Mandy Lester has won the 21st winner of the Women’s Engineering Society’s prestigious Karen Burt Award for her commitment to sustainability in the water sector.
The senior process and chemical engineer with Bristol-based consultants Atkins is currently working on the design for the UK first open water supply reservoir to be built in the last 30 years.
Her numerous water treatment projects include work for seven British water firms supplying nearly two thirds of the country’s population.
Chair of the judges Sally Sudworth (pictured left with Lester, right) said:
“The judges were impressed with Mandy’s commitment to engineering, addressing sustainability in the key area of water supply and the valuable support and mentoring in the development of others.”
Lester was nominated for the award by her professional body the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). The annual award is presented by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to the best newly chartered female engineer.
“I am beyond thrilled to receive the Karen Burt Award, which is an unexpected but deeply gratifying endorsement, having transitioned into engineering with a scientific degree.
“Engineers aren’t born, they’re made – in my case with the support of the IChemE along with the many individuals who’ve inspired me. I look forward to working more with IChemE and WES to encourage more women to choose a career in engineering.”
Karen Burt who inspired the award, worked for British Aerospace Systems. She played a lead role in founding the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation Systems within University College, London and was a noted campaigner for the recruitment of women in engineering.
The annual award was set up in 1999 with money from her father after Burt died from a stroke in 1997 at the age of just 42.