Achievement Ceremony Banner 2017

IET Awards - Winners

Awards, prizes and scholarships within engineering and technology

Other IET Awards

Apprentice and Technician of the Year Awards

The winners in each category were announced at the IET Achievement Awards Ceremony 2016


2016 Apprentice Award winner and finalists

Image of Josh Barber

Winner - Josh Barber EngTech TMIET

Josh is an Apprentice Circuit Engineer within the Secondary Systems Power Grids Grid Integration sector at ABB Ltd. He has a HNC and BTEC Level 3 with double distinction* in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Josh helps ABB’s customers and suppliers to improve transmission and distribution networks across the UK by designing secondary systems otherwise known as protection and control systems. Josh made a major contribution to the Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project, where ABB is delivering a wind farm grid connection into National Grid’s transmission network on behalf of Vattenfall. He proposed a redesign for a supplies pillar marshalling kiosk layout to improve safety, efficiency and reduce installation errors, by providing a more intuitive link between the wiring board and the substation layout. This won approval from senior engineers, his supervisors and ABB’s customers. Josh's design has now been adopted for the kiosk as standard as it will save money by reducing installation and commissioning time.  Josh supports ABB’s Schools Support Programme, coordinates industry days and volunteers at events and career days, and has given presentations on ABB’s work to scholars, students, the local community and MPs.

Image of Marc Bartholomew

Finalist - Marc Bartholomew

Marc joined Leonardo's Apprenticeship scheme in Basildon after impressing interviewers with an electric guitar which he designed and built for his BTEC in Engineering. He has an HNC with distinction* in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and is studying towards a BEng degree in Electronic Engineering. Marc is currently working as a Technical Apprentice in the Optronics department after placements in other departments. He has worked on a number of projects providing varied and valued support and has recently received an internal award for the oil rig surveys he performed in Malaysia. Marc has shared his passion for engineering by engaging with community events such as the Rampaging Chariots competition.

Image of Joe Carter

Finalist - Joe Carter

Joe is a third year Applications Apprentice at Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Cambridge. He has a Level 4 HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with distinction*. In September 2016, he started a BEng (Hons) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree. He has had placements in various departments and is currently in the Applications Department. Whilst placed in Research and Design, Joe worked virtually independently on a project to research, test and develop a specimen stage controller to replace the existing electronics used in the organisation’s scanning electron microscopes. He developed a prototype and wrote his own firmware for a real development project, which represented a cost saving of £100-£150k per annum. Joe has mentored other apprentices during his time at the organisation and participated in the 2014 recruitment process for new apprentices. He has also attended information evenings, a career day and provided factory tours for students. He was part of the Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH apprenticeship team at the Cranfield University National Apprenticeship Competition 2015.


2016 Technician Award winner and finalists

Image of Oziar Said  

Winner - Ozair Said EngTech TMIET

Ozair is an Engineering Technician within the Specialist Services Communications team at WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff. In 2015, he completed a BTEC in Building Services Engineering Technology and Project Management with distinction*, and he is currently undertaking a BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Ozair is responsible for the design of telecommunication systems, including CCTV, Public Address and Customer Service Systems. He is leading the Telecommunications team’s effort in Building Information Modelling (BIM) by enabling the collaboration between key international technology suppliers and manufacturers to produce a custom Telecommunications Systems BIM library. As a WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff Launchpad Ambassador, he arranges work experience placements for students and provides mentoring. Ozair presents at various events in Supplementary Schools and Universities in partnership with AFBE-UK, a charity promoting engineering to students. He is also an office representative for RedR, assisting in organising fundraising activities and events.

Image of Sam Moloney

Finalist - Sam Moloney EngTech TMIET

Sam is a Systems Technician at Leonardo, where he started as a Technical Apprentice in 2010. He has achieved a HNC in Electronics Engineering and is currently studying towards a BSc (Honours) degree in Computing and IT. Sam is currently working within Land Systems on the Generic Vehicle Architecture project. Sam has been involved in the design, development and integration of new products, in conformance with Open Architecture Standards. He has been responsible for leading integration activities, liaising with various stakeholders within a multi-function engineering IPT to ensure that all expectations are achieved. Sam regularly represents the company at high profile exhibitions, demonstrating and explaining the system at a technical level. Sam is the site expert for Virtual BattleSpace 3 simulation tool which is used to demonstrate capacity of the project. Sam regularly uses these skills to train new apprentices and graduates providing them with an overview into Simulation.

