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Press releases 2021

Registrants named as Young Woman Engineer of the Year finalists

Published: 13/10/2021

Photo of two young women wearing smart business clothes, with their arms folded, smiling at the camera. They are Eftychia Koursari (left) and Nipuni Karunaratne (right)The Engineering Council would like to congratulate registrants Nipuni Karunaratne CEng MRAeS and Eftychia Koursari IEng MICE, and the other four finalists on being recognised in the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards.

These annual awards recognise the contributions of exceptional female engineers working in the UK, as well as highlighting role models who can help address the UK science and engineering skills gap by promoting engineering careers to more girls and women.

2020 Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Ella Podmore, said: “The IET’s YWE award has completely changed my life. To be recognised by an institution as prestigious as the IET has not only been the greatest achievement of my professional career, but it has also given me the platform of a lifetime to share what I do with the world, whilst reincarnating the passion of why I chose engineering in the first place.”

The 2021 registrant finalists are:

Nipuni Karunaratne CEng MRAeS is a Digital Technology Model Factory Manager at Rolls Royce Plc, where she manages and leads a team of experts who are responsible for delivering and improving advance analytics, using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to deliver a major digitalisation programme.

In 2019, whilst being at Rolls Royce, Nipuni started her own Research & Development company with a focus in fourth-generation industry solutions. Nipuni has been motivational and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) panel speaker in many leading events worldwide, coaches and mentors younger people, and was elected in 2019 as the UK chair for the Gender Diversity Network at Rolls Royce.

Eftychia Koursari IEng MICE is a Senior Civil Engineer for Amey Consulting, specialising in scour, the main impact of climate change on infrastructure, whilst also undertaking a part-time research PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Effie is developing innovative scour monitoring and prediction tools and methods, protecting infrastructure, whilst also aiding in the response to the Climate Emergency. She is part of Amey Consulting’s Carbon and Climate Change Working Group, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES)’s Climate Emergency Group and the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) steering group. Effie is also an active STEM Ambassador and has been named one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering for 2020 and was also awarded the Women Leaders Association Rising Star in STEM.

Young Woman of the Engineer Award

Congratulations to the other 2021 finalists:

  • Lauren Jayes
  • Dr Ciara McGrath
  • Dilani Selvanathan
  • Anna Will

Danielle George, President of the IET said: “Engineers bring ideas to life, turn dreams into reality and make solutions to big challenges possible. Engineering is a fantastic career where you really can make a difference and even change the world, but the shortage of women in the industry is a huge problem.

“With a lack of understanding around what engineering is, perceived gender norms and not enough role models for the next generation, there are a lot of reasons as to why the UK struggles to attract women into engineering.

“Our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are all about shining a spotlight on the incredible engineering talent up and down the country, to find role models to get girls and the engineers of tomorrow excited and inspired about a career in engineering.”

The winner will be announced at the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony on Thursday 2 December 2021. For more information visit



For press enquiries:   
Kate Webster, Engineering Council – 3206 0567


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: