Eleanor Griffin, University of Exeter

receiving her Award from Mark Wild OBE FREng, the CEO of SGN with Master Engineer, Dr Dolores Byrne OBE [image courtesy of Mark Witter Photography].

Eleanor Griffin attended King’s High School in Warwick where her love of science and engineering began. Here, Eleanor was always up to pushing the boundaries. On behalf of the school, she applied to NASA for the opportunity to host a link to the International Space Station to speak with astronauts and against enormous competition across Europe and US, was successful. Continuing on the space theme, she wrote a paper on the systems of governance for the colonisation of Mars which was picked up by the International Astronautical Congress, along with an invitation to speak at the congress. After a year spent in Australia mountaineering and teaching Maths and Physical and Outdoor Education to students at Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop Campus, Eleanor returned to the UK with her sights set more firmly on the ground to pursue an Engineering degree at the University of Exeter.

Throughout her four-year course, Eleanor has received multiple accolades, with prizes for leading teams to develop systems of deploying Women’s Health and Family Planning clinics to post-disaster communities and using marine mounted LiDAR scanners to monitor coral reef degradation. In her Masters year, Eleanor specialised in Medical Engineering, researching the unmet market need for custom surgical instruments and digital pre-operative planning systems for young, elite sports players in orthopaedic hip surgery. Identifying the problem, Eleanor co-founded a start-up, Opas Guides, and built a team to further investigate the issue and start designing a solution.

Her paper, ‘Boys, Rugby and Oddly Shaped Hips: Patient Specific Instrumentation for Orthopaedic Hip Surgery’ demonstrates the fundamental engineering processes in commercialising research. At the university and beyond, Eleanor is an advocate for women in STEM and has been involved in multiple projects with the university to increase the number of women choosing to study engineering.

The Mercia Award is made to a student for a postgraduate paper describing how engineering techniques are being used for the advancement of medical treatment and provides a medal and bursary towards the cost of a taught or research programme of postgraduate studies in Medical Engineering.

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 hardship and poverty.