Image of Andrew Nicholson

Finalist - Andrew Nicholson EngTech TMIET

Andrew is a Senior Technician at Arcadis Consulting Ltd. He started his career at Devonport Dockyard as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice before joining South West Water as a Technician, where he gained experience in water and sewage treatment. He is engaged in a variety of water-related mechanical and civil projects. Andrew took the initiative to learn how to use Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques and, in the process, has changed the way Arcadis operates and collaborates with their clients. He is now passing his knowledge onto his peers and juniors. Andrew is responsible for the design and creation of a highly complex project, engaging with clients and suppliers alike to ensure that approximately 80 individual BIM models are fully integrated and coordinated in a common data environment. He has overcome technological difficulties of software incompatibly and produced detailed component models that were unavailable from the product suppliers as the project was at the forefront of technological progress.

Image of Sam O'Sullivan

Finalist - Sam O'Sullivan EngTech MICE

Sam is a Technician at Pell Frischmann Consultants, Wakefield. In May 2015, he completed a Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment with double distinction*, and in September 2015, he commenced a Level 4 HNC. Sam completes technical and non-technical drawings using a range of software; he carries out site inspections, surveys works of various types of infrastructure and holds numerous competencies. Sam’s remit for working on the Rainford Junction Bridge Project was to review previous archive information and then complete an inspection for assessment. He also completed a traffic assessment and record deflection data. He carried out site surveys using the 3D laser scan and traditional techniques, and wrote method statements, taking into account control measures and identifying all potential site hazards. He has mentored a summer internship undergraduate and has organised a bridge building exercise at a local primary school to promote engineering.


2016 Armed Forces Technician Award winner and finalists     

Image of SSgt Nicholas D Stratham RE  

Winner - Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Nicholas Statham TMIET RE

SSgt Statham is a Clerk of Works in the Corps of Royal Engineers. He was deployed to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus to project manage and provide design authority supporting the construction of a mission-critical airport bulk fuel storage facility. He was then tasked with the reconnaissance of the fuels infrastructure at RAF Brize Norton to provide a contingency solution using deployed fuels equipment whilst critical maintenance was conducted on the permanent fuel installations. He provided design authority support for the construction, commissioning and handover for both sites. These projects required him to make complex technical decisions whilst ensuring stakeholders’ needs were met. He thoroughly investigated and researched engineering solutions and efficiently approved them in accordance with design authority’s requirements. During construction, a facility adjacent was identified as having non-compliant electrical components which would fall within a potential hazardous area of the site. SSgt Statham provided a solution utilising engineering material available to mitigate the hazard. He then communicated the changes and rationale behind the amendment to the construction force, operators and managers.

Image of Cpl Andrew Grittins

Finalist - Corporal (Cpl) Andrew Gittins

Cpl Gittins serves within the Innovation and Capability Exploitation (I&CE) Flight at 90 Signals Unit, Royal Air Force. He is responsible for the testing and development of existing and future capabilities and exploiting them to meet the Air Force’s growing requirement for richer information services. During the planning for an air-led operation, an opportunity was identified to use the internet as an alternative means of getting the MOD’s secure deployable network  and its traffic back to the UK. Cpl Gittins researched innovative technologies that could be used with the current network hardware. Cpl Gittins’ technical solution has improved the services provided to the deployed users, whilst maintaining the high level of protection required on MOD networks. It has also paved the way for further size, weight and power efficiencies that are critical when air transport space is tight. He has volunteered to assist with a project to establish a cyber security tiger team. He mentors junior ranks on innovative engineering solutions to difficult ICT methods and has briefed senior ranks as well. 

