Engineering Scholarships from the Women's Engineering Society (WES) include the WES Prize for the best young women Engineer and the Karen Burt Award for the best newly qualified Chartered Engineer as well as the Gillian Skinner 'behind the scenes' awards which honours the biggest behind the scenes contributions from the Women's Engineering Society volunteers. The Isabel Hardwich Medal is awarded to WES members who have made a sustained contribution to the Women's Engineering Society over an extended period of time.
The Women's Engineering Society
The Women's Engineering Society is a charity that promotes a professional network of women engineers, scientist and technologists to offer inspiration, support and professional development.
Women's Engineering Society Prize
The Women's Engineering Society Prize (the WES Prize) is awarded to a female engineer who can inspire and engage a younger audience (the next generation of female engineers) in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects) the award is presented each year at the Young Women Engineer Awards in London which is hosted by the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET).
The award is made for exceptional contributions by women engineers and technicians to 'engineer a better world', there are three categories which demonstrate the success of young women in Engineering. The award raises the profile for women in engineering and has become a beacon of best practice for women engineers.
The WES Prize was established in 1978 when it was known as the Girl Technician of the Year Award the YWE (Young Women Engineer) award was sponsored by the Caroline Haslett Memorial Trust to provide scholarships for women in electrical, mechanical or electronic engineering careers, whilst the initial scholarship funds are no longer available the IET continue to support the award each year.
The winner of the WES Prize is awarded £750 (as a cheque) to spend on whatever the winner chooses and receives the WES Prize Certificate and becomes the Ambassador for the Women's Engineering Society for the next year , the winner will be able to attend WES events and school events which aim to encourage young women to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, as well as promoting the society the ambassador will be able to network with individuals and organisations at the very heart of engineering in the UK.
Typical shortlisted candidates for the award will have experience as Engineering Apprenticeships within large or small companies.
The Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices
The Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices was founded by a former Director of the Engineering Association for Women (EAW), this prize is given to a young women engineer who shows great promise for the future and is set to become one of the countries brightest engineers. The award is for £750 and only awarded for outstanding achievement, the winner is most likely to be a 'all-rounder' who is enthusiastic and an excellent role model for young women wanting to pursue a science or engineering career.
The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE) Award
The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE) award is for £2,500 and is awarded to a high achieving women engineer or scientist who represents the very best of her profession with the personality and enthusiasm to inspire young women to take up science and technology careers.
All these awards require that the women engineer is working in the UK and it must be noted that you do not need to be a member of the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) to win the IET YWE (Young Women Engineer) awards, as these awards are aimed at early career professionals able to inspire and relate to young women looking to enter science, technology and engineering disciplines the winners should be in the eighteen to thirty-five year old age range.
For these awards there are some minimum academic qualifications required for entry, for the YWE Award (Young Women Engineer) candidates are required to have a BTEC (Business Technician Education Council) HNC (Higher National Certificate) or HND (Higher National Diploma) qualifications note that the HNC is the part-time equivalent of the HND award. Optional entry qualifications for the YWE award are degree, masters or PhD qualification, note that the HND or HNC is equivalent to the first year of a degree course.
For the WES Prize (Women's Engineering Society) a BTEC HNC or HND is the minimum entrance requirement just like the YWE Prize and again a first degree, masters or PhD level qualification is optional.
For the MG Prize (Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices) the applicant must be either on an apprenticeship or have just completed an apprenticeship within six months of applying for the MG Prize, in England and Wales the student must be on an Advanced Apprenticeship scheme whist in Scotland a Modern Apprenticeship is required and for Northern Ireland a Level 3 Apprenticeship is required.
In terms of competency for all the awards the candidate must have experience of leadership having led a small team to successfully achieve a goal, this might be within a work, university or volunteering environment. Candidates will also need to have experience of working with others as part of a team, this requirement des not relate to managing the team which is a specific requirement for the Young Women Engineer Award, for all awards a professional level of commitment needs to be shown, this is normally demonstrated by a medium term project or role having been followed through to completion.
There is no cost to apply for these awards they are all completely free of charge, the ceremony for the WES Prize and Young Women Engineer of the year awards are also free to attend. Whist a BTEC HNC or HND is the minimum educational requirement for these awards, meaning you must have a HNC or HND to apply for these awards you can apply for the Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices if you are undertaking a HND or HNC course of study as part of your apprenticeship.
Winners of these awards will not only need to be working in the UK to qualify for the award but must continue to work in the UK for up to a year after the award so that they can participate in the ambassador roles around winning the Young Women in Engineering and Women's Engineering Society awards.
