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Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering

Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering

The Top 50 Women in Engineering was first launched in 2016 to coincide with National Women in Engineering Day. The inaugural list was published in the Daily Telegraph on 23 June 2016 and continues this year with a slightly different theme. On International Women in Engineering Day, this year, the Daily Telegraph will once again publish a list of outstanding female engineers, however this time it will be women under the age of 35 who have made a significant contribution. 

Nominations are now open for the 2017 list. To nominate someone for the list, or to self-nominate please visit the nomination page on the Daily Telegraph's website. If you missed the launch supplement in the Daily Telegraph in February, you can still see it online here.

Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering List 2016

The list (given below) compiled by the Telegraph in collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society features the UK’s top influential female engineers chosen from almost 900 nominations. 

Dawn Bonfield, former Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society who is also the founder of National Women in Engineering Day commented: ‘We had a very high response to this campaign and were hugely impressed with the entries. This list of amazing role models is a great way of raising the profile of our talented women engineers and making them more visible both within the industry and to the next generation.”
The list includes many familiar senior engineers’ names such as Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, former Chair of the Health and Safety Executive and now Chair of EEF the Manufacturers’ Organisation. It also, however, includes some names that may come as a surprise, including Steph McGovern from BBC Breakfast, a former engineer who continues to do a huge amount to encourage the next generation into engineering, and Chi Onwurah MP – the only female engineer in the House of Commons.

The candidates on the list represent the broad range of engineering roles available including industrialists from the traditional built environment, energy and transport sectors, but also including names from Hilton Worldwide, the Merlin entertainment group and many representatives from academia. The list also includes women who are no longer working as practicing engineers but are nevertheless still influential in the sector.
Judge Allan Cook CBE, Chairman of Atkins commented: “I was really impressed with the calibre, quality and quantity of the submissions. Reading through the entries it was incredibly exciting to see the breadth of talent we have in our engineering community.”

The winners were announced in the Daily Telegraph on 23 June 2016 and at a breakfast launch at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London.

Sponsors of the campaign in 2016 were Scottish Power, Mars Petcare, Prospect Union, Jaguar Land Rover, SEMTA, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and BAE Systems.