Image of SSgt Kurt Knight RE

Finalist - Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Kurt Knight RE

SSgt Knight joined the Royal Engineers in 2002, deployed to Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2008, where served as a mentor for the Afghan National Army (ANA) who provided engineer support during patrols. During this tour he was awarded a Mention in Dispatches for his bravery in assisting in the rescue of an injured ANA soldier. SSgt Knight was then posted to 57 Training Squadron, 3 Royal School of Military Engineering as a Combat Engineer instructor for two years.  In September 2014, he was then posted to 523 Specialist Team Royal Engineers, 62 Works Group. Within seven days he was deployed to Sierra Leone in support of the Ebola crisis. He was the lead electrical engineer for the design and construction of two treatment centres. SSgt Knight was deployed to the Broader Middle East in 2015 where he supported operations in 14 countries. In 2014, SSgt Knight achieved a Foundation degree in Electrical Engineering and he is currently undertaking a BEng (Hons) degree in Power Systems Engineering.


2015 Apprentice Award winner and finalists

Image of James Garnham







Winner - James Garnham ICTTech TMIET

James is an apprentice test engineer in the Solution Validation Services Centre of Excellence at Cisco Systems Ltd. He has a Higher Apprenticeship in Network Engineering and a Cisco Certificate Network Professional (CCNP) qualification. He engages with customers from all over the globe about network upgrades, enhancing hardware or software by testing each project from start to finish. James was instrumental in Cisco’s lab consolidation project, involved in the installation of EnergyWise IP power distribution units into the Cisco labs. Implementing this technology allowed Cisco Engineers to power off their test beds remotely and enabled power scheduling that automatically shuts down the test bed. This project delivered substantial savings in time, space and energy bills, contributing significant volumes of revenue to Cisco. He has shared his experiences at Career Fairs to encourage young people to consider careers in engineering and technology, especially in technological labs. He is currently working towards his ambition of becoming a Cisco Certificated Internetworking Expert (CCIE). 

Read an article about James's win on "The Apprenticeship Guide" website "Bright spark apprentice wins top industry prize"

Image of Jake Payne  






Finalist - Jake Payne

Jake is an apprentice at UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE). He has a Level 3 HND with double Distinction* in Electronic Engineering. Jake’s final placement is with diagnostics where he has been assigned to the MAST-Upgrade project and he is currently leading the testing, building and installation of the tokomak diagnostics, based around a new diverter that is crucial for the next stage of development in the fusion research programme. Working with senior members of staff has resulted in Jake developing his team and management skills as well as his technical skills. Jake promotes apprenticeships in schools, colleges and regularly presents to large audiences raising awareness of STEM and apprenticeships. He participated in five Oxford County Council apprentice Launchpad events for Year 10 students and was also invited to present at the Royal Institution’s Engineering Masterclass Celebration Day. He led a team in the Cranfield University National Apprentice Competition to design a lunar maintenance vehicle, achieving second place.

Read an article on Jake in The Oxford Times

View an interview with Jake on That's Oxford TV

Read Jake's apprentice case study

Image of Jacob Wilshaw  






Finalist - Jacob Wilshaw EngTech TMIET

Jacob is an industrial engineering apprentice at Siemens in Congleton. He has a Level 4 HNC with Distinction in Manufacturing Engineering. At Siemens he has completed rotations throughout various engineering departments and is currently an integral member of the Industrial Engineering department. During a recent Siemens Junior Factory Business Improvement project he took the lead to prove the application of the newly introduced MTM-UAS standard time generation method, by developing a work method for standardisation and then compiled the production times. This most importantly increased the productivity by approximately 75% and added savings by £18,000. He promoted the apprenticeship programme to potential STEM students as a mentor of the “Siemens Roller Coaster Challenge”, a pioneering project aimed at local students aged 11 to 14. He was involved in the “Make It Enterprising Challenge”, a one day event in which secondary school students competed and he has travelled nationally promoting STEM. In 2014 Jacob won a Siemens National Gold Award for Business Innovation.

