The University of Manchester: University of Manchester engineer crowned Young Woman Engineer of the Year

Aerospace Systems Lecturer, Dr Ciara McGrath, has been named the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year.

Thirty-year-old Ciara, who is a Lecturer in Aerospace Systems at The University of Manchester, won this prestigious award at the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony.

Ciara carries out engineering research projects in the areas of astrodynamics and space mission design, working with industry and policy makers to design space systems that can help support life on Earth. She also teaches University courses and supervises student projects in space system design, to support the education and development of the next generation of engineers. Ciara’s public engagement aims to make complex ideas accessible to everyone, through hands-on examples, podcasts, radio interviews, written articles and public talks.

On winning, Ciara said: “These awards that the IET run are so incredibly important, and I am completely shocked to have won – it is more than I could ever have imagined. Engineers are the people that change the world and make a difference – they problem solve, they find a solution and they make amazing things happen. Being a finalist has been a whirlwind and I am so excited to see what happens next. I’d like to say a special thanks to my parents for their support – I always say it was my Dad that took me out to show me the stars, but it was my Mum that taught me to reach them.”


These awards that the IET run are so incredibly important, and I am completely shocked to have won – it is more than I could ever have imagined. Engineers are the people that change the world and make a difference – they problem solve, they find a solution and they make amazing things happen. Being a finalist has been a whirlwind and I am so excited to see what happens next. I’d like to say a special thanks to my parents for their support – I always say it was my Dad that took me out to show me the stars, but it was my Mum that taught me to reach them.
Dr Ciara McGrath


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The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards celebrate women working in modern engineering – and aim to help change the perception that engineering is predominantly a career for men by banishing outdated engineering stereotypes of hard hats and dirty overalls.

As well as highlighting female engineering talent, these prestigious engineering industry awards seek to find role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills crisis by promoting engineering careers to more girls and women. Just 14.5% of those working in engineering and technical occupations are women (source: Engineering UK).

Dr Laura Norton, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the IET, said: “Engineers develop products and services for everyone, yet just 14.5% of the sector’s workforce are women. Awards like this are crucial for raising the profile of women within engineering and providing real-life role models to younger generations to encourage greater diversity within the industry.

“I’d like to congratulate our fantastic winners and finalists of this year’s Awards. They are a real credit to the engineering profession and will make excellent role models to young girls who might be thinking about a career in engineering and technology.

“It’s vital we champion engineering careers to the next generation – it’s a diverse, creative and exciting career, which offers the opportunity to change lives, or even the world.”

This year’s YWE Awards were sponsored by BAE Systems, Boeing, BP, Collins Aerospace, Capgemini, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, GCHQ, Leonardo, MBDA, Northrop Grumman, Nucleargraduates, Ofcom, RAF, Rolls-Royce, Royal Mail, RS Components Grass Roots, Teledyne and Thales.

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