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Formula 1: Young Engineer of 2020 Award

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

As we have been noting on the SLT website, women have been making their mark in various sports, especially football, cricket and rugby football.

Now the latest sport to mark this trend is the hitherto very masculine sport of Formula 1.

A woman has won the prestigious the 2020 ‘Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award’ of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).

This Award celebrates women working in modern engineering to challenge negative perceptions and encourage greater diversity in the profession.

The winner, Ella Podmore, who is twenty-five years old, is involved in all material investigations from first drawings through to the final product and works for the McLaren Formula 1 Team.

Commenting on her Award, she stated:

“I am absolutely honoured to have been chosen by the IET and the Judges to be the winner. Those who know and work with me recognise how passionate I am about my science and, being able to talk about that and the amazing supercars I get to work on at McLaren, I want to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Congratulating Ella on her Award, the Executive Director of Human Resources at McLaren commented:

“Ella’s passion for her work clearly shone through to the IET and the Judges and it makes her such an inspiring ambassador for others who want to follow in her footsteps.”

And she added:

“For a company like ours, diversity is vital to maintain and boost … innovation….”

McLaren Formula 1 drivers have included Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton and their success has not only depended upon their driving skills, but also on the technical support of engineers and scientists for the cars that they race.

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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