Read Jacob's (Jake) apprentice case study

View a video interview with James Garnham



2015 Technician Award winner and finalists

Image of Sam Wicks  







Winner - Sam Wicks MIET

Sam completed a BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester in 2011. He is currently a Data Centre Design Engineer at Sudlows where he designs and builds resilient and efficient systems to support clients in multiple sectors. Sam has developed his own bespoke Computational Fluid Dynamics software analysis tool that has taken Sudlows Data Centre designs to the next level of accurate testing and modelling. He has recently been involved in the design, selection and testing of a complex mechanical cooling system for a major international communications company. The new data centre was required to be resilient and "self-heal" by detecting and isolating faults, whilst maintaining continuous cooling, without any interruption in the IT infrastructure housed within, including power, cooling and communication. Working in partnership with the Research and Design departments of Sudlow's supply chain partners, Sam's goal was to design an innovative bespoke cooling system. Sam succeeded in his goal of designing a world-class bespoke cooling system which self-heals.

Read an article about Sam's achievements on the "Voltimum UK" website "Manchester tech-engineer triumphs in top industry honors"

Image of James Maile  







Finalist - James Maile EngTech TMIET

James has a HNC in Mechanical Engineering and has completed a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at Crown Packing. James is currently an Engineering Team Leader at PEME, supervising a team of 10 technicians at a paint production plant. James plays a vital role in linking PEME’s approach to maintenance engineering with the team he leads to carry out preventative, corrective and reactive activities. A key driver for James is the improvement of equipment reliability, which utilises his knowledge of Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) principles to determine an appropriate preventative maintenance regime. This, coupled with his analytical approach to equipment failures, using Root Cause Analysis (RCA) techniques, is already delivering benefits at the manufacturing plant. He has generated a weekly preventative maintenance routine including inspections and lubrications, carried out corrective maintenance and captured breakdown data. James has used his initiative to deliver pragmatic, value-added systems which has resulted in a reduction of breakdowns, improvement in remedial tasks completion, increased production capacity and increased visibility of maintenance KPIs. 

Image of Roberto Weiser








Finalist - Roberto Weiser EngTech TMIET

Roberto received a first class BEng (Hons) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Plymouth in 2014 and is currently undertaking an MSc in Renewable Energies and Sustainability at the Universitat de Barcelona. Following his degree, he volunteered in Peru for three months with the Windaid Institute as part of a multicultural and multidisciplinary team to build, install and maintain off-grid low power wind turbines for rural communities without access to the electrical grid. Roberto designed and developed a battery charge controller for the wind turbines system, using local materials and providing technical knowledge to the organisation and the local communities. He is currently with Smalle Technologies as a R&D Electronic Engineer, developing a generator to harvest energy from the motion of the sea. This involves designing a vertical mechatronic simulator to test the new model and a power electronics circuit to increase the efficiency of the energy extraction process. He was awarded third place at the International Students Energy Summit in Bali 2015 for the design of a renewable energy system for an island.

View a video interview with Sam Wicks


2015 Armed Forces Technician Award winner and finalists

Image of Sgt Craig Fulford






Winner - Sergeant (Sgt) Craig Fulford EngTech TMIET

Sgt Fulford is an electronics technician within the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, serving as a Medical and Dental technician based at 33 Vanguard Field Hospital. This involves keeping some 600 items of equipment maintained and ready to move anywhere across the globe with five days’ notice. He deployed to Kenya where he was awarded a Commanders commendation for his efforts in improving the medical logistics and dynamic availability of equipments. During the height of the Ebola crisis he deployed to Sierra Leone for four months as the sole technician responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the equipment within the Ebola treatment facility and the field hospital. Whilst on deployment he implemented an equipment database which was used on subsequent tours to ensure all 300 items of equipment were serviceable. His wide range of skills and experience were called upon to assist the Royal Fleet Auxiliary hospital ship deployed at the time. His experience ensured that life saving equipments were restored back to full capability.

