Wokingham scientist wins Engineering Society award

A YOUNG scientist has been awarded with a national honour to recognise her work in engineering.

Last week, computer scientist Dr Larissa Suzuki received the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) prize at the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards by former Tomorrow’s World and Countdown host Carol Vorderman.

The 31-year-old from Wokingham is Head of Data Science at Founders4School and Honorary Researcher at University College London.

She was delighted to win, saying: “I am very proud and honoured to have received this award. I will continue doing my work to support women in Computing and Technology, raising the glass ceiling for women in tech and also to ensure the success of current and past women in Computing are recognised.

“We must make them visible to inspire the generations to come. Their ground-breaking work can serve as an inspiration to both girls and boys alike.”

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards celebrate women working in modern engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and greasy pipes.

Benita Mehra, President and Chair of Trustees of the Women’s Engineering Society, added: “The Women’s Engineering Society is delighted to be supporting the YWE Award again this year in partnership with the IET to highlight young female engineers not only achieving amazing success but also challenging young people’s perceptions of engineering careers. Our winner this year – Larissa – is a brilliant supporter of women entering and importantly championing engineering for years to come as an ambassador and an advocate of the profession.”

As well as highlighting female engineering talent, the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards seek to find female role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis by promoting engineering careers to more girls and women.

Just over one in 10 (11%) of the UK engineering and technical workforce is female.
Jo Foster, IET Diversity and Inclusion Manager, said: “I’d like to congratulate our fantastic winners and finalists of this year’s Awards.

“They are a real credit to the engineering profession and will make excellent role models to young girls who might be thinking about a career in engineering and technology.

“It’s vital we champion engineering careers to the next generation – it’s a diverse, creative and exciting career, which offers the opportunity to do something life – or even – world changing.”

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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