Engineering Heroes – The 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering

Published:  10 March, 2021

Founded by the Women's Engineering Society (WE50) in 2016, the WE50 awards are a UK event linked to International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) – the celebration of women in engineering that takes place on 23 June each year.

In association with The Guardian newspaper and Assystem, the 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering will celebrate the Engineering Heroes: the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution; who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones.

Derived from the Greek word hērōs, "hero" literally means "protector" or "defender" and in 2020-21 engineers around the world have played a major role in protecting and defending us from the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, the extraordinary public health crisis we are experiencing has brought into sharp focus how engineers also deliver and maintain critical services and infrastructure, keep civic society functioning at every level, and support lives and livelihoods. And let's not forget those engineers who also undertake world-leading research and innovation to tackle the long-term, structural global challenges of our time, especially climate change.

Nominations can be made on the WES website Nominations close at noon on Monday 15 March 2021.

2021 criteria for nomination

We are celebrating women who have improved engineering in service of our society. These individuals may be involved in designing, delivering, developing, maintaining or researching engineering in the following circumstances:

• Emergency response to immediate need, for example, the pandemic, natural/manufactured disasters, search and rescue

• Improvements to the social or environmental impact of infrastructure designed to keep the public safe, for example, building and road safety, energy, telecoms and water services

• Life-saving medical response, whether by means of diagnostics, devices, medication or equipment, for example, pharmaceutical drugs, tests and vaccines, hospital diagnostic equipment such as x-rays and scanners, surgical tools, protective equipment, including clothing and masks

• Responding to the climate and biodiversity emergencies

In 2020 the WE50 Awards on the theme of sustainability attracted over 300 nominations. The WE50 ceremony was held virtually on INWED 23 June 2020 and a brochure created.



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