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Engineering News

Women’s Engineering Society awash with awards

Published: 10/03/2016

The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has been on both ends of engineering accolades in the past few months. Helen Cavill scooped the WES Prize at the 2015 IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards while WES Chief Executive Officer Dawn Bonfield picked up a Semta Skills Award.

Helen is a Chartered Engineer and an enthusiastic STEM Ambassador who knew that engineering was for her from an early age. After A levels she undertook a Year in Industry student placement, which became a three-year stint working in an iron foundry taking on many responsibilities and gaining invaluable work experience. After this she studied engineering at Cambridge University, spending her summer placements working for Siemens. Already a fully-fledged engineer by the time she finished her degree, Helen joined M&H Plastics and is currently a process improvement manager with the company.

Helen’s two main career highlights so far include being the first person in her family to attend university and becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng). “I’m particularly proud of becoming CEng because my company has no other Chartered Engineers,” she told The Woman Engineer.

“I always knew I wanted to become CEng and I did this through support from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), where I am a member. They helped me complete my application form because as I work in process improvement, rather than an obvious engineering role involving calculations and designing components, it took some thinking to map the competences. So I became CEng before hitting 30, and having started university quite late I feel like it was a big achievement.”

Find out more about Helen on the WES website, at She also features on the front cover of The Woman Engineer’s spring issue.

In February 2016, WES CEO Dawn Bonfield won the Diversity in Engineering category at the Semta Skills Awards. The accolade recognises the work she has undertaken on behalf of WES to encourage and promote the education, study and application of engineering and her work with organisations and influencers to promote gender diversity and equality in the workplace. Of particular note is the success of National Women in Engineering Day ( The Awards celebrate the best of British engineering and recognise the talented people and inspiring businesses across the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. Also in February, WES Past President Dr Carol Marsh won an Inspiration Award at the FDM everywoman Women in Technology Awards. More information about both these awards can be found at