Read why Sgt Fulford was proud to win the award on the "Salisbury Journal" website "Army technician scoops award for role in fight against Ebola"

Read Sgt Fulford's case study on the "Education for the Military" website

Image of WO2 Matthew Chapman  






Finalist - Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Matthew Chapman

WO2 Chapman is an Artificer Quartermaster Sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and is currently a Ministry of Defence Engineering Failure Investigator based at Abbey Wood. He has seen active service in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, where his experiences of working under extreme conditions of heat, danger and scarce resources to safeguard the lives of soldiers by keeping critical equipment on the road honed his ability to carry out “in-house” manufacturing. He was then headhunted for a year’s secondment as a senior machinist on the manufacturing and assembly of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC). He has delivered some of the most innovative tooling to manufacture over 40 separate components for the vehicle that are safety critical with little or no margin for error. A challenging test of his skill and ingenuity was the manufacturing of Bloodhound SSC’s wheel spin test rig. He is active in promoting STEM in primary schools, graduate workshops and educational showcases for the Bloodhound SSC project.  

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Finalist - Sergeant (Sgt) Peter Snowball

Sgt Snowball, a Royal Air Force (RAF) radar technician at 8 Squadron, RAF Waddington maintains the complex Sentry (E-3D) mission radar system. He is responsible for safely maintaining the mission system of the E-3D whilst it flies, ensuring the aircraft remains capable of undertaking vital missions in support of operations in the UK and internationally. During a period of heavy tasking in support of NATO operations, Sgt Snowball led a team of RAF and industry personnel to solve a longstanding fault in one of the aircraft. Due to the complexity of the fault, there was no technical documentation to assist. Sgt Snowball consulted stakeholders and used his technical acumen, resolve and persistence to find the root cause. He succeeded in a task which had perplexed his peers and industry alike, ensuring a strategic multi-million pound key asset was returned to operational service. He has been awarded the General Service Medal for Operations in Iraq as well as the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

View a video interview with Sergeant Craig Fulford


2014 Apprentice Award winner and finalists


Image of Jade Aspinall

Winner - Jade Aspinall EngTech

Jade is an apprentice at MBDA UK. She has achieved a HND with double Distinction in Electrical Engineering. She started a second HND in Mechanical Engineering in September 2014. Placed as a Manufacturing Engineer, her first responsibility was on a Brimstone radar seeker attrition project. Following on from the success of this project, she worked with a Principle Engineer to create a training module for new starters and apprentices allowing them to understand the assembly, engineering and logistics processes behind the full strip and build of a Brimstone Seeker. Engineering, Technical and Operations apprentices will be able to use this module to aid their training with the use of a manufacturing data pack. This project saved MBDA a lot of man hours and a large amount of money. She has given promotional and motivational speeches at numerous events on the importance of women in engineering and has promoted engineering to young people, employers, parents and MPs. She has already won several awards.

Read Jade's "Meet the apprentices"  case study.

Read about Jade's achievements on the website.

Read about why Jade was thrilled to win the IET Apprentice of the Year Award 2014 (Source: IMechE)

Image of Alex Griffiths

Finalist - Alex Griffiths EngTech TMIET

Alex undertook his apprenticeship at BAE Systems. He has achieved an HNC with distinction in Aeronautical Engineering, he has completed his HND in Aeronautical Engineering with distinction and will be starting a degree course in Manufacturing Systems Engineering in the near future. He has worked on everything from concept design to product testing on a variety of cutting edge aircraft.  He led a multi-disciplinary team of apprentices as part of an inter-apprenticeship competition to solve an engineering challenge faced by “Help for Heroes”. The team set out to devise a system to alleviate the stress forces on the braking cables on hand-powered bicycles used to rehabilitate injured service personnel. They were awarded first prize and raised over £2,500 for “Help the Heroes”. A patent was recently filed for the product and after further field tests they hope to bring the product to market.  He has organised events and given talks to promote apprenticeships and engineering to scholars, students and parents. Alex is currently working as a test engineer in Typhoon manufacturing.

Image of Louise Mills

Finalist - Louise Mills ICTTech TMIET

Louise obtained her Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) qualification after being at Cisco Systems for 3 years, and is currently working towards her CCDP certification.  After completing several engineering placements throughout her apprenticeship, she is currently working as a Client Delivery Manager on one of Cisco’s Service Provider accounts. Utilising her technical knowledge and skills she has learnt to understand the various platforms in the network which has enabled her to understand the customer requirements better and has had the added benefit of saving Cisco thousands of pounds.  In January 2014 at Cisco Live 2014 in Milan, she led a section of the Infrastructure Team of international graduates and local college students to build a fully operational wireless network in only four days. She has been involved in many different events and has appeared in a video and written articles promoting engineering, the STEM subjects, apprenticeships and women in IT.

