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Belfast engineer wins Burt prize

Atkins engineer urges greater numbers of female engineers in the profession

A Belfast-based new civil engineer who negoiated complex design and public communication issues on a flood alleviation project has been awarded a major prize.

The Karen Burt Memorial Award is presented annually by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to a newly professionally qualified female engineer.

The award recognises high achievement in engineering and a commitment to the promotion of the profession.

The award nomination focused on Templeton’s project management of the Lodge Burn Flood Alleviation Scheme. The scheme was successfully developed despite significant difficulties due to traffic, confined spaces and poor ground conditions.


Templeton, who works for Atkins, was responsible for communication with the public and other affected parties, in addition to the design issues. The project required knowledge of engineering contracts as well environmental matters.

Technical expertise aside, Templeton stood out from the rest of the award contenders due to her commitment to increasing awareness of civil engineering amongst school pupils.

Karen Burt Award judge Linda Maynard said: “It was very clear that Templeton works tirelessly to promote
engineering and careers in engineering. As well as working with her company’s graduate programme she has been very active within ICE Northern Ireland”.

Templeton said: “Although not a common profession for women, engineering has become much more popular over recent years through the work of the WES and enthusiastic women engineers.”

Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke, added his voice in recognising her achievement:

“Atkins is very pleased that Templeton has been successful in winning the Karen Burt Memorial Award.

“As a company, Atkins is committed to supporting the participation of women in engineering and science at all levels. 

“We strongly believe that increasing the numbers of women in the workforce brings significant benefits to the business.” 

Templeton was presented with her award at Crossing Bridges on 15 December.

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