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Press Releases 2016

Gemma Lonsdale wins 2016 Baroness Platt of Writtle award

Published: 20/07/2016

Squadron Leader Gemma Lonsdale IEng MIET has won the 2016 Baroness Platt of Writtle Award for her outstanding work as an engineer officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Presented by the Engineers Trust (Charitable Trust Fund of Worshipful Company of Engineers), this prestigious annual award recognises the achievements of a newly registered Incorporated Engineer (IEng). Gemma was presented with a medal, certificate and prize money of £1,000 at the Annual Awards presentations of the Worshipful Company of Engineers, on 19 July 2016.

Gemma Lonsdale is currently the Senior Engineer Officer on a RAF Typhoon Squadron, responsible for the availability, capability and airworthiness of the aircraft. In previous roles, she has reduced the time for scheduled maintenance of Tornado aircraft by 55% and led the engineering input to an inquiry into an aircraft that overshot a runway during an emergency landing. As a trials officer, her astute engineering judgement enabled her to design a unique transportation system for a damaged aircraft, and she made a significant contribution to the flight safety of one of the RAF’s aircraft fleet.

Gemma shows commitment to the engineering profession as a STEM ambassador, promoting engineering within the RAF to the Air Cadet Organisation and encouraging junior officers to engage with professional institutions.

Gemma Lonsdale

Gemma Lonsdale said: “I am delighted to receive this award. My career in the RAF has always been both exciting and challenging and it is an honour to have my achievements recognised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Worshipful Company of Engineers. I would like to thank my family and colleagues for all their support and I will continue to share my enthusiasm for engineering with young people and encourage them to follow this extremely rewarding career.” 

In 2015, 1,401 talented engineers successfully achieved IEng. Gemma was nominated for this award by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and judged against nine others who had been nominated by their respective professional engineering institutions. The judges were particularly impressed by Gemma’s presentation, application of engineering knowledge, leadership ability, management and commercial skills.

Peter Blair-Fish, Award Coordinator of the Worshipful Company of Engineers, said: “This award is for Incorporated Engineers of all disciplines. This year saw an exciting spread of nominees working in a variety of industries from aircraft and railways to manufacturing, welding, scaffolding, and mechanical and electrical services. Their nomination papers demonstrated a very high standard of engineering and professionalism.” 

Jon Prichard, CEO of the Engineering Council, added: “I would like to congratulate Gemma Lonsdale, who is clearly an outstanding IEng registrant. We were delighted to hear from the judges that the quality of all the nominated candidates was extremely high. Incorporated Engineers make an essential contribution to all sectors of the engineering profession, and once again we would like to thank the Engineers Trust for recognising these individuals through this award.”

Nominations for the 2017 Baroness Platt of Writtle Award will open early in the new year. Institutions will be able to nominate up to five members who achieved IEng status in 2016. Nominees should, in the view of their institution, have displayed outstanding commitment to the engineering profession, have excellent communications skills and have demonstrated management qualities. Please see for further details.


For press enquiries
Lucie Richards, Senior Communications Executive, Engineering Council:

020 3206 0567

Robert Beahan, External Communications Manager, Institution of Engineering and Technology: 

01438 767336

The Clerk, Worshipful Company of Engineers & The Engineers Trust

020 7726 4820 

Notes to editors

History of the award

This year is the fourth time that the Baroness Platt Award has recognised an outstanding newly registered Incorporated Engineer. The Award was originally established by the Worshipful Company of Engineers to recognise engineering excellence amongst those pursuing final year studies leading to the academic qualifications needed for Incorporated Engineer status. It was awarded in this form from 2002 to 2012, with the assistance of the Institution of Incorporated Engineers and later the Institution of Engineering and Technology in selecting the Award winner. The award is limited to British citizens or those who have resided in the UK for at least five years and whose principal residence is in the UK.

About Baroness Platt of Writtle CBE

Baroness Platt studied engineering at Cambridge University and worked on the testing and production of fighter aircraft during the Second World War. After the war, she worked on air safety in the research department of British European Airways. Later, she chaired the educational committee of Essex County Council and the Equal Opportunities Commission, was chancellor of Middlesex University and a non-executive director of British Gas. She was instrumental in setting up WISE – Women In Science and Engineering, and a champion of the role of Incorporated Engineers. Baroness Platt was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and an Assistant Emeritus of the Worshipful Company of Engineers. 

About the Worshipful Company of Engineers

The Worshipful Company of Engineers ( is one of the ‘modern’ livery companies of the City of London. Established in 1983, its Liverymen are all Chartered Engineers and Fellows of an appropriate professional engineering body, or Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. This award is funded by the Engineers Trust (, with a contribution from the Dulverton Trust.

About the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 167,000 members in 150 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary, to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers. More information is at

About the Engineering Council

The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit


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  • IEng