Read a case study on Louise on the Huffington Post webpage: "My apprenticeship gave me such a confidence boost!"

View an interview with Louise on the UTC Birmingham YouTube page on her experiences as an apprentice at Cisco


2014 Technician Award winner and finalists 

Image of James Winson

Winner - James Winson EngTech TMIET

James is currently an Assistant Telecoms Engineer at Atkins. He joined in 2009 as an Electrical and Electronic apprentice and undertook various tasks including installation, commissioning and design. He is currently working on the design of major projects including the £300 million London Underground (LU) Stabilisation Programme. The programme aims to upgrade life-expired equipment across the underground network. Part of his remit is to work collaboratively with LU engineers to design new telecoms systems for their stations. He was tasked with resolving the challenging job of designing a PA system for Earl’s Court which meets the requirements of a noise abatement order issued by the local council. He worked with acoustic consultants to complete a feasibility study report which included various options to solve the issue. The report is currently being evaluated by LU to find a solution or combination of solutions to resolve the issue.  James is involved with the “EngTech Now” campaign which educates young people interested in an engineering career about the benefits of professional registration.

View James' case study on the "EngTech Now" website.

Read an article about James' win on the "Rail Professional" website.

Image of Mark Holloway

Finalist - Mark Holloway

Mark was an Engineering apprentice in Defence and Equipment and Support (DE&S) at MOD, Abbey Wood. For his second placement he was situated in the Information System and Service Area and given the task to project manage a communication network and gateway.  He set out to find a suitable value for money solution which would also overcome an obsolescence issue which could result in a capability loss. Mark also wanted to ensure the system was future proof by being able to implement any new technologies The new system gave a performance increase on the current solution, giving the user a better experience of the system and it was also able to adopt the ability to be expanded when demand from the users increased whilst maintaining the same level of capability and performance. He has also completed placements in military laser safety, information system and services, Typhoon propulsion systems and finally in Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. He is currently an equipment support officer at MOD, Abbey Wood.

Image of Andy King

Finalist - Andy King

After completing a BEng in Aerospace Engineering, Andy took his first job as a Helicopter Project Engineer before completing an MSc and working with tidal turbines. Andy then returned to the aerospace industry as an Air Traffic Engineering Technician.  Andy was given a project to provide a contingency method of displaying wind data so that the information is always available to Air Traffic Control (ATC).  He realised that contingency and backup systems are an intrinsic safety feature in providing air traffic control services.  With this in mind, the observation was made that should the meteorological data system fail, the wind data (speed and direction) has no backup system, causing a potential safety issue.  His project was successful in providing a contingency method of displaying wind data so that the information is always available to ATC.  Andy has given presentations on aerodynamics, renewable energy and engineering in general to primary school and college students.

View a video interview with James Winson



2014 Armed Forces Technician Award winner and finalists


Image of Corporal Aled Phoenix

Winner - Corporal (Cpl) Aled Phoenix

Cpl Phoenix is an Electronic Technician in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and is currently based at Tidworth with 6CS Battalion REME.  Cpl Phoenix was deployed to Lashkar-Gar Durai to maintain Base Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance systems. As the only technician on location he found himself required to provide the whole spectrum of technical support beyond the limitations of his trade specialism, including generator maintenance and vehicle electrics, effecting several critical modifications to the armoured vehicle fleet. His technical aptitude was stretched to its limits and he performed repairs on previously unseen equipment while maintaining engineering hygiene in one of the most challenging environments in the world. He conducted all of his technician duties while participating in mounted patrols on an armoured vehicle with an infantry unit within high threat areas of Afghanistan. Engineering decisions were constantly being made regarding the safety and timeliness of repairs and maintenance.

