Sponsored by Rolls-Royce, PepsiCo and Centrica, the purpose of the Talent 2030 competition is to address the gender imbalance in science education and the professional engineering workforce in the UK. The competition asks girls aged 11-18 to submit projects in answer to the question, ‘How can engineers solve the challenges of the 21st century?’

Forty-one entries were shortlisted from over two-hundred submissions received in December. The judges had the very difficult task of choosing the winners and runners-up in each age category as the standard of entries was incredibly high.

Talent 2030 judge Dr Ozak Esu, Electrical Engineer at Cundall and the 2017 IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year winner, said it has been “excellent to see many young girls demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to real world problem solving. It’s very promising and encouraging.”

“These were very compelling entries, using creative solutions to create real changes in society,” said Talent 2030 judge Dr Jess Wade, Postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London.

The 2017/18 winners are:

  • 11-14 Age category: Elizabeth Scrope and Miranda Garcia Santos – St Mary’s School Ascot
  • 15-16 Age Category: Anu Olayebo – The Latymer School
  • 17-18 Age Category: Adrianna Wojtyna – Chigwell High School

Run by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Talent 2030 is an ambitious campaign to bring female talent into engineering and manufacturing industries. The latest Talent 2030 Dashboard shows that in 2017, for the first time 50% of GCSE physics students were girls, hitting the first target set by Talent 2030. In stark contrast, only 10.6% of engineering professionals are female, and despite a small rise from 7.8% in 2016 this is still extremely low by European standards.

“It’s been inspiring for us to support Talent 2030, which provides a fantastic opportunity to engage female students with STEM. It’s great to see them engage with engineering in such a practical way; by tackling a 21st century challenge. We hope the competition is the first step for young women on a journey to challenging and rewarding STEM careers,” commented Talent 2030 judge Roshni Modhwadia, Assistant Engineer at PepsiCo.

Nicola Swaney, Education Outreach Manager at Rolls-Royce said, “Rolls-Royce is committed to encouraging girls and women to pursue careers in STEM which is why we are proud to sponsor the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls. We offer our congratulations to all the winners and runners-up and we look forward to hosting them at Rolls-Royce in Derby later this year.”

All shortlisted finalists have been invited to display their projects to thousands of visitors at the Big Bang Fair in March.

Talent 2030 would like to say a huge thanks to the judges for their invaluable feedback and support.


talent 2030 judges
Some of the Talent 2030 judges who met at NCUB to review the entries and pick the winners and runners-up of the competition. From left to right: Yewande Akinola, Dr Jess Wade, Ala Hammad, Petra Gratton and Dr Ozak Esu.

The 11-14 age category was judged by:

  • Myrtle Dawes – Director of Planning & Dispatch, UK Field Operations – British Gas/Centrica
  • Roshni Modhwadia – Assistant Engineer – PepsiCo
  • Dr Larissa Suzuki – Head of Data Science – Founders4Schools

The 15-16 age category was judged by:

  • Yewande Akinola – Design Engineer
  • Dr Ozak Esu – Electrical Engineer, Cundall
  • Petra Gratton – Lecturer in Management for Engineers, Brunel University London

The 17-18 age category was judged by:

  • Ala Hammad – Civil/Tunnel Engineer
  • Orla Murphy – Black Belt Quality Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Dr Jess Wade – Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Physics, Imperial College London

“Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up of this year’s competition, and well done to everyone who entered. It is encouraging to see the entrants’ high level of ambition to solve twenty-first century problems in creative, innovative ways, with enthusiasm and passion. As outlined in the Industrial Strategy Whitepaper, the skills pipeline is a key priority for the UK Government. So, let us hope in this, the Year of Engineering, we see an acceleration in uptake throughout engineering education to produce the skilled, agile and productive workforce of tomorrow. I wish the finalists the best of luck and an enjoyable day at the Big Bang Fair,” said David Docherty, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business.

Notes to editors

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB)

Promoting business-university collaboration for a prosperous and inclusive economy

As a membership organisation, the National Centre brings together leaders from across higher education and business to tackle issues of shared interest.

The National Centre’s Engineering Manufacturing Task Force explored the challenge of maintaining the UK manufacturing base as a strong and vital component of the economy. Talent 2030 is a legacy project from the Task Force report ‘Great Expectations’.

The Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls is sponsored by organisations committed to encouraging more women into engineering: Rolls-Royce, Centrica, PepsiCo. Talent 2030 supports the Year of Engineering.
The competition closed on the 15th December 2017. The competition winner will be awarded £1000, student membership to the Women’s Engineering Society and will get the opportunity to exhibit to thousands of people at The Big Bang Fair in March 2018. Visit Talent 2030 for competition details.

For further information please contact the National Centre on 020 7383 7667 or email shakira.malkani@ncub.co.uk