Candidates will be delighted to know that they only need to complete one application form and they will be considered for all three awards the Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices, Young Women in Engineering and Women's Engineering Society awards. As well as submitting the application candidates will need to include an endorsement, this is a form completed by the candidates manager whom knows them in a professional capacity and cannot be completed by a family member.
Candidates can apply for the awards online and upload a scan of the endorsement form when it has been completed by their manager.
The Women's Engineering Society have online applications for all the awards, students looking for other engineering scholarships should also consider the University of Nottingham Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarship to study Engineering in the USA if you are a UK student, also consider the University of Birmingham and Bradford University, to study at Cambridge University or in the USA students should also consider the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the University of Westminster.
Female students and minority students specifically should consider the National Film and Television School Scholarships, UNCF, NAACP, AB540 Scholarships and the Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Fund.
The Karen Burt Award
The Karen Burt Award gives £1,000 (an increase on previous years) to the best newly qualified Chartered Engineer, professional institutions (like the IEE or IMECHE etc.) are able to nominate one candidate per institution on the nomination form which can be downloaded from the Women's Engineering Society (WES), this award is designed to encourage women engineers to take up engineering and aim for chartered status.
Candidates in engineering, applied science and IT (Information Technology) can apply for this award, candidates will also need to show how they have promoted the engineering profession, especially to younger female students, as an example maybe you gave lectures to younger students on the importance of engineering or in other ways inspired younger students to want to study engineering or an engineering related discipline.
A students engineering institution (IEE, IED etc.) will need to nominate you for this award, you cannot apply yourself but must be nominated by an engineering institution (a society or institution with chartered status), after initial nomination by an institution the WES (Women's Engineering Society) will seek more information about the candidate directly from the student assuming the WES selection panel have put you forward for the second round.
The candidate will need to show their promotion of engineering and especially charted engineering status to other engineering students. The award is named after Dr Karen Burt who was a campaigner for the recruitment of engineers and retention of women engineers in engineering after a career break to raise a family.
ICE, IET, IIOM3, IMechE, IE, IHT, IWEM, IChemE and BCS
Many institutions have nominated candidates for the Karen Burt award in previous years, some of those institutions are ICE, IET, IIOM3, IMechE, IE, IHT, IWEM, IChemE and BCS. (Institute of Civil Engineers, Institute of Engineering Technology, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Engineers, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Institute of Chemical Engineers and British Computer Society).
Accredited Engineering Institutions
Only accredited engineering institutions (usually charted or accredited by a government body) can recommend students for the Karen Burt Award, it should be noted that first the Women's Engineering Society will review the institution (if they have not previously awarded a student from this institution) and will then review the student. The student must have achieved charted status within fifteen months of graduation and must be a very high calibre student with an engineering, applied science or IT background who is a good representative for chartered status.
Two forms can be downloaded for the Karen Burt award, WES call these forms A and B, form A is purely to help the institution choose their ideal candidate and does not need to be submitted back to the Women's Engineering Society whist form B must be submitted to WES and includes information about the selected candidate and why they have been put forward for the award. WES will contact shortlisted candidates for more information, the winning candidate will be required to give a twenty minute presentation on their chosen specialist subject at the awards ceremony when they receive their award.
Form A which is used as a guide for the institution to select their best candidate and contains such questions as the rating of the student as a practicing engineer from fair, good to excellent and involvement with her institutions own affairs, involvement with activities to promote engineering, communication skills, enthusiasm for career and level of future plans. The institution is also asked to list outstanding qualities the student possesses as well as academic and professional qualifications and employment history.
The student is then required to submit details of a project that they have been involved in which they are particularly proud of, this may or may not have been a project that was used to achieve chartered status, the project description will be reviewed by a charted engineer but not necessarily an engineer from the same field as the applicant.
The student will also be required to list how they have promoted their institution to other engineers and promoted the wider engineering profession to students as well as a short biography and any other details that will help the judging panel to assess the institutions application. Students are also required to submit a photo (head and shoulders) with their application.
The Doris Gray Scholarship Award
The Doris Gray Scholarship Award is for Scottish students, the award was founded by Professor Doris Gray who left £100,000 to the Women's Engineering Society to encourage women in Scotland to become professional engineers. There are three different award types which make up the Doris Gray scholarships and they are the Doris Gray Scottish Scholarships, Doris Gray Project Enabling Grants and Doris Gray WES Conference Bursaries.
Scholarships totalling £37,221 have been awarded and £41,064 of enabling grants and £25,939 for the Doris Gray conference and conference attendance awards. These awards are for women studying engineering in Scotland or running engineering events in Scotland.