Image of Staff Sergeant Henry Breed

Finalist - Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Henry Breed

SSgt Breed joined the UK Armed Forces as an Electronic Technician in 2002 and is currently responsible for instructing junior electronic engineers, supervisors and engineering leaders at 11 Training Battalion (REME), Arborfield.  He has designed a Networking Camera system in order to provide the trainee electronic engineers and supervisors with a broader knowledge on how networking systems are structured and operated.  In March 2013, he joined the Bloodhound Project for 7 months as the only electronic engineer on the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car. During this time he also took part in various public engagements to help promote the UK’s STEM Initiative and was involved in a mentoring programme that involved going into schools to mentor teenagers who were looking for work experience in an engineering environment.


Image of Sergeant Neil Devonshire

Finalist - Sergeant (Sgt) Neil Devonshire MIET

Sgt Devonshire is currently an ICT Technician at No. 1 Radio School at RAF Cosford. After joining the display team he realised that the recruitment for ICT Technicians would benefit from a highly visual display unit to be used to attract interest in this diverse and interesting trade. He designed and built a model of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with a PTZ security camera which could be operated by members of the public at trade fairs and aerial displays. Since joining the RAF in 2001, his projects have included installing and maintaining airfield navigational aids such as primary and secondary surveillance RADAR, ground to air communications and an Instrument Landing System. He is currently teaching corrective and preventative maintenance on communications equipment. Past operational detachments include Afghanistan, Germany and the Falklands.


View a video interview with Corporal Aled Phoenix


2013 Apprentice Award winner and finalists

Lydia Feasey photo

Winner - Lydia Feasey EngTech TMIET

Lydia, from Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, works at the Joint European Torus, the world’s largest nuclear fusion project. Since fusion may be one of our main sources of energy in the future, the work Lydia is involved with is integral to the world’s future energy security. When critical parts from the reactor lining needed to be removed to be analysed, Lydia was called upon to help ensure that the removal and transportation was safe and successful. Lydia was responsible for the logistics and tracking of 500 components that needed to be removed. Each was worth up to £20,000, involved hazard materials and contained invaluable data for the international fusion research programme. Every component made it to its destination safely and intact. Lydia has worked tirelessly to promote apprenticeships, and has been awarded several times already for the quality of her work.

Read Lydia's "Meet the apprentices" case study.

Read an interview with Lydia on the website: "Why you shouldn't be scared of engineering

View a video of Lydia on the IET Faraday website page: Follow in their footsteps...

Anthony Benton photo

Finalist - Anthony Benton 

Whilst Anthony’s dream was always to be an engineer, it was still daunting to leave home at 16 to enrol on the Unilever apprenticeship scheme at one of the country’s best technical colleges. His greatest achievement so far has been planning, building and installing a system to prevent Hellman’s Mayonnaise jars from being incorrectly fed into a palletizing robot, which could lead to stoppages, or even injuries from exploding glass. An enthusiastic promoter of apprenticeships, he played a significant role helping Unilever to be awarded the UK Food Industry’s Apprentice Scheme of the Year Award 2011.

Read Anthony's case study on his experiences of completing an engineering apprenticeship at Unilever.


Andrew Smith photo

Finalist - Andrew Smith

Andrew is proud to work at Bentley Motors Limited, the world’s most prestigious and luxury car manufacturer. As part of the Whole Vehicle Acoustics and Aerodynamics team, he has to develop the level of refinement for driver and passengers to class leading performance. During an aero-acoustic development activity on Continental GT, Andrew was part of a multi-disciplinary team tasked with identifying and fixing a concern. Andrew was responsible for the concern investigation testing, countermeasure development and design recommendation on the door sealing system, allowing Andrew to contribute to a refinement improvement on the Continental GT.  Additionally, he has actively worked to promote and improve the Bentley Motors Limited apprenticeship for future generations of talent.

View a video interview with Lydia Feasey


2013 Technician Award winner and finalists


Andew Knowles photo

Winner - Andrew Knowles EngTech TMIET

Working in the Technical Office at Merseyrail for two years, Andrew is tasked with improving the performance of their trains by identifying and modifying poor performing systems. Following a crash is 1994, systems that lay sand in front of train wheels were introduced to the industry to improve stopping distances and increase passenger safety. When the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) asked Merseyrail to upgrade their system, Andrew was tasked with analysing any issues and re-designing the system. Andrew identified the problems with the current system and oversaw the modification ahead of time and under budget, at the same time extending the life of the system. Andrew has continued to work with the ORR to help improve these sanding systems on other trains industry wide.

