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KBR's Suzanne Bland wins Karen Burt Award

ICE news

ICE THAMES VALLEY graduates and students committee secretary Suzanne Bland was presented with this year's interinstitution Karen Burt Award last month.

The award is given to newly chartered female engineers of exceptional quality for their commitment to promoting engineering.

Bland is a geochemistry graduate from Manchester University and also possesses an MSC in engineering geology from Imperial College.

'I first became interested in geology when my father took me panning for gold as part of a research project he was conducting, ' said Bland.

Bland works for consultant KBR, currently employed on the Tengiz-Chevron oil field project in Kazakhstan to build laboratories and amenity blocks for 10,000 workers.

If KBR wins the job she will project manage the scheme, part of a $10bn project.

Her experience to date has covered Tanzania, Kenya, Jordan, Ethiopia, Algeria and Cyprus.

Bland's current role is assistant business development manager for infrastructure consulting across Africa, the Middle East and former Soviet Union. The role has given her an insight into international banks and to what extent the United Nations millennium development goals can be achieved in developing countries.

But Bland's credits go beyond the drawing board as she actively promotes engineering in schools and universities.

While working on a flood defence scheme in North London, she was able to combine both activities by organising school site visits to the scheme and contributing to school geography projects.

Since passing her chartered professional review last year, Bland has also mentored other graduates working towards becoming chartered.

'I believe graduates need continuing encouragement throughout their initial professional development to help them become the lead engineers and engineering managers of the future, ' said Bland.

The award is sponsored by the Women's Engineering Society and is named after physicist Dr Karen Burt.

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