Aston graduate scoops prestigious engineering award

Madeleine Jones winner of Karen Burt Award 2017
Madeleine Jones winner of the Karen Burt Award 2017

30 October 2017 

  • National award recognises Madeleine Jones’ excellence as a woman engineer
  • Passion for promoting engineering and the nuclear industry praised
  • Contribution to profession described by judges as ‘outstanding’

Aston University graduate Madeleine Jones has scooped a prestigious national award for her excellence as a woman engineer. Now a manager with Sellafield Ltd, she was also praised for her passion for promoting engineering and the nuclear industry and for mentoring engineering graduates.

The Women’s Engineering Society presented Madeleine with the Karen Burt Award, which is given to a newly chartered woman engineer in recognition of her excellence and potential in the practice of engineering.

Now in its 19 th year, the award also highlights the importance of Chartered status and recognises contributions made by the winner to the promotion of the engineering profession.

Madeleine, deputy operations manager, Legacy Ponds & Silos for Sellafield Ltd, said: “I am delighted to receive the Karen Burt Award and hope that I can continue working with the Women’s Engineering Society and IChemE to support and inspire more women to choose interesting and fulfilling careers in engineering.”

Sally Sudworth, chair of the judging panel said: “We were particularly impressed with the work that Madeleine has undertaken in implementing improvements to the Magnox facility at Sellafield.

“Her passion for her work came across very clearly. Her role as a student ambassador in promoting engineering to primary and secondary school children is impressive, as is her mentoring of engineering graduates at Sellafield.

“Madeleine’s support of her professional body, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, is impressive as was her involvement in a BBC documentary about Sellafield to help promote engineering and the nuclear industry.

“The panel was also impressed with Madeleine’s work on the industry advisory board for the engineering and applied science department at Aston University where she takes an active role.”

Kirsten Bodley, CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) said: “WES supports women to reach their potential in engineering and succeed at all stages of their careers. Through the Karen Burt award we recognise the achievements of an exceptional early-stage career woman engineer and highlight the need to continue to promote engineering as an inspiring career open to all. My congratulations to Madeleine – her contributions to the profession are outstanding.”

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) nominated Madeleine for the award. Jacob Ohrvik-Stott, policy officer (diversity and inclusion), said: "As an organisation committed to championing the role of women in engineering, IChemE is delighted that Madeleine's achievements have been recognised with the Karen Burt Award. Her outstanding work with the IChemE North West Member group and beyond shows the invaluable contributions our members make to IChemE and the engineering sector.“

Madeleine was presented with the Karen Burt Memorial Award 2017 on 5 October at the WES Caroline Haslett Lecture at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in London


Notes to the editor

About the Karen Burt Award:  An active member and Council office holder at the WES, Dr Karen Burt was a tireless campaigner for the recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering. From her own experience and her extensive research she was regarded as an expert in the management of career breaks and women 'returners' to engineering.

A graduate of Newnham College, Cambridge, Karen obtained a PhD in electron microscopy from Reading University. She joined British Aerospace Systems at Stevenage as project engineer for scientific satellites, progressing to senior systems engineer before developing an interest in management in the Total Quality Environment, and becoming business acquisition manager. On leaving BAe, she set up her own consultancy and was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation Systems, University College, London.  Karen had just accepted a position on the staff of UCL when her career was ended by a devastating stroke. She is remembered as a gifted communicator and her fight to recover speech and mobility following her stroke was an inspiration to all who knew her.

The Karen Burt Memorial Award is made annually by the WES to a newly Chartered woman in engineering, applied science or IT.

About Aston University:  Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality, and strong links to business and the professions. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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