National Engineering Competition for Girls Results

National Engineering Competition for Girls Results

In its first year, the National Engineering Competition for Girls has engaged with more than 400 schools across the UK and after deliberating over scores of exceptional entries, the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) can announce the winners and runner-up entries.

The competition forms part of Talent 2030, an NCUB campaign to encourage talented young people, especially girls, to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering, targeting pupils at the crucial ages of 11-18. We would like to express our continued appreciation towards the Talent 2030 competition supporters, Rolls-Royce and Airbus Group, for supporting this initiative.

Our judging panel this year included six expert female engineers with a shared passion for inspiring young female students into careers in engineering and manufacturing, they include; Kate Bellingham, (Patron of WISE (Women into Science, Engineering and Construction) and TV & Radio Presenter), Veronika Kapsali (Reader in Biomimetic Systems, Northumbria University), Mary Frost, (Senior Expert, Fuel & Inerting Systems, Airbus Group), Dawn Bonfield, (Executive Vice President, Women’s Engineering Society (WES)), Helen Meese, (Head of Engineering in Society, Institution of Mechanical Engineers) and Martine Gagné, (Head of Strategic Research Centre, Rolls-Royce).

The winning entry for girls aged 11-14 came from Thea Krumins from St Paul’s Girls’ School who considered the engineering challenges of the 21st century in a number of categories, covering water security and desalination.

The runners up in this category include Alice Martin from Oxford High School GDST, who looked at climate change and carbon reduction. A student from St Mary’s Cambridge reported on water security and water capture in areas of scarcity, purification and storage. Cate Sutherland, Holly Barlow and Holly Keys from Yately School collectively worked towards a project that focused on medical advancements for the hearing impaired.

The winning entry for girls aged 15-18 was produced by Paige Hulatt of Pate's Grammar School. Her project examined renewable energy resources and the viability for combining current technologies within a Super Power Plant.

The runners up in this category include Esha Mistry of Archbishop Temple School who looked at renewable and non-renewable energy resources. Emma Marks from Central Bedfordshire UTC who explored medical solutions for people with disabilities using smart materials including shape memory alloys, piezoelectric materials and Thermochromic Inks. Danielle Clapcott, Alexandra Diaper, Emma Falconer, Hazel Webb and Olivia Wood of King Edward VI School looked at renewable energy resources and solar panels.

Having spent the best part of an afternoon comparing notes and debating entries, Kate Bellingham, TV Presenter and passionate promoter of STEM subjects, said;

“I really enjoyed judging the senior group. We saw a good range of topics, all of them explored enthusiastically. I was blown away by the quality of our winning entry – a very mature and inspirational piece of work.”

On judging the 11-14 age category, Dawn Bonfield, Executive Vice President of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), said;

“I have especially enjoyed seeing the obvious enthusiasm of these young engineers and how they are proposing to use their innovative ideas and creativity to address the important global problems that we face in the 21st Century.”

All shortlisted entrants have been invited to the Big Bang Fair on Saturday, 15th March to showcase their projects on their own Talent 2030 stand. The winners and runners-up will receive their certificates and prizes on the Titanium Stage in the afternoon. This is set to be a fantastic showcase of young female engineering talent with over 60 school pupils attending to represent Talent 2030 on the day.

Editors’ Notes:

Talent 2030 is an ambitious campaign to encourage more talented young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering – including software development. Talent 2030 is particularly focused on inspiring more girls to consider careers in these sectors, working jointly with business and universities to undertake outreach into schools and colleges.

Website –

Twitter - @Talent_2030

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) develops, promotes and supports world-class collaboration between universities and business across the UK. Our aim is to find practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities, and the UK’s strength in ground-breaking research and development, for the benefit of the nation’s economy.

Drawing on the 25 years’ experience of our predecessor body, the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE), NCUB is committed to a programme of research, policy development and practical partnerships. From facilitating collaborative R&D, to developing the entrepreneurial and employability skills of students at all stages of their education, NCUB is working to support UK business and higher education in a competitive global market.

Website –

Twitter - @NCUBtweets

Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls – Judging Panel Profiles

Our judging panel included six expert female engineers with a shared passion for inspiring young female students into careers in STEM, they include;

Kate Bellingham

Patron of WISE (Women into Science, Engineering and Construction) and TV & Radio Presenter

Kate has a degree in Physics from the University of Oxford and has trained and worked as an audio engineer with the BBC. She maintains a number of high profile roles, including Patron of WISE, but is best known for her work in radio and television. She has been a presenter the BBC’s hit Science and Technology Series ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Kate has since undertaken a Masters in Communications Systems at the University of Hertfordshire, and alongside her other commitments, trained and worked as a teacher for a school in Hemel Hempstead.

Veronika Kapsali

Reader in Biomimetic Systems, Northumbria University

Veronika has a PhD in Biomimetics from the University of Bath. Biomimetics is an approach to design that draws ideas from the natural world and uses engineering to introduce them into the man-made world. She is a co-director of the research and development company, MMT Textiles Limited, through which she has invented new technologies for the textiles and clothing industry. She is also a lecturer and mentor, and both set up, and runs, a successful Fashion/Textile course for Middlesex University.

Mary Frost

Senior Expert, Fuel & Inerting Systems, Airbus

Mary Frost is a chartered electronics engineer with a degree in Physics with Electronics from the University of Southampton. She has worked in a variety of roles since joining Airbus in 2004. She is currently responsible for defining the future fuel systems R&T strategy, working with industry committees to investigate the impact of sustainable and alternate fuels on aircraft systems. Mary is also an Assessor for the ‘Airbus Fly Your Ideas’ competition which challenges university students across the globe to develop new ideas for the eco-efficient aviation industry of the future.

Dawn Bonfield

Executive Vice President, Women’s Engineering Society (WES)

Dawn has a degree in Materials Science from Bath University. Before joining WES she has worked as a materials researcher at Citroen and British Aerospace after which she became a conference producer. Currently, she is the Executive Vice President of WES and works on a variety of projects to support their volunteer network of engineers, encourage girls into engineering, and help corporates with their gender equality.

Helen Meese

Head of Engineering in Society, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Helen’s passion for engineering led to 10 years research at Loughborough University which included a PhD in Turbocharger Performance, and research into electric armour for tanks. During her work in the defence industry, she has led teams of engineers on Euro-fighter Typhoon, Submarine and Naval vessel projects. At the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Helen looks at new and emerging technologies and how they affect the wider community.

Martine Gagné

Head of Strategic Research Centre, Rolls-Royce

Martine’s team focus on accelerating the development and application of new technologies in Rolls-Royce products beyond the time horizon or scope of the current RR business domains (Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear and Energy). Martine joined Rolls-Royce Canada in 1995 and has since held a number of specialist and engineering leadership roles in fluid systems design, safety assurance and product development on industrial gas turbines. She graduated with an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa and holds a Master of Applied Science degree from Dalhousie University, Canada.

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