  • Roma Agrawal CEng, MIStructE, MIET, FRICS   Structural Engineer, Interserve
  • Professor Helen Atkinson CBE, FREng   Head of Department of Engineering, University of Leicester
  • Danella Bagnall   Chief Product Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Faye Banks FIET, FCMI, FinstLm, CEng, Cmgr   Head of Operations North East, National Grid
  • Alison Baptiste CEng, FICE, BEng, MSc, MCIWEM   Director of Strategy and Investment, Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency
  • Jayne Bryant FREng, CEng, FIET, FWES   Engineering Director Defence Information, BAE Systems
  • Muffy Calder OBE, FRSE, FREng    Vice-Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow
  • Liv Carroll DIC, CGeol, FGS, FIMMM   Chartered Geologist, Geological Society
  • Jacqueline Castle CEng, FIMechE, FRAeS   Chief Engineer A330neo Wing, Airbus UK
  • Amanda Chessell CBE, FREng    Distinguished Engineer, IBM
  • Naomi Climer FREng, CEng, FIET   President, IET, Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Susan Dio   Chief Executive Officer, BP Shipping Limited
  • Dr Michèle Dix CBE, CEng, FICE, FCIHT, FCILT   Managing Director, Crossrail 2, Transport for London (TfL)
  • Professor Dame Ann Dowling   President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
  • Elizabeth Eastaugh   Global Head - Customer Experience, Expedia
  • Dawn Elson CEng, FICE, FIMechE, FRAeS, FWES   Group Engineering Director, Merlin Entertainments Group
  • Jane Gartshore FInstR   Director, Cool Concerns Ltd
  • Professor Lynn Gladden CBE, FRS, FREng   Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Paulina Bohdanowicz-Godfrey   Director Energy and Environment, Hilton Worldwide
  • Dame Judith Hackitt CBE, FREng Chair, EEF
  • Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE, FRS, FREng   Director, Web Science Institute, University of Southampton
  • Eur Ing Louise Hardy CEng, FICE, CMgr, FCMI, FWES   Non Executive Director, Sirius Minerals Plc
  • Professor Caroline Hargrove CEng, MIMechE   Technical Director, McLaren Applied Technologies
  • Professor Karen Holford FREng, FWES, FLSW, CEng, FIMechE   Pro Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University
  • Ying Hu   Manufacturing Systems Engineer, Rolls Royce Plc
  • Dame Sue Ion FREng, FRS    Chair NIRAB, Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board
  • Lady Barbara Judge CBE   Chairman Emeritus, UK Atomic Energy Authority
  • Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE, FREng   Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Aston University
  • Ailie MacAdam FICE, MIChemE   Managing Director, Europe and Africa, Infrastructure, Bechtel
  • Dr Cathy McClay,   Head of Commercial, Electricity, National Grid
  • Steph McGovern   Presenter, BBC Breakfast
  • Linda Miller PEng (USA)   Senior Project Manager, Bechtel
  • Dervilla Mitchell CBE   Director, Arup
  • Heidi Mottram OBE   Chief Executive Officer, Northumbrian Water Group
  • Alison Nimmo CBE   Chief Executive, The Crown Estate
  • Belinda Oldfield FICE, AMIoW   General Manager, Scottish Water
  • Chi Onwurah MP, CEng, FIET, FCGI   MP, UK Government
  • Isobel Pollock-Hulf OBE, CEng, Hon DSc, FIMechE, FCGI   Master, Worshipful Company of Engineers
  • Dr Haifa Ross    Head of School of Engineering, Solihull College and University Centre
  • Helen Samuels   United Utilities
  • Dr Angela Seeney FEI, CEng, CEng, CPet Eng   Director Technology, Supply Chain and Decommissioning, Oil & Gas Authority
  • Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, FEI   Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association
  • Jane Simpson   Chief Engineer, Network Rail
  • Dana Skelley OBE   Director of Asset Management, Transport for London
  • Rachel Skinner CEng, FICE, TPP, MCIHT   Director, Development, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Dr Debbie Smith  OBE, FIFE, CPhys, MInstP   Managing Director, BRE Global
  • Vicky Stewart MIOA, MWED   Associate Acoustic Consultant, Atkins
  • Professor Eleanor Stride   Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
  • Dr Alison Vincent   Chief Technology Officer, Cisco International Ltd
  • Katherine Ward CEng, MICE   Group Head, Offshore Wind, Atkins

•    The campaign was jointly coordinated by the Telegraph and the Women’s Engineering Society and sponsored by Scottish Power, Mars Petcare, Jaguar Land Rover, SEMTA, IET and BAE Systems.
•    Judges of the competition in 2016 were:

  • Dawn Bonfield MBE Chief Executive, Women's Engineering Society
  • Allan Cook CBE Chairman of Atkins, Chairman of SEMTA, Non-Executive Director of BIS
  • Professor John Perkins CBE FREng Previously BIS Chief Scientific Adviser
  • Michelle Richmond Membership and Professional Development Director of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Fiona Tatton Founder and Editor of Womanthology

Their biographies of the judges can be seen at http://www.wes.org.uk/50wejudges  

•    International Women in Engineering Day (#NWED2017) is now an International awareness campaign sponsored by UNESCO to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. It takes place annually on 23 June celebrates its fourth  year in 2017. It is coordinated by the Women’s Engineering Society and was established in 2014 to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the Society. See more at www.inwed.org.uk
•    Many other events take place across the UK and internationally to mark International Women in Engineering Day and these can be seen here: http://www.inwed.org.uk/events.html

•    The Women’s Engineering Society is a charity which was established in 1919 to promote diversity in engineering. It is a membership organisation and supports women engineers; encourages the engineering education; and supports corporate engineering diversity and inclusion. www.wes.org.uk


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