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Northumberland engineer scoops prestigious prize

02 July 2019

New Civil Engineer awarded the prize in the 'Above and Beyond' category.

Northumberland engineer scoops prestigious prize

Kate Cairns, a chartered civil engineer from Newton-by-the-sea, Alnwick, has received a national award by New Civil Engineer for her SeeMeSaveMe campaign.

Cairns, who's a council member and fellow of ICE, received the award at a private dinner held at London’s famous restaurant, The Ivy.

She's had a prestigious career. Having studied at the University of Bristol and Imperial College London she'snow a professional speaker who runs her own business, Cairns Consultancy.

The ‘Above and Beyond’ Award was given to Cairns for her SeeMeSaveMe campaign to reduce the number of road traffic collisions involving heavy goods vehicles.

The campaign was inspired by Cairns' sister, Eilidh, who was killed by a lorry, while riding a bike.

The judges’ comment highlighted her ceaseless campaigning:

“This award has been given in recognition of the dedication and drive Kate has brought to her campaign, called SeeMeSaveMe, to cut incidents involving HGVs.

"Her work, over several years, has brought about an impactful change in behaviour and policy from lorry drivers on site to policy makers at a European level.”

New Civil Engineer’s Recognising Women in Engineering awards supports female engineers’ personal development on the journey towards better gender diversity in the civil engineering sector to attract and retain more women.

Commenting on her award success, Cairns said: “I’m delighted to have received this award for a campaign about which I am so passionate. Eilidh gave so much in her life, and because of her death she has saved others her fate.

"We have achieved great change: in law, in industry standards and in understanding of the risks of construction HGVs.

“The awards help to raise the profile of civil engineers and in particular, of women in engineering. It’s vital to challenge the view that engineering is a male-oriented vocation.”

Penny Marshall, Regional Director of ICE North East, said: “Kate is a superstar! She is an inspiration to all budding and existing engineers both in the North East and the UK. She has a tireless energy for using engineering to positively change the world, and show contagious passion for everything she does.”

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  • Joanne Stephenson, communications lead at ICE