Skip to content

Trio of researchers make WES Top 50 Women in Engineering

23 June 2022

Eleven ICE members feature in this year’s inspirational list.

Trio of researchers make WES Top 50 Women in Engineering
From left to right, Dr Priti Parikh, Dr Ornella Iuorio, and Dr Alalea Kia, who all made the 2022 WES Top 50 Women in Engineering list.

Three ICE members leading in the research world have been recognised in this year’s WES Top 50 Women in Engineering.

Dr Alalea Kia, Dr Ornella Iuorio and Dr Priti Parikh were among 11 ICE members who’ve made the list this year, the theme of which was ‘inventors and innovators’. The list is compiled by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).

Dr Kia is a Royal Academy of Engineering research fellow at Imperial College London, working on developing climate resilient permeable infrastructure.

Dr Iuorio is an associate professor at the University of Leeds. Her main body of research is on embodied carbon and life-cycle assessment.

ICE Council member and associate professor at University College London, Dr Parikh, also heads the Engineering for International Development Centre at the university.

Dr Parikh said she was honoured to be part of the WES Top 50 list.

“This is a celebration of women engineers who can #imaginethefuture, #innovate and solve challenges such as #sustainability and #climatechange,” she said.

“I hope that the awards will inspire more women to take on future challenges and leadership roles in the industry and beyond.”

Moving the needle

Joining the researchers in the ranks were Divya Bhanderi, Sarah Teliani and Tina Irvine, who all work at Arup.

Bhanderi and Teliani work in London as a senior consultant and project manager, respectively, and are both experienced in project management. Irvine’s part of the bridges and civil structures team in the Leeds branch.

Georgia Thompson, an assistant design programme manager with Eiffage Kier Ferrovial BAM, also made the list.

An inclusion advocate, last year Thompson met Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, patron of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

“What an honour to be recognised, especially in a theme so close to my heart. I think I shed a tear of joy when I found out,’ she said.

She added: “Creating change is hard so it’s a great way to recognise those trying to move the needle... I send my congratulations to all those who have been recognised for their efforts!”

Thompson is joined by Mercedes Ascaso, a principal engineer at DLT Engineering, and Lucie Killen, a structural engineer with Price & Myers.

Focusing on leadership

Séan Harris, director of membership at ICE, said that while it’s “wonderful” to have a day to recognise women in engineering, he noted that their contributions should be recognised every day.

"This year the ICE is focusing on leadership, to encourage women to see themselves at the very top of the profession, both as ICE fellows and as industry leaders,” he said.

He highlighted that over the last year, ICE has been hosting a series of networking events for female fellows of the institution, in the hope that they can “act as beacons for those following on”.

Women in leadership recognised in this year’s WES Top 50 list include Eleanor Ball and ICE Fellow Rachel Pether.

Ball is the director and co-founder of Graphic Structures, an engineering design studio.

Pether is the director of water utilities and an all reservoirs panel engineer at Binnies consultancy.

Harris said that while there are still around six men for every woman at ICE, progress has been made. The number of female members of the institution has doubled since 2008.

However, he pointed out: “We cannot wait another 50 years to achieve parity in engineering.”

  • Ana Bottle, digital content editor at ICE