Earthquake hero and outstanding apprentice win top IET awards
16 Nov 2017
The IET has awarded its Armed Forces Technician of the Year prize to a soldier who returned to his native country to play a lead role in humanitarian work battling a major disaster.
Royal Engineers Warrant Officer Ram Kumar Rai was the technical lead for relief work following the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
IET President Nick Winser said: “This is a fantastic achievement and WO2 Rai should be very proud to win this award against strong competition in his category.”
WO2 Rai said the award acknowledged the importance of the work done by army technicians in the army and was a huge boost for their profession.
To have my achievements recognised by an industry body as important as the IET is a huge honour and a very proud moment
WO2 Ram Kumar Rai, IET Armed Forces Technician of the Year
He added: “Winning this award means so much to me on both a personal and professional level. My parents sacrificed a lot to send me to a proper school in my native Nepal, which eventually allowed me to train as a technician in the army.
"To have my achievements recognised by an industry body as important as the IET is a huge honour and a very proud moment for my family, my colleagues and me.”
Also celebrating victory was IET Apprentice of the Year, manufacturing laboratory technologist Magdalena Dyga – a specialist science apprentice at Rolls-Royce.
A STEM ambassador at schools, she led several key projects and was a “pivotal” member of the team that achieved a 50% cycle time reduction and £160,000 annual cost savings in an electron beam welding project that won the company’s 2016 Lean Award.
Said Dyga: “I am over the moon with this award from the IET. Being nominated was recognition enough but winning is unbelievable. It shows that working hard and applying yourself really does pay off.”
Both winners – who receive a trophy, certificate, £1,000 and two years’ free IET membership – beat strong competition from two other finalists: in Dyga’s case Sellafield CE&I design technician Andrew Heaton and Mechanical Engineering apprentice at Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Wesley Washington; Kumar’s competitors were Staff Sergeant John Martindale and Corporal Philip Mathews.