View Andrew Knowles' comments of how winning the award has had a positive impact on his career in the IET Press release: IET searches for the UK's brightest Apprentices and Technicians (06 May 2014)


Stephen Gould photo

Finalist - Stephen Gould MIET

Stephen is an Electronic Technician at the University of Reading. Believing in a new way of teaching undergraduates, in which technicians take a proactive role at all stages, Stephen set out to create a challenge for his students that didn’t just focus on theory, but integrated it with practical based experience, similar to that available in the commercial engineering world. Stephen set up the Cybernetic Challenge, where students had to build a ‘rover’ robot that would have to undertake challenges as if it was on a foreign planet. The challenge proved so successful that the workload for it had to be reduced to prevent the students from skipping other lessons to work on their robots. Stephen drew praise from his Vice-Chancellor and academic staff, and has since presented the now annual challenge at several events.

View an article (PDF) on Stephen Gould which has appeared in the October 2013 issue of the New Electronics Magazine


Michael Major photo

Finalist - Michael  Major EngTech TMIET

An Electronics Technician at Queen’s University, Michael has been working on a retrodirective antenna system. Regular antennas require precise alignment with the broadcasting satellite to receive a signal. Originally proposed in the 1960s, but abandoned due to problems, the retrodirective antenna aligns itself, meaning that set up time is much reduced. The project has been a success, met every benchmarking system, and has already received confirmation of grants to commercialise the retrodirective antenna. Michael was the sole technician on this very successful project. A passionate advocate of technicians, he regularly works with local schools to encourage careers in the field.


2013 Armed Forces Technician  Award winner and finalists


SSgt David Emmerson photo

Winner - Staff Sergeant (SSgt) David Emmerson 

The safety of troops deployed on operations is a number one concern, particularly in ‘safe haven’ bases. Typical practice is to use mass earth to provide protection and shelters. SSgt Emmerson saw this as costly and logistically inefficient. Taking into account all stakeholder needs, he believed that it needed a different kind of thinking from what had gone before. In order to pursue these ideas, he took an unpaid career break from the Army and found commercial sponsorship. SSgt Emmerson has designed a new series of modular protective systems, including guard towers and structural frame systems, which are in development and offer key features and benefits to both the user and their organisation. Previously, he has worked on a unique prosthesis for wounded soldiers, and is working to encourage engineering and the armed forces within an education context.


SSgt March Cheesman photo

Finalist - Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Marc Cheesman

SSgt Cheesman was deployed to Afghanistan for six months to support the vehicles (whose worth is in excess of £3bn) of a fighting brigade. Time and again, he was tasked with investigating faults with equipment and proposing solutions. One example was when a fault was found on the Foxhound vehicle; SSgt Cheesman’s diagnosis led to the £0.4bn capability being able to stay in the field, as well as saving £200,000 to date. Other recommendations on the project could save millions of pounds over the equipment’s lifetime. His work on this and other projects has directly led to increased effectiveness for combat operations in Helmand Province. Much admired by his comrades, he has already been selected for IMechE REME Senior Non Commissioned Officer Engineer of the Year.


Cpl David Haggarty photo

Finalist - Corporal (Cpl) David Haggarty

For six months, Cpl Haggarty was part of a battalion holding ground from insurgents in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Responsible for maintaining the fleet of armoured fighting vehicles (Warrior), he was deployed on patrols to outlying locations. With only the materials that he could carry, he had to keep vehicles and generators running. Cut off from support, and with supplies running low, Cpl Haggarty had to swap components between machines to keep the battalion mobile. If his conduct in combat wasn’t enough, during his breaks, and using his own initiative, he designed and built a heated shower for his comrades. He was recently selected as the best REME below the rank of Sergeant for his skills.



2017 Key date     


IET Achievement Awards:
15 November 2017, 13:00 (GMT)   


See Also

About the IET Apprentice and Technician Awards


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Online submissions for 2017 are closed.