NCE Graduate of the Year Claire Gott confirmed this week that she intends to devote her £1,250 first prize to the engineering charity Cameroon Catalyst that she founded three years ago at Southampton University. In the past she has raised over £90,000 towards infrastructure development of her chosen central African village Bambouti.
Gott, a 23 year old graduate structural engineer with WSP Group, received her prize and trophy from NCE editor Antony Oliver in front of 190 industry leaders gathered at the ICE last Friday.
“I intend to use this fantastic opportunity to promote to our industry the importance of graduate engineers,” she said. “It is vital that employers realise we remain passionate and committed to our chosen profession especially during such challenging times.”
Her message was supported at the awards ceremony by ICE president Richard Coackley. “Companies are understandably finding recruitment decisions more difficult at present and many of last year’s graduate civil engineers are still without a job,” he said. “But we must look forward and encourage these young engineers who represent the future of our profession. We must not loose this generation of essential graduates.”
Gott had beaten over 90 entries worldwide to win. “These awards have gained a very high reputation in our industry,” said Coackley who was himself closely involved in their development as a judge several years ago. He praised the ‘great group’ of major company sponsors who continue to support the awards.
Five other finalists had also undergone gruelling interviews from the judging panel, all senior directors of these 16 top company sponsors.
Simon Rawlins from Amey and Jonathan Han from Balfour Beatty were joint runners up. Sakthy Selvakumaran from Gifford, Paul McNulty from Queens University Belfast and Arup’s James Holloway were highly commended.