision to create new possibilities in space science, by deploying microelectromechanical systems to make new space instrumentation
  • Youngest ever trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology

The First Women Awards ceremony will take place on 12 June 2013, in London.

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