On International Women in Engineering Day, The Daily Telegraph named a graduate of BAE Systems, Sophie Dent as one of UK’s leading female engineers for her involvement in designing Girlguides’ first engineering badge. She is one amongst the Top 50 Women in Engineering 2017.
The Top 50 initiative is jointly run by the Daily Telegraph and the WES (Women in Engineering Society) to encourage more women to take up engineering roles. The recognition celebrates the achievements of role models across the sector.
Sophie Dent Had Been Nominated by Her Peers
A 24-year old engineering graduate at BAE Systems Submarines in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, Sophie Dent had been recommended by her peers. She has been recognised for her commitment towards promoting engineering amongst young people.
Sophie said that she was astounded and never thought that she would make it to the Top 50 list, especially because the previous winners had been highly experienced and very senior. She further said that as a female engineer, she was in the minority throughout the university. However, she is hopeful that this is not going to be the case for budding engineers in the future. She also states that she would be very happy if she could break some barriers and change the industry’s perceptions for even a few girls who are just as passionate about engineering as she is.
Sophie Worked Together with Her Higher Apprentice Colleagues to Develop Clever Cogs
Sophie, along with her Higher Apprentice colleagues, Lauren Eastburn and Beth Howarth-Henry, developed Clever Cogs, a pioneering engineering challenge. This was the first engineering challenge for Girlguiding that was designed for girls between the ages of five and twenty-five. These three women in engineering came up with this idea when they successfully ran Guides in Engineering Day for South Cumbrian Guides and realised that there was a lot of confusion regarding what engineering really was.
Over the course of 4 months, they designed an activity pack offering Brownies, Rainbows, Guides and the Senior Section a flavour of the diverse engineering disciplines, through thirteen exciting challenges including exploding volcanoes and egg parachutes. Since it was launched in March this year, two thousand girls across the UK have already completed the Clever Cogs challenge badge.
Engineering Director at BAE Systems Showered Praises on Sophie’s Achievements
The Engineering Director at BAE Systems Submarines, Russ Watson, said that it is impressive that Sophie’s hard work has been recognised on a national stage. He thinks that she truly deserves the accolade because she has gone above and beyond to promote and inspire girls to consider engineering as a career. The Director further added that he hopes to be able to encourage others to follow in Sophie’s footsteps because there is nothing more complicated than designing and building a nuclear-powered submarine.
Sophie has also been acknowledged for the work she does in her voluntary role as co-ordinator for Cumbria and Lancashire’s Women in Engineering Society, as well as the work she does by representing BAE Systems at numerous STEM events, organising activities to get young women engaged and interested in technology, science, maths and engineering.
BAE Systems is the industry-leader for the new Dreadnought submarine programme and the contractor in the Astute class submarine programme - two of the most difficult engineering challenges in the world.
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