Ford Motor Company Ltd has awarded this year's WISE prize to 20-year-old automotive engineering student Kiara Harper.
Kiara, who studies at Kingston University in Surrey, received her £750 prize at this month's Young Women Engineer of the Year award ceremony. It was presented in London by CBI director general Sir Digby Jones, with Ford represented by European quality director Kenna Kintrea.
Ford and The WISE Campaign (Women Into Science and Engineering) make the annual award, which is backed by the Institutes of Incorporated Engineers, Electrical Engineers and Mechanical Engineers, to a carefully chosen female engineering student. Kiara came first in a stringent selection process including interview by a panel of engineering professionals.
The Ford WISE prize was initiated by Ford to recognise and reward exceptional women in the penultimate year of studying for their engineering degree. It also promotes the potential of engineering as a career to females.
"Kiara is an exceptional woman who is committed to the world of engineering. She not only studies the discipline but is also enthusiastic and dedicated," said Kenna Kintrea, who is based at Merkenich Technical Centre in Germany - one of Ford's two principal European research and development centres. The Ford Dunton Technical Centre in Essex is the UK's largest automotive R&D facility, staffed by an engineering team of more than 3,000.
Leah Pellew, chair of Ford's Engineers for the Next Generation (ENG) group at Dunton, said: "ENG works hard to increase the awareness of science and engineering as a career to all young people. The Ford WISE prize is supporting those young women who have chosen to pursue a degree in what is typically a male dominated arena."Published 28 January 2006