DR Rebecca Wade has been crowned the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Scotland’s STEM Ambassador of the Year.
The senior lecturer in environmental science at Abertay University won the accolade for ‘inspiring the next generation of civil engineers to work with nature for a more sustainable future’.
Dr Wade was praised for her ‘shining enthusiasm’ as a volunteer who visits schools and encourages young people to consider civil engineering as a career.
She said it was a great honour to receive the award and plans to continue to work to address the gender imbalance in STEM subjects and encourage everyone to work across STEM disciplines, and with arts and culture, to find innovative solutions to complex problems.
“I hope that my enthusiasm and energy have inspired others to get into engineering, and to recognise the importance of working together with allied professions to deliver sustainable solutions,” Dr Wade said. “I have been impressed that in recent years the Institution of Civil Engineers and other professional bodies are engaging with the need to address the climate crisis, global biodiversity decline and social inequality.
“I have been working simultaneously with ICE, my employer, Regional STEM partnership groups, Dundee Science Centre, Tayside Climate Beacon, Homeward bound (Global Women in STEMM network), and in my other STEM outreach activities, to try to support the transition for organisations and individuals to a more equal and sustainable future. It really means a lot to be recognised for these efforts.”
ICE Scotland director, Hannah Smith, added, “All our STEM Ambassadors do an amazing job of inspiring the next generation of civil engineers, which was why this was such a difficult decision to make. The judges felt it is clear Rebecca is very passionate about what she does, particularly by taking numerous routes to inspire young people. This is a well-deserved award and I would like to thank all our STEM Ambassadors for their efforts.”
Judges’ Commendation was given to Taciana Jackson, an engineering manager BAM Nuttall, for her work as a STEM Ambassador, particularly in encouraging more girls to consider STEM careers.
Taciana said, “I strongly believe in the power of representation and role modelling which is why I became a STEM Ambassador. It is very rewarding and I enjoy seeing kids engaging with activities and putting what they learnt on my talks into practice through activities, such as bridge building using loose materials on the school playground.”