Beth Gwyer, a final year student on Brunel University’s five year MEng degree in Engineering, has won the Cadzow Smith medal and £2500 prize for 2022.

She is a technically capable, articulate and enthusiastic candidate who demonstrates the attributes of a future engineering leader. Her Head of School, who describes her as the best student in her cohort, expects her to achieve first class honours – “a very high first”.

In a year-long placement with Mace, she was Assistant Design Manager on the construction of the Terminal Three Central Search Area at London’s Heathrow Airport, including the design and construction of two new lift shafts and the removal of three escalators. This was all in the special and difficult working environment of an operating airport terminal where, in particular, there was a requirement to maintain security at all times. The judging panel were impressed by her understanding of the difficulty of integrating the different engineering disciplines in a single project. 

In her third year individual research project she studied low carbon alternatives to Portland cement concrete, thus beginning to address the carbon footprint of the construction industry. Her final year group project was to design a Covid-19 resilient Accident and Emergency Department.

She has played a leading role in the life of the University. She is the Chair of the Women in STEM Society. She successfully completed the Women in Brunel Engineering and Computing Mentorship programme and was awarded “Mentee of the Year”. She served as secretary to Brunel’s Civil Engineering Society and was the Engineering Course Rep. She is also a member of Brunel Environment Society.  Finally, she is a keen football player and a qualified FA referee, an experience that she describes as “tough”. 

The panel enjoyed her enthusiasm and the passion she puts into all she does.  It particularly noted her work on environmental issues and encouraging women into STEM disciplines. It was impressed by her maturity. She has clear ambitions to become a Chartered Engineer and has accepted a graduate post with Mace Tech (their innovation team).

Sheriff-elect Andrew Marsden and Master Engineer Audrey Canning presenting Beth Gwyer with her Medal and £2500 prize photo courtesy of Mark Witter Photography

Established in 1996, the Cadzow Smith Engineering Awards were endowed by Eastern Group plc in recognition of the outstanding services to engineering of its former Chairman, the late Dr James C Smith CBE FREng FRSE, a Past Master Engineer.  The Award is for excellence on an accredited undergraduate engineering course conducted at one of eleven universities within London and the Home Counties. Besides academic excellence, the recipients of the Awards must have demonstrated self-confidence, professional awareness, leadership and sound common sense.

The Worshipful Company of Engineers Charitable Trust (the Engineers Trust) acknowledges excellence in engineering, supports engineering education and research, gives grants and assists in the relief of poverty.